Does it matter how you learn? Well apparently is does; in a report commissioned by Clegg, in his attempt to appease the very people he wants to support through his banal ‘social mobility’ agenda, “of the 115 universities in the country, on average only 19 are targeted by the UK’s leading professional employers as part of their graduate recruitment drives”.
We won’t know until Wednesday which the 19 Unis are, but as the report encore says “Those universities are the more socially exclusive”; and I’ll wager they’ll be no prizes for guessing which they are!
I see three major difficulties with this, firstly even if you are fortunate enough to be able to gain a place of study at one of the UKs 115 Uni, chances are you won’t be at one of those 19; secondly not everyone wants, needs or suits a Uni place and thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, education and learning is not something that happens only in places of academia.
Academics might argue but I believe learning is a process; one that begins almost at birth and, if we’re lucky, ends when we die; the old saying of “you learn something every day” is not a cliche, but the truth. Every time we read a blog, an article in the press or another media production and we post or comment, because we agree or disagree with the topic, we are learning; and this goes as far as when we use Facebook!
It’s what we do with the learning that matters, and thats the same whether we gained our knowledge at OxBridge; I think almost everyone could name at least one person that could do the jobs of leading the UK than the Coalition, in fact I’m convinced that, given the opportunity many of them could.
In order to even begin to break out of the cycle of misery and austerity the Country is in, I think we need people able to come from a different perspective, we need to believe that it matters not where we learn our skills and crafts, but that we firstly acknowledge them and that we can implement them.
We are fortunate in the UK that the vast majority of us have a tool, one we can use by implementing the knowledge we’ve gained through life as well through formal education; its the right to vote. By utilising this tool, supported by our learning, we can take part in the biggest decisions and we can ensure that our learning is not wasted.