Not ulike sport, it seems useless and unfair to me to have an education system that attempts to educate without a system of testing: this is, frankly, pointless. The future work place for all students will do exactly that: quiz their ability to apply knowledge under pressure, which is the basic argument for the pressurised examination system. In other words, if we were all to be judged on our skills and knowledge of a given subject given coursework as the only criteria of aptitude then, for example, the driving test would be a fruitless exercise. ‘He or she failed their driving test’. A statement rarely heard these days in relation to education as one is simply ‘not allowed’ to be deemed a failure at anything. Failure is not a dirty word and gives us the opportunity to try harder. A university used to be a place of further learning for the educated mentally elite, another word which has all but disappeared from our language for fear of upsetting the less able: the failures. The consequence of this ridiculous stance is that it seems to be relatively easy to get five A*s at GCSE followed closely by four As at A level. This leads to our universities bulging with credit paying customers who are often being educated beyond their intelligence with no realistic prospect of full time employment due to their lack of experience in the workplace. What’s the point of having a degree in History if, at the end of the day, you become a fork lift driver. Oh, and trust me, no matter what you’ve heard about the media, there just aren’t enough jobs to go round, with or without a degree. My advice to anyone wanting to work in the media would be to get experience. Work as a volunteer in a radio station, newspaper, or TV studio, cleaning the floors and making the tea. Experience is something which can’t be bought with a university debt and gives you an invaluable free knowledge base in your chosen career. Now, that’s what employers are looking for in 2012! Leave the universities alone and let them get back to providing our society with an elite force of individuals who have the brain capacity to land a man on Venus and not the ability to read an auto-cue or prepare a piece of editorial. Instead of raising the school leaving age to 18 I believe it might be better to lower it to 14 with far more work based options for the non academic child and lower the retirement age to 55 for everyone. That way the young might just have a chance in this highly competitive over-populated world and, consequently, get more taxpayers into the system to provide for an ever increasing older population. It’s the reason why the old age pension in this country is so disgraceful. We can’t protect the young from the truth forever.