British Institutions Fail to Prepare Students for Work: According to a recent survey, British institutions such as schools, colleges and universities are failing to prepare students for the world of work – with the survey claiming that students in the UK achieve a similar level of preparedness to pupils in Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet Union.
The research, published by Gallup, reflects the view of 1,550 education experts – attendees of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE). This year’s conference will be held in Doha, Qatar from November 3-5 and Michelle Obama, the US First Lady, will deliver a special address on the opening day. The 1,550 experts polled include representatives from 149 countries, and whilst the sample size is unlikely to represent the views of broader educational populations across the globe, it likely reflects the general outlook of those who will be attending WISE in the coming days.
According to the experts polled by Gallup, only four in ten felt that schools were adequately preparing students for work in the EU, Sub-Saharan Africa and the former Soviet states – this is in comparison to six in ten in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
A criticism of the system in the UK was the prevalence of tradition which, it was suggested, may be stopping universities making better use of internships – i.e. there is an over-reliance on theory, rather than gaining practical skills.
Brandon Busteed, speaking on behalf of Gallup, said:
“Being a more established higher education institution might be a hindrance because they are more wedded in tradition. Centuries-old tradition is their potential downfall. I worry about long-standing institutions because they provide very few links between learning and experience.”
Despite this, the report did suggest that experts in the UK were more positive about the British system. Indeed, 46% of experts in the UK said they were positive about the system, compared to the global average of 23%. However, there were concerns about the costs for students, as well as poor quality or ineffective career guidance at secondary school level.
British respondents were, however, less likely than the global average to say that they felt teachers were treated with respect – 27% vs. 36%.
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