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Home > Culture and Society

Qualifications that really mean something

7 May 2004

Perhaps understandably, the news that traditional degree grades - first, second, third, etc. - could be dropped didn't get much attention this week. Still, it's good that the government isn't allowing the war in Iraq to get in the way of more pointless tinkering with the education system.

The reason we need to get rid of traditional grades is apparently that there isn't enough 'differentiation' between grades for employers, and we all know that education must first and foremost serve the interests of business. Maybe the government should have just have gone the whole hog and got rid of traditional degrees, replacing them with BAs in Factory Work, Middle Management and Holding Meetings.

But if we are going to have more 'differentiated' degree grades, why not make them genuinely descriptive to business, eg.


- Total Fucking Genius. This student is a borderline genius, with a passion for their subject that could lead them to become a world-renowned expert in their field. Sadly, this level of academic success has been achieved at the cost of total social and sexual failure. May well be unemployable due to a fear of human interaction.

- Plodder. This student is capable but uninspired, and as such will make excellent corporate cannon fodder, using their sheer lack of imagination to remain deeply enthused about even the most boring activities, eg. organising 'mufti' days.

- The Hippy. Corporate employers should avoid this graduate at all costs. Three years of freedom have corrupted their young soul and they are now incapable of getting up before 10am without moaning for an hour. May conceivably be employable in low-level posts, eg. museum gift shop cashier, but don't count on it.



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