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What has p*ssed you off today...part II

What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Old Jul 21st 2020, 7:11 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
As far as I can tell, unless we are talking Oxford and Cambridge, for the technical degrees at least nobody much seems to give a damn where you got your degree from as long as you can meet the standards and do the work. As I cruise through LinkedIn, which I'm doing a lot these days, the CEOs and other high-ranking people are very often from those former Polys - and given that they haven't been polys for about 30 years now that hardly even seems relevant any more. My son is at one (Portsmouth) and seriously considered another (Plymouth) and they seem to be just fine as do their graduates. I'm sure there are high-flyer city roles where the Oxbridge club gets you a big advantage, but so many universities now rank ahead of the Russell group, depending on the subject, that I doubt people are even sure which is which. I'm certainly not. Companies recruit at all the unis, and you do need to be on the ball and do the right things like pursue summer jobs, internships, etc., And, of course, luck. For my son in particular, getting the good grades as he goes along is important because it's motivating. He's the kind of person who does well because he did well, and he doesn't find failure even slightly motivating. Rather the opposite.
Yes and no, it depends what you want to do.... research Unis will cover specialist areas and may have a good reputation for particular aspects - it isn't one-size fits all. When I went, I had an offer from the "new" University of Bath for a couple of very average 'A' levels - yet it now has a good reputation in some things... the Russell Group Unis all wanted far more, if they made an offer at all (I was applying for a non-Arts subject, based on 'A's in languages and history!) But I rejected Bath and aimed higher. The only experience I have of the ex-Polys is my nephew and niece, who both did 'modern' degrees that I don't recall in my day and seemed better suited to Poly-type establishments.

Whatever the case, the truth is that, in most cases, a degree will prove the ability to study to a given level and little more.... real-world experience will soon become more important. Whilst I think what i learned informed a lot of my subsequent work, it was hardly a direct match.The Catch-22 is that you might not get an opportunity to build that real-world experience if you don't have a degree! In my line, I hated having Electronics Engineering graduates join us, because they wanted to use the latest and best.... and often what we had was a generation before and little opportunity to change it. They seemed less willing/able to adapt to that than graduates in related subjects......
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

I always chuckle at those graduates that join the company thinking since they got picked for the graduate programme they are the creme de la creme and walk around feeling so superior about themselves and entitled to fast promotion through the hard earned ranks of pointy elbowed people who came before them. Sure there are some graduates (but only a very few) who have exceptional talent, other than that it's a very crowded degree holding landscape. Holding a degree these days is about as common as holding A levels 20 or so years ago. Nothing special.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Yes and no, it depends what you want to do.... research Unis will cover specialist areas and may have a good reputation for particular aspects - it isn't one-size fits all. When I went, I had an offer from the "new" University of Bath for a couple of very average 'A' levels - yet it now has a good reputation in some things... the Russell Group Unis all wanted far more, if they made an offer at all (I was applying for a non-Arts subject, based on 'A's in languages and history!) But I rejected Bath and aimed higher. The only experience I have of the ex-Polys is my nephew and niece, who both did 'modern' degrees that I don't recall in my day and seemed better suited to Poly-type establishments.

Whatever the case, the truth is that, in most cases, a degree will prove the ability to study to a given level and little more.... real-world experience will soon become more important. Whilst I think what i learned informed a lot of my subsequent work, it was hardly a direct match.The Catch-22 is that you might not get an opportunity to build that real-world experience if you don't have a degree! In my line, I hated having Electronics Engineering graduates join us, because they wanted to use the latest and best.... and often what we had was a generation before and little opportunity to change it. They seemed less willing/able to adapt to that than graduates in related subjects......
I'm pretty sure that if you are doing History, Languages, Philosophy, English, etc you probably do better with a bigger name behind you because those degrees don't immediately look like a "qualification" to many. "Newer" universities do do research, but in their area of strength. Portsmouth, for example, seems to occupy a leading position into research into fatbergs and what you can convert them into I got into a Russell after Cambridge thought that they could manage without me, quite rightly, but I applied for a joint literature/languages course and nothing even remotely practical. This degree gives my son a ticket to play the game, but no guarantees of course. He's working to see if he can get some sort of job-related experience next summer, after he completes his second year. Nobody has any interest in the first years.

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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 5:18 am
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
What a ridiculous state of affairs.... if true, it suggests that degrees have been devalued to the point of worthlessness. However, I'm sure that a degree from Oxbridge, or a Russell Group Uni still counts higher than one from an ex-Poly.
I don't think classic degrees from red-bricks are devalued. A degree in media studies from an ex-Poly is what it is though.

Originally Posted by DigitalGhost View Post
Unless you're applying for jobs in law or finance then nobody will usually care anyway. The only IT jobs I've ever seen that have required a 2:1 or above in the job spec have also been for the kind of companies that will work you to death for 40+ hours a week on shit wages. Most people wouldn't want to work in those places unless they have no other choice.
Amen.

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
Actually, these are for UK "Honours" degrees -2:2 and 2:1 being shorthand for Lower Second Class and Upper Second Class. (Why they didn't go 1,2,3 and 4 I don't know.) If you just miss out on a 3rd, you may be awarded an "Pass" degree without honours..... but I don't know of anyone who got a pass (although I do know some who failed, full stop).

In my day (seems around the time of the Spanish Armada) very, very few students got a First, because they were only given to the top n percent of students who passed that year - 10% or less in the case of my faculty. IIRC, the only "benchmark" was the mark required to achieve a 3rd.... Of those who achieved this, the top ~10% got a First, the next 20-30% got a 2:1, the next 25-35% got a 2:2 and the rest got a 3rd. So the degree was really only comparable against the others who graduated with you that year.... and we all knew of other Unis or faculties where it seemed much easier to achieve a high grade, but (of course), so did those who might be interested in your degree!

Now, it seems there are places awarding a far greater number of Firsts (I've seen 20% quoted) - and 70% of graduates achieving a 2:1 or higher - hence the comment about the Desmond (Tutu=2:2) being worthless and hardly anyone getting anything below a 2:2. On first sight, this suggests that the old system is no longer in place and that either the standard has dropped, or the students are far, far better than they were in my day.

I'm sure thus has nothing whatsoever to do with an expanded range of Universities needing to attract fee-paying students..... next you'd be telling me that vice-chancellors expect to be paid like CEOs!!
I might be reading this incorrectly, but you weren't given a 'grade' for your work or knowledge, you were given one for where you sat against the other people that year?
Doesn't sound very fair to me? Surely there's a natural bell-curve anyway without forcing one?

I would also suggest standards haven't changed and that students haven't changed. Everyone always thinks it was harder when they did it I reckon.

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
As far as I can tell, unless we are talking Oxford and Cambridge, for the technical degrees at least nobody much seems to give a damn where you got your degree from as long as you can meet the standards and do the work. As I cruise through LinkedIn, which I'm doing a lot these days, the CEOs and other high-ranking people are very often from those former Polys - and given that they haven't been polys for about 30 years now that hardly even seems relevant any more. My son is at one (Portsmouth) and seriously considered another (Plymouth) and they seem to be just fine as do their graduates. I'm sure there are high-flyer city roles where the Oxbridge club gets you a big advantage, but so many universities now rank ahead of the Russell group, depending on the subject, that I doubt people are even sure which is which. I'm certainly not. Companies recruit at all the unis, and you do need to be on the ball and do the right things like pursue summer jobs, internships, etc., And, of course, luck. For my son in particular, getting the good grades as he goes along is important because it's motivating. He's the kind of person who does well because he did well, and he doesn't find failure even slightly motivating. Rather the opposite.
There are lots of good universities for certain things. Reading is a good construction uni, Portsmouth is getting a good reputation for similar (more civils), Herriott-Watt is the place for a construction / law / arbitration type post-grad / masters.
I respect virtually any degree that is relevant, but in this part of the world it's a tick box and that is it. Have you got? Yes? Good. That's as far as it goes.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 9:56 am
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I don't think classic degrees from red-bricks are devalued. A degree in media studies from an ex-Poly is what it is though.
So, we agree that there is, overall, a difference in the value of a degree depending on where it was awarded - yes? There were always some Unis which had a better reputation in some subjects than others... it's why I chose mine. This will depend on the quality of tuition and the the year-on-year standards of the faculty or degree course on offer... not all are equal. However, if twice as many people are now awarded a higher degree than before........ and 70% are getting a 2:1 or above, how is the worth of a given degree not devalued? If, only the top 10% of those who scored an honours degree got a First - but now it's the top 20%, how has that qualification not been devlaued and how does it not make it more diificult to recognize those who are "above average"?
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I might be reading this incorrectly, but you weren't given a 'grade' for your work or knowledge, you were given one for where you sat against the other people that year?
Doesn't sound very fair to me? Surely there's a natural bell-curve anyway without forcing one?
We are talking comparative grades rather than absolute scores here..... this isn't GCSE, where there are "right" and "wrong" answers. You are asked to profer opinions, or produce and test a theory, backed by knowledge - not on facts alone. So marking is subjective - all the faculty can do is enforce consistency. At that time I went to Uni, students entering a course would already have been "screened" as part of the selection process, with those deemed unlikely to succeed either rejected or asked for unusually high qualifications for entry - it happened to me at one Uni. So, if there is then an agreed standard for an Honours pass, and the "classes" of pass above that are divided by the percentage of students achieving a relatively higher standard, how is that not fair? True, If you were unfortunate enought to have a dozen genii in your year you might slip a class by absolute comparison to other years, but how often would that occur in a pre-selected bell-curve? I am also sure that the faculties kept an eye on the year-on-year chievements and could vary the percentages to reflect a particularly "good" or "bad" year.... it's why the percentages were variable - again they would seek consistency.
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
I would also suggest standards haven't changed and that students haven't changed. Everyone always thinks it was harder when they did it I reckon.
Again, I offer the data - if the number of students now being awarded a higher class of degree has now doubled, either it is easier to achieve that level, or all students are better than before..... If, along with this, you multiply the number of students and the number of places awarding degrees, if you then make financial gain part of the game, then those that have higher standards for the "same" degree may be financially disadvantaged.... and this will play into the equation. Whatever the cause, if more students achieve a degree at a particular level than before, something must have changed.......so what other answer would you profer?
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 9:58 am
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

When tasked with finding a replacement to do my job when I take holidays, having a degree isn't a consideration. What is necessary is that they are able to understand clear instructions and complete the tasks involved with minimal or no supervision. If they aren't capable of recognizing the obvious, comprehending simple scenarios, or if I have to explain something over and over to them, I send them back to the office and phone ahead with my recommendation. Based on these requirements, there could be some very well educated people on this forum who wouldn't qualify. And yes, while part of my job is maintenance, I do clean toilets and mop floors. If they can't do what I tell them, knowing some Latin isn't much help.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 11:39 am
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

I hardly went to school no education given no exams taken, but went to city college. where i was given my golden ticket an apprenticeship in bricklaying.Yes a golden ticket for me and i used it.The one thing in my life i was born to be (don't know why).I went on to become a sought after contractor and did well retired at 50 moved to spain at 58.An education is not always the best way for some people, I started at 14 and could build a house in my sleep at 20, meet the wife there you go,yes she's still here.Sometimes being in the right place right time being pushy and working as hard as you can (i did to the detriment of all else family life everything) but the money rolled in right or wrong don't know.Sometimes it is about being determined single minded and going for it with the odd risk.I feel a good education would of made it easier for me but not essential i could have gone on to bigger thinks took more risks and lost it all who knows.I have too much to say but don't know how to say it without sounding like a T++T.Oh yes i totally agree with my old mountie caretaker
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 11:55 am
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
When tasked with finding a replacement to do my job when I take holidays, having a degree isn't a consideration. What is necessary is that they are able to understand clear instructions and complete the tasks involved with minimal or no supervision. If they aren't capable of recognizing the obvious, comprehending simple scenarios, or if I have to explain something over and over to them, I send them back to the office and phone ahead with my recommendation. Based on these requirements, there could be some very well educated people on this forum who wouldn't qualify. And yes, while part of my job is maintenance, I do clean toilets and mop floors. If they can't do what I tell them, knowing some Latin isn't much help.
Originally Posted by el collado kid View Post
I hardly went to school no education given no exams taken, but went to city college. where i was given my golden ticket an apprenticeship in bricklaying.Yes a golden ticket for me and i used it.The one thing in my life i was born to be (don't know why).I went on to become a sought after contractor and did well retired at 50 moved to spain at 58.An education is not always the best way for some people, I started at 14 and could build a house in my sleep at 20, meet the wife there you go,yes she's still here.Sometimes being in the right place right time being pushy and working as hard as you can (i did to the detriment of all else family life everything) but the money rolled in right or wrong don't know.Sometimes it is about being determined single minded and going for it with the odd risk.I feel a good education would of made it easier for me but not essential i could have gone on to bigger thinks took more risks and lost it all who knows.I have too much to say but don't know how to say it without sounding like a T++T.Oh yes i totally agree with my old mountie caretaker
There ought to be more ways for people to advance without degrees. Apprenticeships and skilled technical qualifications are a good thing and in the US there are very few routes left for that, sadly.The UK has more.

It used to be that 2 or 3 goodish A levels would get you consideration at Oxford and Cambridge as well as Russell. Now students have to get 4 or 5 of the things, all A*s, and still may not get their first choice of uni.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by macliam View Post
So, we agree that there is, overall, a difference in the value of a degree depending on where it was awarded - yes? There were always some Unis which had a better reputation in some subjects than others... it's why I chose mine. This will depend on the quality of tuition and the the year-on-year standards of the faculty or degree course on offer... not all are equal. However, if twice as many people are now awarded a higher degree than before........ and 70% are getting a 2:1 or above, how is the worth of a given degree not devalued? If, only the top 10% of those who scored an honours degree got a First - but now it's the top 20%, how has that qualification not been devlaued and how does it not make it more diificult to recognize those who are "above average"?

We are talking comparative grades rather than absolute scores here..... this isn't GCSE, where there are "right" and "wrong" answers. You are asked to profer opinions, or produce and test a theory, backed by knowledge - not on facts alone. So marking is subjective - all the faculty can do is enforce consistency. At that time I went to Uni, students entering a course would already have been "screened" as part of the selection process, with those deemed unlikely to succeed either rejected or asked for unusually high qualifications for entry - it happened to me at one Uni. So, if there is then an agreed standard for an Honours pass, and the "classes" of pass above that are divided by the percentage of students achieving a relatively higher standard, how is that not fair? True, If you were unfortunate enought to have a dozen genii in your year you might slip a class by absolute comparison to other years, but how often would that occur in a pre-selected bell-curve? I am also sure that the faculties kept an eye on the year-on-year chievements and could vary the percentages to reflect a particularly "good" or "bad" year.... it's why the percentages were variable - again they would seek consistency.

Again, I offer the data - if the number of students now being awarded a higher class of degree has now doubled, either it is easier to achieve that level, or all students are better than before..... If, along with this, you multiply the number of students and the number of places awarding degrees, if you then make financial gain part of the game, then those that have higher standards for the "same" degree may be financially disadvantaged.... and this will play into the equation. Whatever the cause, if more students achieve a degree at a particular level than before, something must have changed.......so what other answer would you profer?
Yeah definitely, I think the combination of degree and university is important too.
Understood on comparative grades. Sounds quite a tough way of doing it. You may produce something that's worth of a grade but miss out because of those extra smart folks in your year or class.
I don't really have any arguments if your data is what it is. I was just making a point, everyone always thinks they had it tougher (even at lower levels of education)....the usual stories of "A-Level's aren't what they used to be" etc etc etc
Credit where it's due to anyone who goes through any post-mandatory education, whether it's A-Levels, apprenticeships, university etc.

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
When tasked with finding a replacement to do my job when I take holidays, having a degree isn't a consideration. What is necessary is that they are able to understand clear instructions and complete the tasks involved with minimal or no supervision. If they aren't capable of recognizing the obvious, comprehending simple scenarios, or if I have to explain something over and over to them, I send them back to the office and phone ahead with my recommendation. Based on these requirements, there could be some very well educated people on this forum who wouldn't qualify. And yes, while part of my job is maintenance, I do clean toilets and mop floors. If they can't do what I tell them, knowing some Latin isn't much help.
Attitude and experience wins a lot of the time.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 12:15 pm
  #11905  
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
When tasked with finding a replacement to do my job when I take holidays, having a degree isn't a consideration. What is necessary is that they are able to understand clear instructions and complete the tasks involved with minimal or no supervision. If they aren't capable of recognizing the obvious, comprehending simple scenarios, or if I have to explain something over and over to them, I send them back to the office and phone ahead with my recommendation. Based on these requirements, there could be some very well educated people on this forum who wouldn't qualify. And yes, while part of my job is maintenance, I do clean toilets and mop floors. If they can't do what I tell them, knowing some Latin isn't much help.
As I said before, sometimes a degree is a hindrance not a help.... and it all depends what you need. All a degree can do is offer you the opportunity to build your experience... if you can achieve the same without one, fair dos - a degree isn't a Golden Ticket, it can just help at times.

My degree didn't help much when I left Uni and there was no work, so I got a job in a bodyshop to make ends meet. Had I wanted to leave Southampton, there was a "better" job waiting for me with the company where I has worked during my vacs and where, eventually, I became a manager - but again it didn't require my degree and it paid less (being around the old cellulose paint dust and fumes all day was hardly healthy, so it paid well!) However, after several months of that - and an offer to match my wages in the bodyshop - I took the management job I was offered in Ireland. Again, this didn't "need" my degree.... but I found that things I'd learned and the logical/analytical way of thinking helped me no end in that environment.

Then my conversion to IT didn't require my degree per se..... but gaining access to the course did, because the Government had "special" training plans for unemployed graduates (TOPS courses, IIRC). Getting my first actual job in IT certainly needed my degree, because it was an entry requirement for the grade.... and again, the analytical training helped when I cross trained in business/systems analysis. After that, it was largely down to what I did and what I got noticed for doing...... being a graduate wasn't important, but I think my time at Uni was well spent for the "tools" it gave me, and the key to open a few doors that might otherwise have been closed..... then it's down to the work.

I was famous (or infamous) as an interviewing manager for almost ignoring paper qualifications and/or claimed experience (except where it was required by HR). For a job in my team, I wanted to see an ability to think on their feet, enthusiasm and "nous" - plus the feel that the candidate would gel with the existing team. After that, there was a month's trial for confirmation.... and it never failed.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
There ought to be more ways for people to advance without degrees. Apprenticeships and skilled technical qualifications are a good thing and in the US there are very few routes left for that, sadly.The UK has more.

It used to be that 2 or 3 goodish A levels would get you consideration at Oxford and Cambridge as well as Russell. Now students have to get 4 or 5 of the things, all A*s, and still may not get their first choice of uni.
Agree. There are some superb apprenticeship schemes in the UK, particularly in the construction industry (I know this better than others) as you say.
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Old Jul 22nd 2020, 1:07 pm
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
There ought to be more ways for people to advance without degrees. Apprenticeships and skilled technical qualifications are a good thing and in the US there are very few routes left for that, sadly.The UK has more.

It used to be that 2 or 3 goodish A levels would get you consideration at Oxford and Cambridge as well as Russell. Now students have to get 4 or 5 of the things, all A*s, and still may not get their first choice of uni.
I agree.... the best boss I ever had, by then a senior manager, had started life as a telegraph boy and had been trained in the company, including a sponsored degree. That made me feel quite proud of the way the company worked... although it was changing. He was a brilliant manager and a personal friend - and through him I got the opportunity to move out of my comfort zone in technical IT and into another area that used my skills, but where I had no experience. He convinced me that I could bring my toys to that party! It was that move that gained me more promotion and recognition than all my previous years "hard work". He backed his judgement and I learned to back mine.....

I think the requirement for multiple high-grade passes and for only higher degrees is pure laziness on the part of the recruiters..... or a lack of confidence in their abilities by their organizations. It was "easier" in my day, but I still had many, many heated discussions with HR and/or seniors to push aside their "formulaic" approach to recruitment and reward. I think my "back me or sack me" reputation may have caused a few ruffled feathers back then... but it would probably be career suicide these days. As an operational manager, my saving grace was the continued ability of my team to exceed expectations...... if we'd failed, I think there would have been a lot of knives out for me!! Now it seems that the only people able to make such decisions are the Alan Sugars of the world.... and I'd like to know whether he allows his direct reports the same amount of autonomy. Even if offered, I wonder how many would risk their own futures by rocking the boat!
Originally Posted by Scamp View Post
Yeah definitely, I think the combination of degree and university is important too.
Understood on comparative grades. Sounds quite a tough way of doing it. You may produce something that's worth of a grade but miss out because of those extra smart folks in your year or class.
I don't really have any arguments if your data is what it is. I was just making a point, everyone always thinks they had it tougher (even at lower levels of education)....the usual stories of "A-Level's aren't what they used to be" etc etc etc
Credit where it's due to anyone who goes through any post-mandatory education, whether it's A-Levels, apprenticeships, university etc.
Yeah, it was tough, but it was also flexible. I think the lower numbers an pressure helped. Due to my "odd" 'A' levels, I was forced to accept extra courses as part of my degree - one which I hated (the allied subject shall remain nameless!) and P&B and Staistics, which I found hard going, but for which I will be eternally grateful. I hated the other so much, I refused to waste my time on it.... even though it accounted for ~10% of my degree marks. - but my final project dragged my marks up - and the department was keen for me to return for a Masters, based on that alone. I'm really not convinced that flexibility would exist now!
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Old Jul 23rd 2020, 7:57 pm
  #11908  
 
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

What sort of a country are we? What sort of people behave like this? A fake tweet was created appearing to show that Jess Phillips thinks that Begum would make a fine Labour MP. How many people are going to believe that I wonder.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-53514766

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Old Jul 26th 2020, 4:06 pm
  #11909  
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Just had an e mail from my sister, her husbands brother died in hospital last week, not Covid, but that did have a big impact, they weren't allwed to visit, but did get an online chat the day before, his wife and daughter were unalble to visit till the day he died. At least with the relaxation of the rules they will be able to go to the funeral, but his son, who lives in Canada will not be able to travel. This disease is having an impact that few could have imagined.

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Old Jul 27th 2020, 12:27 am
  #11910  
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Default Re: What has p*ssed you off today...part II

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
Just had an e mail from my sister, her husbands brother died in hospital last week, not Covid, but that did have a big impact, they weren't allwed to visit, but did get an online chat the day before, his wife and daughter were unalble to visit till the day he died. At least with the relaxation of the rules they will be able to go to the funeral, but his son, who lives in Canada will not be able to travel. This disease is having an impact that few could have imagined.
Sympathies Mike, to you and his family. The knock on effect is horrible and there is no end in sight.
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