You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
It is neither possible nor useful for a country to provide university places for a high proportion of young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
In some countries, educational policy is aimed at expanding the number of university places available for youngsters leaving school. While there are economic and social advantages of this policy, I completely agree with the idea that it is impractical for a high proportion of young people to pursue university studies.
It is not feasible to offer university places for most youngsters. Firstly, the cost of the practical measures required would be prohibitive. Without a vast programme to construct new campuses, it would be physically impossible to cope with a new intake of unprecedented student numbers. Even if new campuses were constructed, they would have to be maintained and staffed. Secondly, university entrance standards would need to be lowered, enabling those with lower grades in the entrance exams to gain admittance. Inevitably, the existing quality of learning in higher education would suffer.
In terms of the economic needs of a country, it is also not useful to provide university education for a high proportion of young people. A nation of expensively-trained academic graduates might be very desirable socially, but there would be a lack of skilled technicians and employees in manufacturing and service sectors. Instead, governments should pursue a more realistic policy of increasing the provision of vocational courses for school-leavers, combined with internship opportunities and on the job training. These could cover diverse fields such as construction, agriculture, nursing and tourism. Sustaining a balanced economy means providing good work opportunities in all sectors of the economy.
In conclusion, I fully agree with the statement on the basis of the wide range of skills required by all modern economies.
impractical: not sensible or realistic
feasible: that is possible, and likely to be achieved
prohibitive: such a high cost that it prevents people from buying something or doing something
intake: the number of people allowed to enter a school or college in a particular period
unprecedented: that has never happened or been known before
gain admittance: to be allowed to enter a building or an institution
desirable: worth having or doing
service sector: the part of the economy that does not produce goods, but provides things which the public needs
pursue: to do or to try to achieve something over a period of time
vocational: connected to the skills or knowledge that you need to do a particular job
school-leaver: a person who has just finished school
on the job: while doing a particular job
diverse : very different from each other and of various kinds
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