Let’s get back to teaching some practical skills!

75% of English and Welsh children aged 11-16 say it is important to go to university, down from 86% in 2013. The proportion who are “very likely to” actually go to university has fallen from 38% to 32%. (Ipsos Mori/The Guardian)

Why should anyone be surprised? University is too expensive, and whitecollar job prospects poor. On the other hand, there are too few colleges where people can learn real-world skills like carpentry, electrics, plumbing and bricklaying. Now, in their “infinite wisdom” the “people” (a bare majority) have voted both to discourage immigrants from coming to the UK and to endanger the economy, our houses will begin to fall apart, our computers pack up, our cars malfunction, our food will rot in the fields, and no one will know how to mend a fuse.

Meanwhile, the universities take huge fees from youngsters, who have to borrow the money to be (in some instances) indifferently taught. The winners are the university administrators, who are paying themselves Big Company salaries, while many teaching staff haven’t seen a raise for years (exactly the same in America!).

The loser in all this is the nation. Never mind, I hear the old guard say, we have used the money saved to buy a big, beautiful aircraft carrier (any aircraft on it yet?) and are paying a fortune for a Chinese nuclear power plant (instead of investing in clean energy). Surely, on top of the Brexit fiasco all this has to mark the death throes of a centralizing government that is simultaneously incompetent. Disraeli will be groaning in his grave!

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