My thoughts on Irish Third Level

DISCLAIMER: Steve doesn’t want any part of this blog entry because he would still like to experience some entry with his part into one or more of Galways college girl population.

If you haven’t read any of my blogs yet than you should be aware. I like to generalize, it makes me feel good. When I generalize, it doesn’t mean it’s true for all students of any college but it’s a sizable enough number to be noticeable, if what I write doesn’t apply to you then pat yourself on the back, otherwise bitch and moan all you want. I love your hatred.

Sitting over here in my ivory tower in Scottsdale, Arizona. Part of the reason I left Ireland was down to what I perceived as a shift in Irish attitude, I felt a lot of people had grown a sense of entitlement over there. Tonight while on Boards I stumbled upon a thread called Official Bitch about daily life in NUIG! I guess with the odd hours I’m keeping there’s a lot of students posting after going out on the tear for the night, so this little gem has popped up on the homepage a few times. Actually looking at it now, there’s over 70 pages so it could be down to all of the traffic it’s getting. Anyway I digress, reading through a few pages and I must admit I haven’t read all of it and have no intention to but nearly all of what I’m reading is stupid small first world BS. The price of things in one of the shops when there’s multiple shops a few minutes walk away, the noise in the reading room when they have a voice themselves and could say something rather than saying the University should do something about it and the fact papers get collected on the deadline time set! Are you serious Bro!?

It’s inspired me to sound off about the colleges again but before I do I should say this, yes I did go to the GMIT but I can put my hands up and say it’s a shit college, I wouldn’t say worse than NUIG because I beleive it’s better for some courses and NUIG is better for others. A lot of the problems as I see them are shared across both.

I have no pride in my degree or where I went to college. I believe I learned a lot more in my first year of work than I did in my 4 years of college. And yes I went to GMIT and I didn’t notice any rivalry when I was a student between NUIG and GMIT, so any shots I take against NUIG are merely because I strongly disagree with a lot I have witnessed that goes on there. (Maybe Maybe! some day I’ll share on this very blog) It seems going by Facebook these days there is a rivalry, with NUIG claiming superiority which is laughable to me as an IT professional when more than a few NUIG IT students have stated to me that .Net programming languages aren’t worth knowing because there’s a dependency on a Microsoft product 🙂 I wonder how they felt when they graduated and realized most companies use Windows Operating Systems…dumbasses, the kind of people that blindly follow their lecturers who know as much about their subject matter as the fuckin students because the people in charge there are all about collecting their pay rather than helping the students. Point being both are less than perfect. Also GMIT is better at some courses, while NUIG are better with others. Both hugely irrelevant in world standings too, so not worth fighting about. Let’s all hug it out.

So in no particular order, here are some things about how things are done in the Irish colleges that piss me off.

Quite a few of the lecturers practically give their students the final exam weeks before they are meant to sit it. The lecturer wins because he/she is seen to be teaching the students well. The students win because they get good grades but Ireland suffers because the quality of professionals in the country sucks. Students that come out college in Ireland require a shit tonne of training once they get into the work place because the level of education they get in the University just plain sucks. Due to the larger size classes in some colleges there’s little focus on practical work which doesn’t help the students at all. You can learn the theory in the few weeks before the exams, get a good grade and then work on forgetting it all. A skill kids are taught from doing the Leaving Cert. How does that help you become a valued member of the workforce? But what do the colleges care because that piece of paper carries a lot of weight, it might not be valid in that you aren’t quite as expert about the subjects you studied as you should be but it opens the door for you to get into a company and learn from people that actually know what they are talking about.

Probably more so in Universities in Ireland, It seems completely impersonal, it’s not an academic institute so much as just an all out business. There’s probably more of a personal touch on one of Fords assembly lines.The accessibility of Masters and PhD’s currently is leading to a saturation of the value in holding one of them. If an incompetent boob get’s the same PhD then how does that make you look? I know a quite a few PhD students, most of them are excellent and a credit to their field. Other’s shouldn’t have even got out of an undergrad, how is that even possible? I guess because it’s affordable to stay in college in Ireland and some get funding. Oh and some of the publicly funded PhD’s are a f’in joke, if people knew what was going on with some of them who are getting free holidays and good pay for the little BS work they do, all out of their tax money, well there wouldn’t be hell to pay because in Ireland there never is but by gum Joe would get some angry callers that day.

And what’s just as laughable to me is the fact that in some of the Universities there’s compensation. Yes, that’s right. If you do well in one subject, you can compensate for one you fail if you get enough marks. Now, this seems to be common in quite a few colleges but This is in several colleges in Ireland. You can essentially fail a subject and still pass! Over here baseball players who were found to have taken performance enhancing drugs have an asterik beside their name in the record books. I think if you ever got compensation to pass an exam you should have an asterik beside your 1.1, 2.1, 2.2. I mean for fuck sake, I remember playing Gran Turismo 4 for the PS2 when I was a kid and you had to get your license by doing a bunch of tests. I was onto the expert or advanced level and got stuck on one of the tests for days. Then after trying and failing yet again it popped up on screen that I got a sympathy pass for trying so much. I was livid. I wanted to achieve the pass myself. How could somebody rob me of my win and make it a hollow victory when I got the license. Assholes. Do students using compensation feel the same? Because they should.

Specifically to the students of Galway here, since most but not all of my exposure would be in Galway. NUI, Why is it like a really shitty fashion show around the campus. I don’t know if it’s on that Boards thread, but what’s up with students there not holding the door themselves and when you do it for them they don’t even lift there head to acknowledge you let alone say fuckin’ thanks!?! To the guys in both places with the spiked up hair that wear tracksuits bottoms (or Chinos apparently being the new fad) , runners   And a fuckin T-shirt with a slogan on it all year round no matter what the weather, I’m reaching out to you, you can be an individual, don’t worry, there’s plenty of easy girls in Galway that will hop on you without you having to sacrifice your personality and comfort. Actually probably more so, I bet a lot of girls are tired of meeting the same old “lads” around the town.

So with all that said. With Kenny stating a few times that there’d be a focus for funding on education, does that piss me off? Well that depends, I think education could be the most important aspect of getting Ireland through these tough times but it’s not investment into building up the campuses, bringing in expensive guest lecturers, paying senior staff a kings ransom etc. that’s required. It’s a complete overhaul and the likes of Ruari Quinn and the rest of the eejits aren’t going to do it. I’ve known quite a few people outside of the college setting who have got their professional experience and try their hand at creating their own software for example. Now, in a lot of cases they get created for use by an employer, and in many cases the employer is a multi-national and Ireland see’s a relatively small return on that Irish person skill and creativity. With the proper incentive, genuinely great ideas like many I have seen could be explored with some sort of government funding. We are the next Facebook type discovery away from rolling in the big bucks again. But continued investment in a flawed and corrupt education system will not lead to that discovery. Open up the floodgates, take some of the misplaced funding going into education currently and offer it in a well structured way to these brights sparks that I and I’m sure everybody else who has worked in Ireland has come across.

I Just Blogged My Brains Out,

Rory

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About thecityfathers

We sit around all day stroking our beards, clucking our tongues and discussing what's to be done with this Homer Simpson
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4 Responses to My thoughts on Irish Third Level

  1. James says:

    Stop being so bloody negative. Say whatever about the university but from my experience people are friendly etc. and anytime I’m out in town and I chat to people from GMIT they start the rivalry saying something like NUI wanker/snob…….I just don’t have time for that crap

    • Ok and from my experience “they” aren’t all that friendly. This is my opinion. As I put in the blog, I never noticed any rivalry when I went to college, over time I have formed my own opinion on the colleges more so after I graduated and worked with graduates of both and also had the pleasure/displeasure of being involved with the University in a non-student capacity.

      NUI Wanker/Snob is pretty accurate such is GMIT Wanker/Snob. Maybe man up and don’t be such a pussy. College is a breeding ground for wankers and snobs. I work in IT, I can deal with the Geek and Nerd labels. When I was in college I dealt with the Wanker, Snob and waste of space comments. If you are offended it’s probably because it’s close to home because the truth of the matter is a very large percentage of people in college are wankers and snobs.

      Much love,
      Your Boy Rory!

  2. Niall Jennings says:

    Amen Brother

  3. Pingback: Gaming Examinations « Network for Irish Educational Standards

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