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Old 20th August 2012, 03:43 PM   #121
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
My impression is that decent analogue circuit theory has all but disappeared from UK education. (Someone please tell me I am wrong!!) Students may get a brief introduction, which many of them will not understand, but then they quickly pass on to PIC programming, project management and a smattering of stuff on antennas (without much real understanding of EM theory). A bright DIYer will know much more about circuit design than a typical UK graduate EE. Sadly, the EE is likely not to be a DIYer too; I have been astonished at how little interest many modern students have in the subject of their chosen course.
Correct!

Remember also that in most colleges the staff are cut to the bone. ie if the tutor is off sick then thats it..you may get an IT tutor trying to do their best for a few sessions.

Out of about 20 students app three may do some DIY at home.. Some may play with building computers..

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Old 20th August 2012, 05:19 PM   #122
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Out of about 20 students app three may do some DIY at home.. Some may play with building computers..
I wonder if that's always been the way, to some extent. I just can't imagine what hard work it would be trying to train a new graduate who had no interest in the subject beyond the fact it could get him a job. I would be expecting him to head straight for 'management' as soon as he could.

Analogue electronics skills are rare, but not IT and computer-related skills. In my work I am surrounded by mysteriously-outstanding IT and computer-related experts some of whom are very young. I am fairly sure that they got most of their skills from the hobby side of things, because they didn't learn them from their particular university courses. And it's not even as if they only know about the (relatively!) 'glamorous' or exciting sides of computing: they can wax lyrical for hours about version control or databases. They know all about the latest trends in the most mundane (but probably important) subjects on earth, it seems to me.
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Old 20th August 2012, 06:15 PM   #123
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I wonder if that's always been the way, to some extent. I just can't imagine what hard work it would be trying to train a new graduate who had no interest in the subject beyond the fact it could get him a job. I would be expecting him to head straight for 'management' as soon as he could.
At least in Russia in 1970'th it was the reality, I don't know about USA and GB, but their equipment was supedb also, and judging from such magazines like Wireless World engineers knew what they did.

We had set of mandatory courses for 5 years, starting from math, chemistry, physics, elementary electronics, and so on. There were lectures, seminars, laboratory works, projects, that each student had to pass. There were short internships, on real plants, in scientific institutes, to give students how real process in real life look and feel. First 2 years we learned basics only, then specialization started, from the 3'rd year. Laboratories participated in research and developlemt programs, professors were employed part time on plants and in scientific institutes, like Institute of Semiconductor Devices.
Even before 3'rd year was some specialization. Out institute, TIASUR (Tomsk Institute of Automated Control Systems and Radio Electronics) had several major divisions, so called Faculties, that were divided to Cathedrals. Our was called "Design and Technology", there were also "Radiotechnics", "Control Systems", "Industrial Electronics". Our KTF (Design and Technology Faculty) had 2 major divisions, "Design and manufacturing of Radio and Electronics Equipment", and "Design and Manufacturing of Computer Systems". They were already specialized, from 1'st year, in terms of different disciplines taught, and in terms of details taught. We could not choose which disciplines to take. We could choose direction only, then go to the further specialization. It was a tree-like system, you could not jump from a branch to another branch without passing exams for disciplines you did not learn. Nothing in Soviet Union was completely free to choose, because nothing was market-driven, everything was planned, including how many students with certain knowledge and skills to prepare. Then there was "Distribution". Each institution invited people from HR departments of enterprises who "ordered" certain number of specialists, then there was a freedom to choose. Best enterprises were taking best students, and so on. Nobody left without a job. It was illegal not to have a job. Next 2 years ex-students were called "Young Specialists". They did not have diplomas on hands, their employers kept them for 2 years. After 2 years of work in the regime similar to "H1-B visa" they were free either to stay, or to go to the different enterprise to work.

However, it was not the best system and not the best education, but at least students were taught to think, make decisions, to understand what they were doing. However, there were very different students. Some were coming there to get educated husbands. Some were coming because parents wanted them to have such profession. Some were eager to learn. However, in the worst case "Pass exams and get my any diploma" they were not top level engineers, but anyway the system of mandatory properly selected courses lead them to certain sets of knowledge that being even incomplete were deeper than result of modern multi-choice set of "Right Answers", when they even don't need to know why that particular answers are "Right".
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Old 20th August 2012, 06:59 PM   #124
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I have been astonished at how little interest many modern students have in the subject of their chosen course.

Very few are born with a true vocation, apart from sexual reproduction of course.


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However, it was not the best system and not the best education, but at least students were taught to think, make decisions, to understand what they were doing.
I can't for the life of me understand why I think the way I do but I suspect they didn't teach me this strange kind of logic at school.
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Old 20th August 2012, 07:24 PM   #125
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Not many of the students seem to have an interest beyond getting the job.
Some not even that much and drop out after the first maths session.
Some courses have been dropped due to lack of interest..


I’ll give an example of how funding effects the issue..

In the past if you were pushing Tesco trollies for a supermarket and wanted to become an engineer you could do a few night classes and it was part funded so the cost was lower to train to move into engineering..even retired people could get classes and courses.

Now the funding has changed and to be doing the course you have to be either an apprentice (working for a company ) as an engineer or go to Uni and pay the vast sums for the course.

Why because part of the courses have become vocational ie you can’t get the required evidence for the Qual if you are no doing the job…

It’s a real shame that some colleges have dropped engineering all together.

I don’t think we are moving forward, there is no vision of the future its clouded in red tape and teaching methods.

Many trainees in the past had a genuine interest and curiosity, building their own projects for fun.

My impression is education has lost its way…I think this is a real serious issue..its not (Real)

Its full of the dreams of learning styles and methods<<<OK teaching is a subject on its own, however Its full of pressure for all the wrong reasons..The colleges are profit making companies they sell courses.

Where is the wave of new reality, the Einstein’s of the world the new discoverers of technology..

In the world today they are not important only money talks..I visualise people drinking champagne and laughing as the world comes to an end…while everyone else (the ants) look in amazement saying what’s gone wrong why didn’t we see it coming..

Many of the old lecturers are retiring early saying they have had it (enough is enough) and they feel sorry for the youth and what the future holds..

Sorry it sounds quite depressing but something needs to change and slapping more paperwork on it to make more money is not the answer. Someone at the top needs to actually care and do a reality check.

I'm going to shut up now because its so annoying.....
I should lighten up perhaps time for a change of job..

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M. Gregg
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Old 20th August 2012, 08:59 PM   #126
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Haha.
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Old 20th August 2012, 09:51 PM   #127
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You can bring a horse to the water, but you can not force it to drink...


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Old 20th August 2012, 10:12 PM   #128
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Originally Posted by Cassiel
In large states public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Not true. Education in the UK used to be quite good, certainly much better than it is now. Maybe not the best - but how do you compare things in quite different cultures?
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Old 20th August 2012, 10:39 PM   #129
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Education in the UK used to be quite good,
Not true. Not to my knowledge anyway, when was that? Maybe better than today but that doesn't make it quite good.

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how do you compare things in quite different cultures?
By the results, always by the results. Hmmm....definitely not Russia, not USA and not UK. I like small countries myself: Holland, Switzerland, Denmark... Pretty clean and well organized. Of course there's no perfect country and there's no perfect education. I really don't care if people know about Newton or the Pythagoras' theorem as long as they behave in an intelligent and civilized manner.
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Old 20th August 2012, 10:43 PM   #130
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I like Holland. People there are free to eat whole butter from grass feed cows. And to smoke what they want to smoke. And do not eat cookies with antifreeze in them.
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