UK Students Not Satisfied with Education System

October 21, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. apprenticeship / əˈpren.t̬ɪs.ʃɪp / (n.) – a period of time spent doing a certain job to learn a skill
Example: He was promoted after his two-year apprenticeship as a financial assistant.

2. curriculum / kəˈrɪk yə ləm / (n.) – the set of subjects taught by a school
Example: The school has not added a computer-related subject in the curriculum.

3. higher education / haɪ ər ˌɛdʒ ʊˈkeɪ ʃən / (n.) – education after high school
Example: You need a higher education if you want to be a doctor.

4. viable / ˈvaɪ ə bəl / (adj.) – may be done or used
Example: Getting a part-time job is a viable solution to income shortages.

5. tricks of the trade / trɪks ʌv ðə treɪd / (idiom) – special methods used to perform an activity or task better
Example: After fifteen years in the business, she has learned the tricks of the trade in accounting.


Read the text below.
Students in the United Kingdom think that their education system does not equip them enough for the workplace, a new study has found.

Research by GetMyFirstJob, a web-based apprenticeship advisor, reported that 98% of students aged 17 to 18 are dissatisfied with the UK curriculum. The students believe that schools need to exert more effort in preparing them for future employment, instead of placing too much pressure on getting high grades.

The study was conducted before the release of the A-level results on August 18, 2016. The A-Level, or Advanced Level, is an examination that students have to pass to enter universities in the United Kingdom. Thousands of students depend on its results to decide how to continue their higher education. A survey by another UK website has found that 56% of new graduates feel that getting a degree makes them more qualified for a job.

However, going to a university is not the only option that students can explore after graduating high school. GetMyFirstJob founder David Allison stressed that apprenticeship is a viable alternative to college education. It provides students a practical experience of the career fields they choose while giving them an opportunity to earn a salary.

While many students prefer the college route, more than a third of graduates expressed their regrets for attending university. A study by the insurance company Aviva discovered that 49% of graduates believe that they could have landed their first job without a degree. Their regret is primarily due to the amount of student loans that they incurred after college.

Meanwhile, more and more companies are dropping the degree requirements in their recruitment. This will give students more opportunities for apprenticeship, where they can earn while learning the tricks of the trade of the workplace.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were a UK student, how would you prepare for the A-levels?
·         Would you prefer to attend a university or do an apprenticeship? Why?

Discussion B

·         Do you think universities in your country prepare students for the workplace? Explain.
·         What is the most important skill that students need to learn in universities?

October 21, 2016