Attended the Bangor University Engineering Department Industrial Panel meeting yesterday. I always enjoy a trip back to my alma mater. It is an honour to be asked.
The Electronics and computer science departments have enjoyed a resurgence with entries up by over 50%. This is no small achievement in an environment where kids are moving away from the harder maths and science based subjects. The computer science department was ranked 4th in the country by the Guardian newspaper.
Universities are having to be innovative in attracting students and at Bangor they are given a free laptop in the first year. Clearly a marketing initiative that seems to be working.
It was interesting to note that entrants in engineering departments around the country require additional coaching in maths. This is apparently the case regardless of the university, Imperial College and Cambridge included!
Life for students has changed in other ways as well. When I were a lad nobody had a job in term time. There wasn’t time. Lager was 40 pence a pint and you had to be in the pub by 7pm to get a seat!
These days they all need to work to pay the bills. This is in turn must have a knock-on effect on academic performance. On a recent visit to Lincoln University I was told that a typical student graduates with £7,000 of debt. That’s over $11,000 for the benefit of American readers (subject to a continually shifting exchange rate).