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    Joined: Dec 2012
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    Here (NZ) for medicine, vet, law, engineering, dentistry etc you go into a "pre" year which is the first year in the degree then if you get high enough grades you age allowed to continue (usually at least A's and some years that doesn't get you a place). If you don't you switch to a BSc or something for your next two years to get your bachelors degree and then can do postgrad. Like the poster above you don't do general stuff at that level and often for the last few years of high school you will have been aiming there. Eg for engineering you may have done English, calculus, statistics, physics, chemistry and biology for the last year, English, maths (not split yet), and 3 sciences for the year before that. Some students may have dropped the English in the last year because 6 subjects at that level is hard to manage.

    Eta I really like the idea of a generalist interest course but it does seem to have a profit motive and delay earning excessively.

    Last edited by puffin; 01/04/14 05:18 PM.
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    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    I wish that more schools WOULD 'comp' students whose combined profile places them at "highly likely to graduate" because the pricing in the US is now at a point where a good many of those students are being forced to sign on to a life of basically debt servitude to ATTEND college.

    Okay, so assuming that a college costs 50K annually...

    Ouch! It's actually $60K these days at places like Harvey Mudd and MIT. However, something good may be starting. Has anyone else read about a small (but apparently growing) number of colleges that are slashing tuition costs? It's been in the news lately: tuition cuts at various colleges.

    It's a national shame that we soak our young people and/or their parents for everything they've got and more while telling them it's all necessary in order to succeed. frown

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    I am from the UK like ColinsMum and I benefited from the same system. I truly cannot understand how this country pays so much incarcerating its citizens but refuses to spend on cultivating its best and brightest.

    Last edited by madeinuk; 01/05/14 04:46 AM.

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    Once upon a time the California Universities were almost free, only a small amount of "fees" were required. This didn't include cost of living but the cost of attending was very inexpensive. But alas because of politics that is no more.

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    Originally Posted by Val
    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    I wish that more schools WOULD 'comp' students whose combined profile places them at "highly likely to graduate" because the pricing in the US is now at a point where a good many of those students are being forced to sign on to a life of basically debt servitude to ATTEND college.

    Okay, so assuming that a college costs 50K annually...

    Ouch! It's actually $60K these days at places like Harvey Mudd and MIT. However, something good may be starting. Has anyone else read about a small (but apparently growing) number of colleges that are slashing tuition costs? It's been in the news lately: tuition cuts at various colleges.

    It's a national shame that we soak our young people and/or their parents for everything they've got and more while telling them it's all necessary in order to succeed. frown
    My DD19 (sophomore) is at one of these smaller, less prestigious schools that is slashing tuition costs. We got a letter this fall that they lowering tuition next year. What they are really doing is "flattening" the fee structure. Currently almost every student has some sort of scholarship that makes the 'real' cost for school less. The amount of those scholarships will go down and fewer scholarships/grants will be given in the future. In reality the school won't be getting less, the cost will be more 'even' and transparent and they are hoping to attract more students to the school this way.

    We haven't yet heard how much my daughters scholarship will be slashed but even if it goes down to zero, we will still be saving a little money on tuition. wink Cost of living (dorm/food) will probably still go up.

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    Originally Posted by madeinuk
    I am from the UK like ColinsMum and I benefited from the same system. I truly cannot understand how this country pays so much incarcerating its citizens but refuses to spend on cultivating its best and brightest.

    Well said!!!

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    No, I don't want my even more of my tax dollars subsidizing the nonsense in American higher education:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304858104579264321265378790
    The Humanities Have Forgotten Their Humanity
    When Shakespeare lost out to 'rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class' at UCLA, something vital was harmed.
    Heather Mac Donald
    Wall Street Journal
    January 3, 2014

    In 2011, the University of California at Los Angeles wrecked its English major. Such a development may seem insignificant, compared with, say, the federal takeover of health care. It is not. What happened at UCLA is part of a momentous shift that bears on our relationship to the past—and to civilization itself.

    Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton —the cornerstones of English literature. Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the "Empire," UCLA junked these individual author requirements. It replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing.

    In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton or Shakespeare, but the department was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to "alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class."

    Such defenestrations have happened elsewhere, and long before 2011. But the UCLA coup was particularly significant because the school's English department was one of the last champions of the historically informed study of great literature, uncorrupted by an ideological overlay. Precisely for that reason, it was the most popular English major in the country, enrolling a whopping 1,400 undergraduates.

    The UCLA coup represents the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics. Sitting atop an entire civilization of aesthetic wonders, the contemporary academic wants only to study oppression, preferably his or her own, defined reductively according to gonads and melanin.

    Course catalogs today babble monotonously of group identity. UCLA's undergraduates can take courses in Women of Color in the U.S.; Women and Gender in the Caribbean; Chicana Feminism; Studies in Queer Literatures and Cultures; and Feminist and Queer Theory.


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    Originally Posted by madeinuk
    I am from the UK like ColinsMum and I benefited from the same system. I truly cannot understand how this country pays so much incarcerating its citizens but refuses to spend on cultivating its best and brightest.

    Because this country is penny-wise and pound foolish... a philosophy better (and ironically) known as "fiscal conservatism."

    You can invest a handful of thousands in someone for a few years (and not just your best and brightest), and then mine them for income taxes for a couple of generations. Or, you can ignore their needs when they're young, then imprison them at far greater expense for a couple of generations. This country has chosen the second option.

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    What's the real point of an English major, Bostonian? This is a debatable question, is it not? If we want to look at it from a "marketable skills" POV, as everyone really seems to want to these days, then one can learn to write coherently, develop critical thinking skills, and argue a point whether one is reading Audre Lorde or Milton.

    I was an English major and I have never read Milton. I don't seem to be dead.

    Actually, the classes I took on the sort of thing that article pooh-poohs have been far more useful to me in my daily life than the one I took in, say, Medieval English Literature. That hasn't come up much, but understanding racism, sexism, etc has.

    Furthermore, if you want to take a HARD English class, try taking one in literary theory.

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    I would like to offer an outsider's perspective. Please note that this is in no way meant to be offending. As a bright girl that grew up in my home country in Asia, I was revered. Other children wanted to be my friend. Their parents wanted them to emulate me. I felt like a hero and it really helped my self confidence. This is true for other bright kids in my country too. They are literally worshiped and both parents and the society appreciate and value their intelligence. We are the hope for the country's future. I have now lived in the US for more than 15 years and based on my observations, I do not believe the same is true here. Nerd and geek are not compliments here. Not many want to be friends with a kid in thick glasses and a book in his/her hand. Parents sneer upon such kids and believe their their more "well-rounded" kid is so much better. I find that here as a society, athleticism and beauty are valued more than intelligence during one's youth. Again, I may be completely off with my assessments as I did not attend schooling here.

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