Cash for entry?

It says something about the state of the university system now in England where they will just take the money despite the fact that there is simply no way that the students language skills are adequate enough to meet the degree course criteria.


A university has admitted taking on PhD students with poor standards of English – fuelling high drop-out rates.

Derby University said just 40 per cent of PhDs were currently completed on time.

The failure rate may be linked to the fact that not all doctoral students have the “required skills of communication” needed to undertake independent research, it indicated.

The admission came after the Government’s Higher Education Funding Council for England raised concerns about high PhD drop-out rates at 10 universities.

Other institutions facing criticism included Brighton, Liverpool John Moores, De Montfort in Leicester and City University, London.

Vice-chancellors were ordered to explain why low numbers of full-time students were completing PhDs within the recommended seven years.

Derby blamed it on lax admissions criteria that it employed when current students were taken on in 2002/3. But as many of the student would have paid upfront for the courses and they often pay more than double the fees charged to home students, I suppose they were raking it in anyway as there was until now nothing to stop them.

I also wonder, though it doesn’t mention it here just how many of those students vanished into our ever growing illegal immigrant population? After all, they can show acceptance paperwork and get in on a temporary visa, they certainly aren’t counted out anymore.

Also 7 years for a PhD seems rather high, I did mine in 3 years, though this was 30 years ago now and things do change, dumbing down by Labour being one of them.

So I suspect this is a scam by the universities to get money and the students to get into the UK. The old walks like a duck scenario.

4 comments for “Cash for entry?

  1. May 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    This is not a new thing there. Way back in 1984 I arrived when it ws still Derby College of Further Education with Biology, Chemistry, Physics A’Levels and a Geology O’level (amongst the rest)to do a Dual Hons Biology & Geology degree.

    I was surprised at the size of the induction class, then more suprised that they were offering remedial maths, english and chemistry units.For a sciences degree

    Then colour me flabbered to find co inductees who did not have either Biology A Level nor O’level (or in somecases their only ‘science’ A’level was Geography. “Krebbs Cycle, is that a type of bike?”

    May memory may fail me (as I old now) but I beleive the induction class was about 97 only about 30 of which stayed to the 2nd year.

    It quickly became clear that this large churning was just to pay for on going research projects.

  2. May 7, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Funding by numbers. Schools operate in the same way – the amount of money received based on headcount at the start of the academic year IIRC and doesn’t vary if numbers fluctuate (pupils moving in/out of area, expulsions etc). More bums on seats = more money but not necessarily more teachers.

    As for the drop-out rate, doesn’t that tell us that either a) the place is crap or b) the students shouldn’t be there to start with?

  3. May 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Makes you wonder how they got as far as graduating in the first place.
    Unlike Derby my city hosts a proper University; apart from others, 2,000 Chinese have bought places here, with similar numbers on the same programme at 5 other UK cities and way more in the USA.

    This raises several issues but the reason they come to the English speaking world is to improve their language skills in thehoe of being employed by a western company.

    On those occasions when I interact with them those skills appear to be poor, apart from those from Hong Kong, but while it is commonplace to come across mixed groups of Russian, Peruvian, Romanian and African students all communicating in English the Chinese stick closely together, socialising, shopping, studying and living together and speaking Chinese to each other all the time. I have even heard other students complaining about them using chinese in class wherevr possible.

    They might just as well have stayed in Beijing.

    • May 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      The grouping part can be true in the workplace as well. My employer has a number of Chinese employees here in the UK as well as in the US and it is noticeable in both offices that, come lunch time, they voluntarily segregate themselves from everyone else.

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