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What is the future of education?

Our correspondent writes ...

Though we may not have appreciated it at the time, those of us old enough to get a free state education were the lucky ones. Moreover, it was a good education where the majority competently mastered the three Rs (reeding, riting and rifmatik, as they are now known) before they moved on to secondary education.

Now we are seeing the effects of teachers who often never managed to get to grips with the three Rs themselves and are now passing this fabulous knowledge on to their students. Things can only get worse.

Indeed they can. In the old days you didn't need a university degree to become a dustbin man or a builder so only a small percentage strove for university places. Others went to technical colleges to learn trades and others did evening courses to study business methods. Others still got jobs at sixteen years old and learned their skills at work.

Then along came some idiots who decided that the vast majority should gain a university degree and that all jobs should require degree knowledge. Furthermore, they decided that future students should pay for the education they themselves had received free of charge. It was the very nature of the self-financing dragon that New Labour had become.

To ensure the targets were met (targets being all important in New Labour's books - sod the students, patients, and various recipients of any other labour-controlled doctrines), standards were reduced and the three Rs became unimportant. Technical colleges and night schools gained university status and new courses were devised to cater for the thickest students - courses that produced degrees in the most unlikely subjects. Jobs were created to make use of these wonderful new degree qualifications, particularly at local government level (i.e. Binge Drinking Co-ordinator), and the old farts in industry - who would have preferred to employ someone who could write a decent letter - were totally ignored.

Thank God there are still jobs that do not require a university degree. We all have one of them as we become Recycling Efficiency Executives. Unfortunately, we do this work without reimbursement as the dustbin man (Refuse Disposal Operative) now has a degree - probably in Arrogant Rudeness - and doesn't even carry the bin from the premises, much less sort it into recyclable components. Before long he will be telling us to load our own bins on the dustcart and the council will no doubt increase the council tax so that we pay for the privilege.

But there was a niche in life for lesser-educated beings in the old days while the cleverer people went off and did their degrees. Everyone was happy and some of the lesser mortals even went on to achieve great things courtesy of the University of Life.


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Readers' Comments

Mr J, Herts writes:

Well, my 3,000 piece of paper was certainly worthwhile (just a smidgen of sarcasm there). While there is clearly a need to raise the general education of the masses, I think the education system needs a radical overhaul. Like you say, more "apprentice" type learning-on-the-job job's. But in today's society, companies cannot afford to take a punt on a fresh faced kid who claims to be interested in working for them. We're now so goddam stupid that we truly believe that we have to pay to get a job!!

While I certainly found parts of my study interesting, and I'm sure most will agree, trying to secure a job to use this knowledge is improbable. Every man and his dog has a Bachelors, so now the bar is raised, every job will require Masters, then PhD. McD's staff will soon know the chemical composition and the reaction taking place as the meat hits the grill. Not that they'll give a toss. Generation X and Y are going to be the dropouts that save the world ;)

Trevor Mayes of Cardigan writes:

My story is a cautionary tale about what happens to anyone in blowing the whistle at a University. It s a long story but in 2002 I went back to university at the age of 51 to study for a degree in business information technology at the University of Wales Lampeter to top up my diploma in community education and a certificate in community and youth work.

The issues involved are:

  1. Discrimination against mature students and those who complain
  2. Blatant injustice concerning the perversion of student complaints procedures
  3. False accusations of malicious harassment for complaining about abuse of procedures
  4. Fabricated minutes of meeting to do a hatchet job on the credibility of students at complaint board hearings
  5. Illegal payment of legal expenses to staff to defend gross misconduct
  6. Illegal payment of legal expenses for the former visitor to the university of Wales Lampeter - Bishop Carl Cooper
  7. Academic fraud by making false and absurd accusations of plagiarism
  8. Bully boy conduct of legal giant Eversheds to protect the interests of its clients who happen to be about 100 of the 130 universities in England and Wales.
  9. Intimidation during an examination by an invigilator who stared me out for one and a half hours less than 6 feet away watched by the Examinations Officer
  10. Refusal of the External Examiner to investigate a complaint support by a senior member of staff
  11. Refusal of the regulator the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) to investigate under their Cause for Concern Procedure. That contrary to popular belief the QAA has no statutory powers and universities can and do ignore any concerns The failure of the QAA has put vulnerable students at risk
  12. Students deliberately labelled as being paranoid and crazy as well as isolated attempts to force them to give up their studies or drive them to suicide
  13. Refusal of my MP and 4 Assembly Members to make any serious investigations into these matters
  14. The waste of millions of pounds of public money to prop up the failed university of Wales Lampeter to conceal corruption
  15. The refusal of the Federal University of Wales to instigate inquiries into a complaint of financial irregularities by its senior staff
  16. The refusal of the current Visitor bishop Wyn Jones who still has jurisdiction to conceal the corruption at Lampeter and his predecessor
  17. Taking away the powers of the Auditor General for Wales to take over an Higher Education Institution on the grounds of financial mismanagement
  18. Concealing maladministration and outstanding claims while driving myself into bankruptcy and then telling lies about an outstanding claim to ensure my home is possessed and sold off. As if the bankruptcy was not bad enough they had a condition put in it to force me to travel 50 miles to present myself At the office of the Official Receiver.
  19. Concealment of financial fraud by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales by deliberately ignoring DTI guidelines and Charity Law over the illegal payment of expenses and failing to report this the Auditor General.
  20. Being publically labelled the Crazy Lampeter Complainer by Higher Education Funding Council for Wales which gives an insight into the culture of this unaccountable quango.

The lack of public accountability has created a corrupt elite supported by the Church in Wales.

With the average student debt now at 25,000 it s not just the young students who are at risk of predatory sexual behaviour from lecturers. Some students at Lampeter are so vulnerable they have asked me to say nothing for fear of discovery.

An anonymous tip off by a member of staff at Lampeter that the student support services are running a racket whereby Local Education Authorities are being billed for the full costs of students whereby it should be charged at cost divided between the numbers involved.

I have been contacted by staff at Lampeter who confirm there is a climate of fear and that some have also received similar treatment.

I attach supportive evidence about the bigger picture the submission to the DIUS Select Committee contains evidence of my personal grievances.

I run a UK student activist website at via which I have been contacted by other students with similar stories.

Given my values, training and 16 years in social work, it did not take long for me to complain about the way in which mature students and female single parents in particular were being treated. In effect they were being filtered out of the university by making life too difficult for them to continue, somebody had to make the point and it had to be me!

In return I was stitched up with a fabricated allegations of plagiarism and was subjected to intimidation during an examination by the lecturer I complained about who sat himself less than six feet away and stared at me in an intimidating manner while I attempted to take an examination.

For that I was stitched up further with fabricated allegations of malicious harassment for complaining about the fact that they perverted the complaints procedure.

My complaint then went to the Visitor, the Anglican Bishop of St David's, who also stitched me up. It took two years for me to force them to substantiate their allegations which have been described by other experts as total rubbish. The reason being that they claimed writing the title on an assignment and putting references in quotes was plagiarism! I also had to take futile legal action against the bishop to force him to act - when he did, he refused to consider the facts and did the old trick of referring to quotes to justify his decision.

I took further futile legal action to expose the fact that they pervert their own complaints procedures, make false allegations against students and then collude with the Visitor who acts as a judge in these matters and then hides behind the law with sickening self righteous moral indignation. Student complaints cannot be heard in court so I had to do it under different legislation to make the point.

This time they came after me for the court costs and subsequently drove me into bankruptcy to conceal the financial fraud concerning the bishop and the academic fraud which would destroy their academic integrity. This bishop was forced to resign after allegations of an affair with one on his female clergy.

The result of this is that I may have my home taken away by the courts as they also lied about my right to a counterclaim which would need to go back to the new bishop - however, in keeping with the hypocrisy these people practice he has ignored me.

I have complained about the lies told by their solicitor to the solicitors regulatory authority which may be help me out of this situation. I have also re-engaged my solicitor to act for me, I have also run a campaign to bring about change not just for myself but others who have suffered the most appalling abuse and injustice.

Welsh Universities are funded by a QUANGO- the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) - and regulated by its subsidiary, the Quality Assurance Agency. They have refused to investigate my complaints for spurious reasons. They have no powers, their concerns about universities are simply ignored, they are simply a registered charity who are regulated by the UK Charity Commission to whom I intend to complain.

The only contribution HEFCW has made is to ignore the fact that the former Bishop of St David s broke the law over his legal expenses, that the University of Wales Lampeter has a case to answer for serious maladministration and misconduct in public office and to publically brand me as the Crazy Lampeter Complainer. This is the usual way in which those who complain are branded and isolated and explains why there is a high suicide rate in what should be a low risk environment.

I also have a People's Petition before the devolved Welsh Assembly Government and the Petitions Committee seems to be supportive and I think this will ultimately expose what has been going on, but it may not happen in time to save my home being taken away from me. It seems to be a mediaeval act of retribution to keep complainers in their place and preserve the status quo.

We do not have a common law that applies to all, it just applies to the common people while the elite get away with fraud and misconduct in public office, especially if they are connected with the Anglican church.

I have asked the Welsh Education Minister to hear my complaints but he has refused saying that universities are independent bodies and he cannot intervene. Government Ministers only complain about corruption in Afghanistan while turning a blind eye to what happens in their back yard.

The matter is further complicated by the involvement of the Anglican archbishop of Wales who has involved himself in politics and goes top public meetings to chastise political parties who do not comply with his views. Therefore politicians are afraid to tackle any issue that concerns corruption in the church and I believe this is the reason that every one of my elected representatives have refused to give me any assistance in this matter. Some say that the archbishop has more power than the First Minister of the elected Welsh Assembly. Given my stated intention to complain about his apparent flouting of UK charity laws I feel this is also a factor in why the church has not only stitched me up but is going to watch while my home is taken away.

The other avenue of complaint is through the Federal University of Wales to which all Welsh universities are associated or are partner members. However, they have also ignored my complaints, and it is no coincidence that the Pro Chancellor also happens to be the Archbishop of Wales!

I believe this abuse of power which is common throughout Welsh and for that matter all UK universities has led to the radicalisation of people who learn the hard way that playing it by the rules is a waste of time and why Christianity is so despised by other faiths. The University of Wales Lampeter did run an Islamic Studies unit that was closed down. I am not sue if this was because it was no longer sustainable or as I was reliably informed that it had been infiltrated by radical extremists. My website has been visited by what seems to be a special police department and I suspect the security services has also been periodic visitors.

The only way to resolve these matters is with openness and transparency, but from experience the UK press and BBC Wales Today are not going to publish this sort of Government sponsored abuse of its own citizens. Even my People's Petition is being held back in the hope they can drive me to suicide to make it all go away, having said that I can assure you they will not succeed.

I appreciate these are complicated issues. The irony of the situation is that everyone knows what is happening but claim they are powerless to intervene. Meanwhile the University of Wales Lampeter continues to tell lies to maintain its reputation with impunity. I am reliably informed that this issues are common in Lampeter and other universities in England and Wales.

Should my solicitor fail to force a counterclaim in the courts and nothing is done about the lies told by legal giant, Eversheds, then it puts me in a very difficult situation is the only comment I can make by email!

In my view Lampeter are being allowed to drive me into bankruptcy and force me out of my home for political reasons.

As I have already stated elected representatives are afraid of upsetting the Archbishop of Wales, the other reason is that the Welsh Assembly Government does not want to be seen as incompetent for fear of losing a referendum on gaining further powers. There is also a political consensus on this so no party except the Greens are going to help you.

Wales as a country is basically bankrolled by the English taxpayer and clearly this kind of appalling situation could affect future funding.

I would appreciate any help you can give in bringing these issues to the attention of the public.

By the way, I have documentation to support the above.

August 2010

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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