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Friday 9 December 2016

Top foreign firms put off by our 'dumbed down' college courses

JOHN WALSHE

Published 15/02/2010 | 05:00

THE 'dumbing down' of our education system is putting international companies off locating here.

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A top engineer is blaming the surge in student numbers for lower quality graduates.

Dr James Robinson, chief executive of the Kepler Institute -- devoted to higher standards in education and engineering professions -- wants entry points to be set at 450 for pre-engineering courses.

This is significantly higher than what is currently required to gain a place on many third-level degree programmes for engineering.

He believes this is the only way to reverse slipping standards. He warns that the erosion of standards means companies will look away from Ireland -- and ultimately we will not be able to produce systems or technologies for export.

In engineering, he says, there is a drift towards honours degrees where the pass rates are quite high.

Standards

"This implicitly means that the academic standard required (and the subject matter being taught and the manner of teaching) is now geared away from the top end student and more directed towards the middle (and in some cases) bottom third of the classes," he claims.

Writing in the 'Engineers Journal', he warns the implication is that our best and brightest students do not have courses to pursue that will take them to the limit of their ability.

"This is not only an injustice to them, but is a loss to the country. That untapped potential, a key resource of Ireland, the very resource required to create an environment for innovation, is lost to us," he said.

Irish Independent

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