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Old 05.01.2010, 03:18 PM   #21
demonrail666
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Originally Posted by Lurker
Not sure if I agree with that...sounds reasonable though. Would help protect the prestige of the good unis, and prevent homogenisation.

It's more about restoring the prestige of the former polytechnics, which used to have a great reputation in their own right, but which are now seen as little more than third grade universities.
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:22 PM   #22
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Ah good point. So it's a win win situation.
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:27 PM   #23
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what are the issues you mention having with your degree, btw?
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:42 PM   #24
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There's only 8 hours teaching time a week, which is not enough considering how much we're paying.

Vast amount of reading but nothing is dealt with in depth. I'm studying English, and I know we're meant to be reading a lot, but if you're doing something like a novel a week per module how can you develop deeper thinking about literature? It's very superficial.

There's also a flaw in the structure of the degree in that we read loads of literature, and the odd bit of pretentious, useless lit theory, but never any actual literary criticism. We have to reference lit critics/scholars in our essays but you're not going to learn anywhere near as much as you would if, say, they put some of the great/significant works of literary criticism on the course so we can really understand what the discipline is about.


The lecturers often don't seem to find literature interesting for what it is, as pieces of art, that might be beautiful, that might have something deep to say about life. They only really look at the surplus, less interesting, less important aspects of literature. The lecturers really are, generally, quite tedious people and I really can't work out how you can go from having a passion and love of literature to the sort of interests they have. Not that what they do is valueless, it's just that the most important thing is left out.

The are just generally quite bad. I had one lecture last semester in which the lecturer spent about 15mins explaining what a allegory was, clearly padding out his lecture to make up the full hour.

The quality of the other students is really low which is quite depressing. Though if I had made sure I had got into a better uni I might not be complaining about that.

I'm sure there are other things...
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:47 PM   #25
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i'd like to see the american system of majors and minors in the UK, mickey mouse subjects like PR and hotel management can would be got rid of unless someone could prove beyond all doubt that there are things you can learn from doing a hotel management degree that you can't learn on the job.

another thing I would like to see is an end to navel gazing culture of academia, people writing articles about articles about articles, no point anyone makes is valid unless the refer to about 50 other essays first, etc.

anyone who has at any point in the last 60 years extolled the virtues of critical theory would be executed, and so would their family.
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:49 PM   #26
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i had a housemate who went to oxford and he got as much one on one teaching time in a week as i got in an entire term, so i'd like to see that disparity sorted out
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:54 PM   #27
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also holiday time, 3 months in the summer, plus one at Easter one at Christmas is ridiculous. having all that holiday time drags out the length of time it takes to get a degree, i.e. it drives up the overall cost of university for the student.
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
It's more about restoring the prestige of the former polytechnics, which used to have a great reputation in their own right, but which are now seen as little more than third grade universities.
I read another opinion on Middlesex saying that this is precisely what the university is attempting to do, return to its poltytechnic roots.
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:57 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
i'd like to see the american system of majors and minors in the UK, mickey mouse subjects like PR and hotel management can would be got rid of unless someone could prove beyond all doubt that there are things you can learn from doing a hotel management degree that you can't learn on the job.


Yes. Nurses shouldn't be trained in universities either. I'm inclined to thing that business studies should be taught in separate institutions too.

[quote=Toilet & Bowels another thing I would like to see is an end to navel gazing culture of academia, people writing articles about articles about articles, no point anyone makes is valid unless the refer to about 50 other essays first, etc.[/QUOTE]
Yes, that sort culture is what I was trying to get at. It's something I've been thinking a lot about lately. How do these literary scholars justify the time and effort they spend on writing these almost pointless journal articles that hardly anyone will read? But then you need academics to be publishing work for their tenure as a quality control on the lecturers universities hire. And there's also the fact that important academics do use the work of the lesser academics, so in that way these lesser academics may have some small value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
anyone who has at any point in the last 60 years extolled the virtues of critical theory would be executed, and so would their family.
As far as my very limited knowledge of this field goes, I agree with you.

What are you/did you study at uni?
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Old 05.01.2010, 03:59 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
also holiday time, 3 months in the summer, plus one at Easter one at Christmas is ridiculous. having all that holiday time drags out the length of time it takes to get a degree, i.e. it drives up the overall cost of university for the student.


No! you use that time to read! It's needed.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Lurker
Vast amount of reading but nothing is dealt with in depth. I'm studying English, and I know we're meant to be reading a lot, but if you're doing something like a novel a week per module how can you develop deeper thinking about literature? It's very superficial.

I think on this point, you are doing a literature degree, not a literature appreciation group. I expect your lecturers are dull as piss - they often are in lit departments - but I think the idea is that you're trying to do a whistle stop tour of literature as a culture; as such, the actual books themselves take a bit of a backseat. Have you ever read Pierre Bayard's 'How to talk about books you've never read?' He's a literature lecturer, and he makes some really interesting points about the finer dynamics of literature in universities (i.e., that's it's often more about how to not read).

If it's any consolation, I'm did a degree in a crap university, and my experience was much the same. Mr & Bowels went to a very good university for his subject, and I seem to remember he hated it. University is, unfortunately, very often crap.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:04 PM   #32
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Landfill academia is criminal; critical theory is not this. I could understand why some might think it's all shit, because a lot of it is, but I wouldn't write it off for a second. I'd also never talk about it here - this forum is barely baroque in terms of its understanding of the world.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Lurker
The lecturers often don't seem to find literature interesting for what it is, as pieces of art, that might be beautiful, that might have something deep to say about life. They only really look at the surplus, less interesting, less important aspects of literature. The lecturers really are, generally, quite tedious people and I really can't work out how you can go from having a passion and love of literature to the sort of interests they have. Not that what they do is valueless, it's just that the most important thing is left out.

i had the same experience with tutors at art college, it seems tedious & talentless people have colonised universities and transformed them into a safe haven for their grey faced brethren where they can conduct the dogmatic oppression of imagination, inspiration, and balls.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:08 PM   #34
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Mr & Bowels went to a very good university for his subject, and I seem to remember he hated it.

Good by reputation, not in practice.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:09 PM   #35
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I don't know much about literature departments but I suspect they've gone the same way as most other departments in the humanities: using whatever topic they're meant to be discussing as a vehicle for trying to justify some vague political point. So novels, films, paintings merely become reproducers of 'ideology'. This is a valuable point but one that really only takes about an hour to explain. The fact that so many departments stretch it over three years is just padding to the point of absurdity.

And anyone not studying either psychoanalysis, psychiatry or philosophy should ever be expected to read Lacan.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:09 PM   #36
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What are you/did you study at uni?

Fine art
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:10 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Glice
I think on this point, you are doing a literature degree, not a literature appreciation group. I expect your lecturers are dull as piss - they often are in lit departments - but I think the idea is that you're trying to do a whistle stop tour of literature as a culture; as such, the actual books themselves take a bit of a backseat. Have you ever read Pierre Bayard's 'How to talk about books you've never read?' He's a literature lecturer, and he makes some really interesting points about the finer dynamics of literature in universities (i.e., that's it's often more about how to not read).

If it's any consolation, I'm did a degree in a crap university, and my experience was much the same. Mr & Bowels went to a very good university for his subject, and I seem to remember he hated it. University is, unfortunately, very often crap.


Yeah, true. I'm not really talking about appreciation though. To have good knowledge of, and a lot to say about, a piece literature you need to spend more time on it I think. It's mad speed reading loads of books when you're not really getting much out of it. I do think they could maybe slightly reduce the reading, or at least increase the teaching, either of these would improve this problem.

No I haven't read that book, I'll seek it out. What do you mean how not to read? Being selective in reading the required reading?

Yeah, I'd probably be whining about my degree whatever I studied, wherever I studied it. What uni did you go to?
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:12 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Glice
Landfill academia is criminal; critical theory is not this. I could understand why some might think it's all shit, because a lot of it is, but I wouldn't write it off for a second. I'd also never talk about it here - this forum is barely baroque in terms of its understanding of the world.


I actually I take back my previous statement on that. I can think of at least one example of what I think is good crit theory.
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lurker
Yes. Nurses shouldn't be trained in universities either. I'm inclined to thing that business studies should be taught in separate institutions too.

No I think it's fine to teach business studies in university, you just need to enforce that all business studies students also study the arts & humanities, in the hope the they are not unleashed on the world as a useless mindless cunt


Also, from what I understand nursing students are generally "up for it"
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Old 05.01.2010, 04:14 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Toilet & Bowels
i had the same experience with tutors at art college, it seems tedious & talentless people have colonised universities and transformed them into a safe haven for their grey faced brethren where they can conduct the dogmatic oppression of imagination, inspiration, and balls.

Exactly! Obviously not all are like this, but I do get the impression from my lecturers that they're sheep crowding round each other for protection. And how none of them seem ready to criticise each others' work/ideas and yet they're working in academia!
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