Friday, 8 October 2010

Planning Students???

Dear Friends
I have finished my first full week of teaching with a stinking cold!
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Freshers who reminded me of myself. Young, care free and aimless. So I spent the initial part of teaching sessions by encouraging perhaps frightening them into creating a picture of where they want or should be going. I began my sermon with the following student lore:
Degree Classification                                            Nickname
Ist Class - 70%                                                         Michael Jordan
2:1 - 60-69%                                                             Jimmy White
2:2 - 50-59%                                                             Desmond Tutu
3rd - 40-49%                                                             King Louis the 3rd
PASS - LESS THAN 39%                                     1 WAY TICKET TO THE MOON
After 4 years of study most students will be in £30,000 of debt. They will have accrued an additional £40,000 opportunity cost i.e. had they gained an apprenticeship they would have probably made a £10,000 p.a salary. And there is no price for the apprentices experience but for arguments sake let us assume over 4 years of work an apprentice accumulates £30,000 worth of experience.
Hence a first year student invests a cool £100,000 to obtain ideally a Michael Jordan university education and minimum Jimmy White! SORRY DESMONDS AND KING LOUIS's need not apply!
Upon graduation British Students will be completing with the BRIC nations not globally but for LOCAL JOBS. Are employers impressed by the current stock of graduates even our first class students?
Sandra Smith IS Director for Toshiba UK says:
''It's more important that graduates are aware of the possibilities of technology and know how to research and present their findings. I'm not sure it's an IT skill - problem-solving, mental energy, planning and lateral thinking always seem to be in short supply. You can't put good systems in without them, that's for sure''.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail...springs to mind!
Planning is essential for a student to focus his / her future direction. A strategic plan serves as a roadmap to the future, providing direction and focus. Student's need USP's such as languages, emotional intelligence, inter-personal and business skills and voluntary service on their CV's to even make the interview stage let alone a nice cushy £30k job. And they will still be in debt!

This has serious implications for society as surely we do not want to produce incompetent and psychologically damaged young people who suffer from low self esteem? Who may then out of desperation be attracted to extreme far right politics that promises a nightmarish utopia?
I for one will do my bit…and sincerely pray that the students will take advantage of all of the facilities and opportunities on offer.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.
Rishi Faisal

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