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You are the raw material. Images of Canberra

By johnboy - 23 May 2012 25

anu signage

As seen at ANU today by a friend.

I AM A DEGREE FACTORY YOU ARE THE RAW MATERIAL

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25 Responses to
You are the raw material. Images of Canberra
EvanJames 2:39 pm 24 May 12

dpm said :

Hahahaha! Yes, I suppose things were pretty good in the ‘good ol days’! Four-year-old kiddies digging for coal. Three-year-old kiddies digging for coal… along with the four-year-old kiddies… Hahaha!
It’s a sign you are getting old when you start harping on about how much harder and better things were when you were growing up. Read any old literature. It’s been the same old story since Adam was a boy…..
The more things change, the more they stay the same. You should be glad it has gone downhill since you left. Now you can keep telling anyone who’ll listen how it was much harder when you went there! Hahahaha!

And here we have Exhibit A.

The Clever Country is but a faint, receding dream.

dpm 7:27 am 24 May 12

EvanJames said :

LSWCHP said :

I eventually did a degree at the ANU about 25 years ago, and it was so astoundingly bloody hard it just about killed me. I can remember crying in frustration more than once because I thought I was smart but I had not the slightest idea about how to comprehend the lectures or do the assignments.

Yep. That’s my memory, too. I did quite well at a very academic school, but ANU in the early 80s was devasatingly hard.

Since “every child wins a prize” however, you encounter people who’ve got in with a C-grade average at school, they get given “reading bricks” where the faculty actually copies out the reading for them (WTF?!), they can’t reason, can’t argue, can’t analyse, certainly can’t research or determine what is worthy information and what is not. It’s so very depressing.

Lectures in Arts at ANU often finished with spontaneous applause from the sparsly-populated lecture theatre; you’d just heard something extraordinary and all you could do was applaud. I’ve heard the lectures are now packed and standing room only, everyone has laptops and is rattling away. Do they still clap a great lecture? How many great lectures are now given? Do they still make undergrads read their essays out to the course heads?

The people who dumbed-down our education system destroyed something good and I can’t see it ever being rebuilt.

Hahahaha! Yes, I suppose things were pretty good in the ‘good ol days’! Four-year-old kiddies digging for coal. Three-year-old kiddies digging for coal… along with the four-year-old kiddies… Hahaha!
It’s a sign you are getting old when you start harping on about how much harder and better things were when you were growing up. Read any old literature. It’s been the same old story since Adam was a boy…..
The more things change, the more they stay the same. You should be glad it has gone downhill since you left. Now you can keep telling anyone who’ll listen how it was much harder when you went there! Hahahaha!

bikhet 7:17 am 24 May 12

EvanJames said :

Do they still make undergrads read their essays out to the course heads?

You ANU folks had it easy. I remember having to do my viva before the whole Department.

Cheap shot aside, the decline in educational standards has been my experience too. Bit of a bind though – you can have high standards and most of the students will fail or drop out (or you could be more selective about who is admitted) or you can have mass tertiary education with lower standards.

Contrary to what a lot of people would wish, ability isn’t uniformly distributed.

milkman 3:22 am 24 May 12

I think many of these comments apply to Australian universities generally. It seems these days that practically anyone with basic literacy can get an arts degree.

Tetranitrate 12:42 am 24 May 12

LSWCHP said :

jdazzle said :

EvanJames said :

Sadly true. It used to be a proper university, now it’s what it’s become. Bloody Dawkins, bloody Hawke, bloody Howard and the rest of them. So much for “the clever country”.

i totally agree. sad sad sad sad.

For reasons that I won’t elaborate on I went through a variety of conventional IQ and personality tests when I was a young man. The results of several of those tests indicated that I was (according to some definitions) a genius. Anybody who has read my posts here will be probably be having a big ‘Bullshit!!” moment, and I don’t believe it myself, but there it is.

Anyway, after some false starts I eventually did a degree at the ANU about 25 years ago, and it was so astoundingly bloody hard it just about killed me. I can remember crying in frustration more than once because I thought I was smart but I had not the slightest idea about how to comprehend the lectures or do the assignments.

Anyway, while I was at the ANU I was pretty much the dumb kid in the crowd, but I got through somehow and was awarded a degree. I subsequently did OK, and now I regularly interview ANU graduates, or final year students who are looking for work. Some of them are brilliant, and a lot of those people work for me now, which is an absolute joy. But there are a helluva lot of ANU grads with tremendous academic records who I’ve interviewed who appear to have never been near a university. I mean, they appear to be seriously uneducated. Other ANU grads on the interview panels have said the same thing, so it’s not just me.

Overall, me and a lot of the ANU grads I work with reckon that it seems to be a whole helluva lot easier to graduate with great marks now than it was pre 2000. Maybe we’re just crusty old curmudgeons complaining about “young folks nowadays have it so easy”, but I don’t thtink so.

It’s true of all Australian universities, not just ANU – many, if not the majority of overseas students have early high school levels of English reading & comprehension at best. Did you really think they’d be able to walk into tertiary institutions in Australia and survive academically without ‘adjustments’ being made?

When I was studying for exams a few years ago, even papers from 2003/2004 from the library collection were noticeably more difficult than those from 06/07. UC may have been caught with it’s pants down on the subject, but all universities will have made accommodations one way or another.
It’s very obvious in business/economics/commerce/finance, and unfortunately the degrees have been devalued accordingly.

EvanJames 11:41 pm 23 May 12

LSWCHP said :

I eventually did a degree at the ANU about 25 years ago, and it was so astoundingly bloody hard it just about killed me. I can remember crying in frustration more than once because I thought I was smart but I had not the slightest idea about how to comprehend the lectures or do the assignments.

Yep. That’s my memory, too. I did quite well at a very academic school, but ANU in the early 80s was devasatingly hard.

Since “every child wins a prize” however, you encounter people who’ve got in with a C-grade average at school, they get given “reading bricks” where the faculty actually copies out the reading for them (WTF?!), they can’t reason, can’t argue, can’t analyse, certainly can’t research or determine what is worthy information and what is not. It’s so very depressing.

Lectures in Arts at ANU often finished with spontaneous applause from the sparsly-populated lecture theatre; you’d just heard something extraordinary and all you could do was applaud. I’ve heard the lectures are now packed and standing room only, everyone has laptops and is rattling away. Do they still clap a great lecture? How many great lectures are now given? Do they still make undergrads read their essays out to the course heads?

The people who dumbed-down our education system destroyed something good and I can’t see it ever being rebuilt.

LSWCHP 10:51 pm 23 May 12

jdazzle said :

EvanJames said :

Sadly true. It used to be a proper university, now it’s what it’s become. Bloody Dawkins, bloody Hawke, bloody Howard and the rest of them. So much for “the clever country”.

i totally agree. sad sad sad sad.

For reasons that I won’t elaborate on I went through a variety of conventional IQ and personality tests when I was a young man. The results of several of those tests indicated that I was (according to some definitions) a genius. Anybody who has read my posts here will be probably be having a big ‘Bullshit!!” moment, and I don’t believe it myself, but there it is.

Anyway, after some false starts I eventually did a degree at the ANU about 25 years ago, and it was so astoundingly bloody hard it just about killed me. I can remember crying in frustration more than once because I thought I was smart but I had not the slightest idea about how to comprehend the lectures or do the assignments.

Anyway, while I was at the ANU I was pretty much the dumb kid in the crowd, but I got through somehow and was awarded a degree. I subsequently did OK, and now I regularly interview ANU graduates, or final year students who are looking for work. Some of them are brilliant, and a lot of those people work for me now, which is an absolute joy. But there are a helluva lot of ANU grads with tremendous academic records who I’ve interviewed who appear to have never been near a university. I mean, they appear to be seriously uneducated. Other ANU grads on the interview panels have said the same thing, so it’s not just me.

Overall, me and a lot of the ANU grads I work with reckon that it seems to be a whole helluva lot easier to graduate with great marks now than it was pre 2000. Maybe we’re just crusty old curmudgeons complaining about “young folks nowadays have it so easy”, but I don’t thtink so.

jdazzle 9:06 pm 23 May 12

EvanJames said :

Sadly true. It used to be a proper university, now it’s what it’s become. Bloody Dawkins, bloody Hawke, bloody Howard and the rest of them. So much for “the clever country”.

i totally agree. sad sad sad sad.

Deref 9:02 pm 23 May 12

EvanJames said :

Sadly true. It used to be a proper university, now it’s what it’s become. Bloody Dawkins, bloody Hawke, bloody Howard and the rest of them. So much for “the clever country”.

+1

Tragic. If there’s anything more destructive to a country than damaging its education system, I’m damned if I know what it is.

jdazzle 8:43 pm 23 May 12

ha ha haa. how totally excellent.

EvanJames 5:19 pm 23 May 12

Sadly true. It used to be a proper university, now it’s what it’s become. Bloody Dawkins, bloody Hawke, bloody Howard and the rest of them. So much for “the clever country”.

Jivrashia 3:21 pm 23 May 12

I AM A DEGREE FACTORY YOU ARE THE RAW MATERIAL

Fully streamlined and mass produced, with little to no unique personal touch?

greyswandir 2:54 pm 23 May 12

Saw this on a bus shelter out the front of… the building that Harvest is in, this morning.

As a recent graduate, I laughed… bitterly

arescarti42 2:46 pm 23 May 12

I am a….tree?

Lazy I 2:33 pm 23 May 12

As much as I don’t want to give credit to a bill posting hipster… well played sir, well played!

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