Education, education, education. In ten years the Labour government has managed to erode away the reputation of the top British universities so much so that, according to Professor Alison Richard, vice-chancellor of Cambridge, Britain's reputation as a world leader for university education could be lost within 10 years. Currently, Britain has the second and third best universities in the world and has 29 universities in the top 200 according to rankings. It is not so much government neglect in this area but a “dumbing down” culture that appears to have developed over the Cool Britannia years.
Firstly, there is the perception that we can all become millionaires over night. Either go on pop idol or big brother and you're sorted for life. It's an obsession with celebrity. For those that don't make, there is always education. The government is, as we know, obsessed with targets. One of their education targets is to have 50 per cent of all 18- to 30-year-olds to have entered higher education by 2010. Why? What is the point? We should not deny anyone the opportunity, but some people are simply not cut out for higher education yet they are pushed in to when they would probably be better off doing something else. We are living in a dreamland society where no one can fail - either you will get that record deal and live like Posh and Becks or you will go to university and get you top class degree. The problem is, whilst you may get that piece of paper with MA Hons written on it, it won't be worth a the paper it is written on when it comes to cashing it in because every one else will have one too and employers know that, on its own, is meaningless.