A question inspired by another thread…

In Scotland, a BSc degree takes (or rather, took) 4 years, as opposed to England’s 3 years.

That may have been because we’re that much more dense, (although, I’d ascribe it to whisky more than anything! :D), but the official explanation, was that Scotland’s universities gave a much more broad-based education.

For example, if you read Electronic and Electrical Engineering, you are also expected to master the Liberal Arts: History, literature, classical language, etc.

Is this a good thing?

Nowadays, universities can churn out a science or engineering BSc in 2 years, and I’m sure they have as much knowledge on the subject as I ever had, probably more.

But again I ask; is this a good thing?

I suppose if you consider a human being as a component in a company, then OK, it’s the best cost-efficient method.

But, as human beings, aren’t we generalists?

We can’t run as fast as a cheetah, swim as fast as a dolphin, calculate as fast as a Pentium 4; but, we can do all those things reasonably well, and play ping-pong too! lol

Is specialisation the right way to go?

Arguably, life’s too short to learn everything about everything, but…

Anyway, what’s your thoughts guys. :)


Over here, Uni’s aren’t so much learning centers, but vocation centers. Kids are being told that in order to succeed in life they have to go to uni, and as a result, there’s a real dearth of trade apprentices now - even though a trade might suit some people more.

Ali, I am a committed interdisciplinarian - that’s the name for the movment in the US to knock down barriers between disciplines, esp. in higher education (college and university level that is). People who lack a broad understanding of the world are ineffective citizens and lousy neighbors. At the artistic level, everything matters - everything from accounting to zoology tends to deepen art.

Also - there is a trend in US higher ed to shortened degrees, certificate programs, and the like, for economic reasons. A liberal education is seen more and more as superflouous, even a waste of time. That sort of explains how we got from people like O. W. Holmes Jr. on our Supreme Court early in the last century to Clarence Thomas early in this one (dunno if you will get that reference), or from FDR to Reagan, Bush and especially Bush Jr.

More education is always better. College ought to be free for all - that would be one of the best things we could do for the global economy and global society…

Check out:

My daughter is seeking her B.Sc. at McGill. She is required to study biology, calculus, chemistry, and physics, of course. She is not required to study literature.

This is, I believe, a great failure. I don’t believe that one can truly call himself “educated” until he has at least a general acquaintance with Robert Browning.

One should NEVER stop learning new things about EVERYTHING. I would dance with joy and have an absolute fit bordering on orgasmic if I could go back to school full-time. I just like that book lernin’ I s’pose…


Quote (BillClarke @ Dec. 16 2004,09:49)
My daughter is seeking her B.Sc. at McGill.

Wasn't that a Sting song, "Anglophone in Montreal"? :D
Quote (Bubbagump @ Dec. 16 2004,15:20)
Wasn't that a Sting song, "Anglophone in Montreal"? :D

Ahh - so it was Sting, was it.

A cabbie in London once told me that he and his mates liked to play "Spot the Englishman" on the Oxford Rd. Getting to be the same on St. Catherine St. - the Anglos are leaving Quebec in droves.

For my daughter it's a chance to have a cultural experience without leaving her own country. She's probably entitled; my grandfather was Quebecois. How far back can you claim lineage without looking silly?
the Anglos are leaving Quebec in droves.

Heh, I'll be the exception. We spend every Christmas and New Years in Quebec City and Montreal. I love the place and honestly would probably move there if I could find a job and knew a few more words than fromage, depaneur and poutine. For heavens sake, you can get a 7 course meal (assuming table dote) in a four star French restaurant for two people with wine for about $80USD in old Quebec. What's not to love? And are there finer strips in North America than St Catherine, Park, or St Laurant? Powell and Columbus in San Francisco are maybe a second, but Montreal is great and Qubec is just so beautiful. Okay, I'll quit.

Really I couldn’t agree more.

A wise man once said; “good education is a log floating in the river, with a teacher at one end, and a student at the other”.

Mind you, an even wiser man said almost the same thing, except he added that the teacher should have a really big hard stick! lol

Yeah Tom, it’s going the same way in the UK. Plug-in people for plug-in jobs, and do it as cheaply as possible.

Teach them what they have to know, and nothing else.

Depressing innit?

Thank god I’m gonna die soon! lol


My daughter just grad. nursing school and is working at hospital as a RN, great salary starting out for her, my wife is a teacher, Pre-K, but with the spotlight on sports at uni’s, who would want to be a teacher nowadays, the salaries suck, you never get to come home and sit and relax, always something to finish at home for scholl the next day. You have to really be an exceptional person to want to do this.
As far as my education, (as if you can’t tell) I went to SOHK’s High and graduated from FCU.
But I give a large bow (all the way to the floor) to my wife and any teachers out there.

I Would also like to appologize for being such a “Ineffective citizen and lousy neighbor” to all.:smiley: