Tuition Fees


Well-Known Member
If you speak to anyone who organises an undergraduate Maths syllabus (apologies for returning to Maths, but it's what my degree was in, so I have some measure of familiarity with it), they will tell you that students today are arriving at University knowing less about Maths than they did x years ago. As an example, before my time, elementary Group Theory was on either the A level Maths or Further Maths syllabi (I believe - I saw an old paper with it on once anyway), whereas it is now not introduced until degree level.

I'm less certain about Physics (even though I'm practically a Physicist these days...), but will ask my supervisor, who sat his A levels in 1985, and lectured principally in Particle Physics at Birmingham University until 4 or 5 years ago. I'm pretty certain I've asked him this before though, and received the answer that the same situation is true in Physics. I recall my A level Physics teacher remarking (1996ish) that changes to the syllabus in recent years had had the effect of changing the qualification from a detailed study of relatively few subjects to a shallow study of relatively many. In fact, this lack of profundity was my main frustration with A level Physics, and the reason I did not consider pursuing it at degree level.

The rest of the country is not trying to belittle your achievements - the rest of the country is peed off that their achievements are being belittled by the Government's tinkering with education. No one comes out of this looking as good as they deserve to, and that can be laid squarely at the feet of successive administrations who felt and still feel the need to bend a system that originally worked well until it breaks.