The numbers game in HE

“The economic downturn is likely, I suspect, to uncover a few cracks in current thinking about skills, credentials and the knowledge economy. Firstly, an obvious consequence of the increased supply of graduates since the early 90’s has been that employers, particularly those offering the tastier morsels of employment, have seen a steady increase in supply, to which they have responded by raising the entry hurdles – hence the increasing sense that a 2:i is the sine qua non for a decent graduate-entry job. That this is happening is itself a big clue to a potential problem with the system. The market value of a degree depends on an element of scarcity. In other words, if 50% of potential employees have an undergraduate degree, then its value is diminished in the marketplace as compared with the time when only 20% of applicants had one …” (more)

[Julian Webb, hEaDspace, 11 January]

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