January 24, 2013

Online revolution threatens to destroy our failing universities

Posted in Irish Independent · 333 comments ·

Today, up and down the country thousands of young graduates are kicking about, unemployed, on Facebook and Twitter, looking for something to do. Parents have spent a fortune on their education, yet many are unemployed – just like their friends who dropped out or didn’t bother with university. What is the point of paying for education which doesn’t give graduates a leg-up in the jobs market?

Youth unemployment has enormous implications for the future of education. Education is not delivering in the traditional way and the online revolution may destroy universities and institutions, particularly if these institutions move to protect their patch rather than open up to change.

Many students speak of appalling teachers and lecturers who are incapable of communicating their subject. Clearly there are good lecturers, but too many are second rate. Until now there was no alternative to traditional education and some institutions still think they have an exclusive right to provide education because some board or other has accredited them.

Those days are over. Online education is exploding at a time when traditional education is underachieving and the online revolution is as much a threat to the likes of Trinity and UCD as downloading was to HMV.

Every day that a young graduate draws the dole, it chips away at the credibility of out university edifice because it is breaking the deal as understood for years. This traditional and middle-class deal was simple. Students did the Leaving Cert, struggled with the points race and went to college. The subsequent degree propelled these students up the job escalator, giving them a much better chance of a much better job.

Social mobility, which in Ireland since the 1960s has been impressive, was gauged by, amongst other things, the access to and participation in, third-level education. And this in turn fuelled the dynamo of upward social mobility. This understanding is primarily why parents are prepared to pay for education.

Importantly, mobility forms the basis for the Great Irish Dream which, like the American Dream, is a story of self-improvement, upward momentum, based on the notion that tomorrow will be better than today and your children’s future will be better than your present.

However, this conveyor belt has stopped and we are now looking at the first generation of Irish university graduates who are likely to be poorer than their parents.

Unemployment has skyrocketed amongst graduates as has emigration, while unemployment has remained quite stable amongst the middle-aged. And we can see that lots of today’s policies are aimed at preserving the wealth and income of the middle-aged even if this means less opportunity for the young. If you doubt this, look at the celebratory reaction from the media and politicians to a rise in house prices. But rising houses prices negatively affect the young who haven’t got houses and benefit those who already own houses, the older ones.

Poor economic prospects early in one’s career can be very damaging. We know from US research that periods of unemployment in a person’s 20s have a permanently negative impact on their total lifetime earnings. Put simply, the unemployed graduate doesn’t recover from the period of post-college unemployment.

And those who get jobs are seeing their wages fall. Last week, we saw graduate nurses’ entry level wages set at €22,000 a year — 20pc less than their colleagues. These ‘yellow-pack’ nurses will also earn the same as many workers in unskilled jobs, despite having spent four years in college. However, the new recruits will have the same responsibilities and be expected to carry out the same work as their colleagues.

While the following data on physiotherapy might not be totally representative, it does reveal the betrayal of the Irish Dream. The Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) carried out a survey on 2011 and 2012 physiotherapy graduates in September 2012. Of 114 graduates:

30 are working voluntarily (unpaid physiotherapists).

16 are doing further study (13 in the area of physiotherapy).

49 are currently unemployed or working outside of physiotherapy.

10 have emigrated.

One is employed in HSE/voluntary hospital/through an agency.

These are revealing statistics. We also know that youth unemployment is 30pc in our country and that thousands are emigrating.

So if traditional education doesn’t set you up, why pay for it? If the degree doesn’t offer a passport to a new life, why pay for it?

If we look at figures published by DIT last year on the cost of being a student we can see how expensive it is. Last year, it cost €7,803 to live away from home as a student; those living at home still had to fork out €4,095. These figures don’t include fees, which are set to rise.

And if the economy remains a cold house for graduates, many will switch to online courses in the knowledge that the financial returns to education are falling, while the cost of traditional education is rising.

In the US, online education is already enormous. The number of students enrolled jumped from 1,602,970 in 2002 to 6,142,280 in 2010. And as a percentage of total enrollment, online courses now account for 31.3pc of new enrollments in the US.

Probably the biggest threat to universities is found in the findings of a 12-year study by the US Department of Education, which concluded: “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

There will be a myriad reasons to explain this but if this doesn’t put a chill up the gowns of academia, I’m not too sure what will.

So will the very academic institutions that are now opening “innovation centres” get clobbered by the very march of innovation which they claim to be fostering? Will UCD go the way of HMV?

Why should the middle-classes continue to support a system that betrays them? Why should they download their music but not their education? Why should they be protected from innovation when the rest of us are told to embrace it? If you have a good reason, I’d be delighted to hear it.

David McWilliams’ new book The Good Room is out now

    • Lius

      OOH, that feels SOOOO good!

      • EddieN

        oh what I’d give to have that feeling!

        • Lius


          I don’t think I would have fallen for your speal on the Argentinean economy so easily if you only had an online qualification. I think it was the Trinity Degree that sucked me in.

          • Tony Brogan

            Of course the rest of us are ignored because we barely made it through Secondery schooling. {:-)

          • Dorothy Jones

            Will Independent be offering an online option from Oct 2013 in your 10 week taught course? I assume it will include a slice of the banking crisis module to which Brian Lucey referred to; the one TCD has not approved, and which he has tweeted/posted over the last few days.

          • Dorothy Jones

            Actually Lius; I’m off this blog now and just unfollowed David, in response to Eireannach below. I have enough of this crowd of plants here who post under bonbon. No loss for the blog I’m sure; but I would like to keep the Argentine thread going with you. dorothy.jones.helmethead@googlemail.com

          • Dorothy Jones

            And Tony you’re worse for responding to that shower of F*ckwit plants who post as bonbon. We had this conversation in Malahide. Why do you keep doin’ it?

          • Dorothy Jones

            An informed view on higher education by Brian Lucey of TCD. Someone who knows what he is talking about.http://brianmlucey.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/are-moocs-the-future-for-the-irish-higher-education-sector/

          • Dorothy Jones

            Pity David didn’t read that before pedalling out this one.

          • Dorothy Jones

            It’s much better

          • Dorothy Jones

            Spiel not Speal

          • Dorothy Jones

            From the above link by Brian Lucey; MOOCs as a marketing tool

            Part of the change I and others see in public attitudes is the emergence of what are called MOOCs : massive online open courses. These in essence are online courses into which pretty much anyone can enroll.

            First, we see the emergence at the lower middle end of universities of a refined blended model. A number of US universities are experimenting with allowing students to enroll on MOOCs, to take the courses and pass examinations (under exam conditions) and to carry that credit as part of courses in the same way as a regular student. Crucially, they see the MOOC not as a substitute or an apocalyptic threat but as a marketing tool. They find that students who take a MOOC tend to be enthused to take other non-online courses. The MOOC is a marketing tool. Second, at the top end we see certification emerging — Coursera for examples allows students to achieve certification in courses using a combination of IT and other security features, while EdX allows for students to take an old fashioned examination with certification if desired. Thus the strategic moat that was certification is crumbling: a student can in theory take a self designed structured set of courses from a set of world leading universities and present evidence to employers that they have, for example , reached the MIT level in computer programming or cybernetics or the Harvard level in biology.

        • Dorothy Jones

          Not you EddieN :) David…although you might do your own online course too! Anyhows the subject of the article co-incides very timely with exam results released this week in Irish Universities.

      • Adam Byrne

        Savour it while you can lads and lassies.

  1. Reality Check

    Bring it on I say, let’s have an online Medicine degree.

    • bonbon

      And the the highly online-qualified brain surgeon can operate on you with google at a screen to guide the incision.
      Why be online only as a student?

  2. Today I am Happy . My son and daughter have passed their UL exams ……yipppeee …now the year rolls along .

  3. Tony Brogan

    Education is the key to prosperity.
    Prosperity increases wealth and wages
    One must learn that capital is the key to increased productivity
    That savings are the key to accumulation of capital.
    That high taxation impedes savings.

    Read this Von Mises essay to understand the benefits of foreign investment of capital to raise the standard of living around the world as well as domestically.

    Start your own education now.


    • Deco

      This was exactly what we observed in Ireland in the 1990s.

      Unfortunately vested interests succeeded in getting people committed to excessive spending around about the same time.

      • Tony Brogan

        Hi Deco

        One difference.
        In the 90′s and 2000′s there were no savings accruing to build capital. All expansion was debt based and doomed to crash.
        Thereby lies the difference in prosperity or purgatory.
        Does one use credit or savings from accrued profits?

    • Realist

      Excellent article Tony.

      I like these sentences:

      “To attain the end, as I see it, there is only one way! It is a slow method. Some people may say, it is too slow. But there are no short cuts to an earthly paradise. It takes time, and one has to work.”

      “What is lacking in order to make the developing countries as prosperous as the United States is only one thing: capital – and, of course, the freedom to employ it under the discipline of the market and not the discipline of the government. These nations must accumulate domestic capital, and they must make it possible for foreign capital to come into their countries.”

      “For the development of domestic saving it is necessary to mention again that domestic saving by the masses of the population presupposes a stable monetary unit. This implies the absence of any kind of inflation.”

      “What their policies actually accomplish is to prevent or to slow down the accumulation of domestic capital and to put obstacles in the way of foreign capital.”

      To summarize Irish situation. At the moment Ireland is saving more and more, that is very good in general as people are saving as expecting hard time and such can be used for investments when wished for. But what is wrong is inflation, huge debt causing bank runs and protectionism, meaning possibly less foreign investments.
      Even you save you are not sure is that going to be confiscated quiet (inflation, taxes) way or brutal (bank run, gold confiscation, war, ..).

  4. dermo

    Online teaching is exploding , I have my lads look at the Khan Academy if they need stuff on different things .
    also online will teach people in other areas that the state run uni and colleges don’t .

    • One difference. If you take a course in Ireland that has the rep of being among the hardest courses in it’s field in the land then people listen to you seriously.

      • It’s a challenge because you know you are passing a course than has reputation. Esteemed by IT Managers who know that Sligo grads are pushed far harder than those in most universities. Maybe not MIT calibre but pretty close in some cases. MIT is over rated anyway just like Dublin universities

        When you throw it up in the air and appear to toss it away the expression on their faces is bewildering and they look disappointed that you never took that great job you were offereed in Bank of Whatever. A job in a bank huh?

        Yeah I am sure it would be riveting and full of people who would change my life in so many ways. Not

        Sorry guys but one thing I forgot to mention is that I have no intention of getting cozy with your skull and bones or equivalent incestious cliques. Just give me a job to do and I will do it very well. Just don’t try to get too familiar and cozy because it is unprofessoinal capiche?

        If you fuck with the job placement facilitator it can hurt your career and for that reason alone I chose to fuck with the facilitaror as I despise such uncontrolled and corrupt power. Corrupt is not the word. Inbred is a more accurate adjective to describe the guy with rotten teeth and foul breath who takes care of the placements up in Sligo

        When you say sure I was only here for the beer, your women, benefits and a free education their expression becomes even more austere and then you see the naivety and worst aspects of the Irish psyche. Thay can’t take a joke

        When you explain that you see it as righful compensation from Fritz for services rendered in the past then they have no comprehension as they were so insulated from the reality of life

        You shrug your shoulders and walk away because they would never understand in a thousand years why someone with a foreign accent and a name as Irish as theirs could have a completely different outlook to themselves

        He’s been to Amerika you know!

  5. Tony Brogan

    Being #1 entry on the posting is leading to an obsession. soon drug testing will be called for to see who has an unfair advantage. too much coffee will keep them up , finger, on the button, waiting to pounce.
    Not fair is it.

    • It’s just a bit of fun Tony and people like to be amused. It is a quirk started by Adam and it’s now part of the culture of the site. It is a gimmick.

      If it seems unfair that is only because you have never been first to post and don’t know what it feels like to be up earlier than Adam?

      It happened to me once. I remember it I tell you

      • Tony Brogan

        It must have been a Rush Pauldiv, the highlight of your life no doubt.
        Were you on coffee at the time or something more stimulative to put you at the top of your game?

        I wonder if Adam is clean or can we expect an Armstrong confession at sometime soon.

        He will not need Oprah as I hear he may have made a profitable deal with McWilliams.

        I would expect such disclosure would triple the sales of the Independent or the Post who are reportly fighting over the contract!(not to mention RTE)

        • It was the mother of all rushes Brogie Man!
          The highlight and twilight of this sad but beautiful life.

          What is it they say. The best things in life are free and happiness is linked to simplicity of heart. If only the mind was so simple!

          As for the two lads you mentioned I have no knowledge of their private affairs and frankly I am not interested.

    • joe hack

      What was it? did you stay up all night old man and fall asleep just before the deadline, EPO is your only man but maybe your pannier bags of gold are weighing you down

  6. SPQH

    Physiotherapists might find it easier to get employment in Ireland if they charged less per visit. They have no difficulty getting employment in France, butthere they charge just €20 per visit. Here they charge €60. OK, €20 is on the low side, but who can afford €60 when treatment (if one begins it) usually involves multiple visits? So instead of lowering their prices, they prefer to work voluntarily, stay unemployed, stay in further study or emigrate. What is it about Ireland that the supposely universal ‘laws of supply and demand’ do not seem to work here?

    • Tony Brogan

      Attitude of entitlement?

      • Adam Byrne

        Exactly that Tony. My rate for Social Media work is 35 quid an hour because I was told to increase it for big companies which is fine as they are all rip off merchants and I don’t mind taking their cash.

        But originally I started off at 15 quid an hour as I thought that was a fair price for small businesses, sole traders etc. and I’d still charge that to anyone who approaches me for Social Media help with their firms. I had to put my rates up to 35 quid an hour to be taken seriously by muppets in suits. Unbelievable isn’t it?

        Self entitlement indeed. My short example here is actually the inverse of that but it shows you the overall cultural attitude endemic in this country.

        • Tony Brogan

          You are getting what the market will bear.
          You are still employed by being flexible.
          They are unemployed as the market will bare them as being unbearable.

          • Realist

            I think they are dropping prices too.
            At least what I have seen.
            Nobody sane will keep unclearing prices for so long as they need to buy a bread too.
            Except some people who find social welfare + earning from a few things aside good enough.

    • Ronan Duffy

      Rent, for one thing.

  7. colmol

    Agree with other posters here…a visit for 40mins to a physio is 50-70 €, no reason these should be unemployed, and this is true for many trades.
    Cost base of all these trades is way too high or the experience of previous higher incomes is skewing their new reality.
    You should never have got paid that much!!!!

    • lff12

      A basic building industry technician gets a minimum wage of 17 euros per hour.

      Go figure.

      • michaelcoughlan


        I don’t think you mean the Irish building industry because I can assure you you haven’t a clue what you are talking about if this is your point of view.



  8. A very interesting observation. I can’t help but be reminded, however of all those stories I used to hear in the UK when living there of Engineering and Science graduates retraining as plumbers during the post-dot-com-bubble property boom of the early 2000′s. I kind of wonder at the extent to which the property bubble hid the fact that a University degree has become undervalued.

    Partly maybe its supply and demand? More people with access to third-level education? I don’t have the data to back that claim up, but I’d confidently hazard a guess that the proportion of school leavers who enter higher education is rather greater than it was 30 or 40 years ago. and that did not happen by mistake.

    But I feel also you’re main point is correct, that the level of education has simply fallen, and one does wonder why that is. I have some theories. Having bumped in to a couple of Paddies here in Berlin over looking for work, mainly fairly well educated types on paper, there is a subtle difference in their approach to that I have seem in other countries, and its the emphasis on skills. There seems really to be a significant bias in the Irish attitude to education in favour of having people leave ‘education’ with a tool-kit to go and solve the problem of the day, rather than the critical thinking skills needed to approach work and life in general. And the evidence is in the University rankings. TCD in particular worked hard to make it to the top 50 in the Time Higher lists, and now, its not even in the top 100 the last time I checked.

    Education is in crisis in Ireland for one reason only and that because everyone thinks they can have their cake and eat it when it comes to funding the thing. I don’t see any approach that will work other than simply allowing the Universities to charge fees at a level that makes them sustainable as on-going concerns. There are a lot of other complexities (3rd level salaries for one, access for those who cannot pay being another) that would have to be addressed to make that work, but really if we want decent Universities in Ireland its hard to see another way.


    btw, I am fairly sure I have ranted about this stuff here before, so apologies for repeating myself.

  9. ex_pat_northerner

    Meanwhile reasonable amount of IT jobs especially in telecommunications sector – Cloud computing and ip address exhaustion and 4G.. If you’re going to college these areas will need employees..especially if online education going to happen

    I think I read that most over subscribed courses in England was forensic scientist despite the fact that one 1-2 vacancies actually exist. All that CSI/Criminal minds/silent witness horsesh*t seems to have turned peoples heads.

    • lff12

      Good point Pat – there is a lot of work in cloud infrastructure – but much of it demands experience and industry certifications, not degrees. Thus graduates coming straight out of college cannot get employment in the field – hence the pretend “shortage”. Whats really happened is that the entry and mid level jobs that provided on-the-job training to get people to the levels required have vanished off to India and other low cost economies.

    • Good post pat

      IT can be a gold mine after 10 – 15 years in the game but it is a long slow climb.

      Your point about television influencing career choices is probably and sadly true

  10. BirdCourter

    David you’re right to point out that the education system as we know it is fit to be disrupted; it is, and will continue to be. However I do think you have rushed this article as I have no doubt that your economics course still offers some valuable nuggets not demonstrated in your blogs…?

  11. lff12

    Actually I disagree with a lot of the sense that graduate unemployment is a bad or a new thing. If you did a non-technical or non-vocational degree years ago you pretty much found yourself in the same position most grads now find themselves in. The idea that your degree qualified you to do or be anything was as laughable to an average arts or biz grad 20 years ago as it is to everyone now.

    There is a misconception out there that degrees are taught for the benefit of students: they are not. The true beneficiaries are college staff from lectures up to chancellors and down to porters and cleaners. I noticed this when moving from undergrad to postgrad in TCD and being a guest in the very fine staff dining rooms as opposed to the scruffy rubbish that all colleges except students to exist in (ironically, celtic tiger era building changed that – the student common rooms in for example, the Cork School of Music, are very nice indeed). The colleges, their staff, and even those footing the bills never really cared whether or not a student or students get anything out of the course careerwise. Even postgrad scholarship funds are quite happy to abandon failures (or successes who go on to obscurity or nothing) once their time in the halls is up.

    I happen to have 2 degrees: the first a music degree from a traditional Irish university which is about as valuable as a dose of bubonic plague (in that at times it would actually be better to have no qualification at all rather than this one), the second, a distance taught Open University business/systems practice degree. The latter has paid dividends not merely because it is recognised as having some value, but because distance education allows you to pick and choose your subjects rather than having courses imposed upon you. Also the nature of distance education is courses are delivered by “course teams” rather than individual lecturers, which rather reduces the chances of having somebody truly awful (or as many female graduates of my age will recall, an outright predatory lecher).

    The thing I notice, however, is the total myth that technical education is “necessary” for certain careers. I work in IT, and got my foot in the door there with no background or education in IT (I was a musician and teacher!) and very quickly realised that nearly everybody else was just the same. Companies trained people to the point they needed, and then people took advantage of anything they could get to upskill themselves. Those lucky enough to work for good companies got opportunities to do degrees by night, others paid for it out of their own pocket. One thing I’ve realised, having been through this route – is that its the combination of experience PLUS education that really is the key. Most people don’t know what you actually studied – and don’t care. They assume you did x, y or z. Whether you did or not is immaterial.

    Ironically, the same always applied back in my musician days. One of my favourite performers, world renowned, quite outstanding, dropped out of at least 2 conservatoires before being taken under the wing by a concerned professional. Her mentor took her back to her home in Austria, looked after her, cooked for her, helped her to sort out health and personal issues she had, as well as giving her lessons. She even paid for private health care out of her own pocket. The girl went on to be a great success – and the best is yet to come. It was very much an incremental process – an award here, a good break there – but she got there. Yet she hasn’t a single qualification to her name!

    What I think I am trying to say is that education overvalues itself in order to inflate its own costs to push up profits – and to sustain its “value” in the eyes of those who pay the ultimate bills. The big shock of the obscene rise in UK fees to as much as £9k pa was not so much the scale of the fees but that universities were allowed have the audacity to place such a high price on what is so often a rubbish product. I paid that for my entire 2nd degree (and the council about half of that for my original BA!!) But the real value is the skills learned, the experience gained, and the maturity that comes over time.

    I do agree very strongly with a lot of what David says, however. My own cobbledashed career after college (I did drop out of a masters) meant I hadn’t got the income to retrain or upskill. I also genuinely struggled to pay the rent and cost of living in a so-called “boom” economy in which I didn’t really share. I listened to others brag and boast about how much their 5 houses were worth with little hope of ever owning even one. But in a way, my earlier abortive career taught my lessons about values, about freedoms and about what REALLY mattered, and it wasn’t having a mortgage or property titles.

    What graduates who are not working now do have is time. The biggest difficulty is the anger, bitterness and confusion that sinks in when you realise how unfair life is and how much the rest of the world really doesn’t care. (It doesn’t. We can write these articles til the cows come home but I can pretty much guarantee you that hardly a single person will read this article, go away and try to really do something for unemployed graduates). The challenge is to find values that mean something to you and demand their fulfillment – whether that means doing something else, or demanding help, I don’t know. What I’ve learned is that jobs don’t last, employers demand loyalty they never give, people look after themselves first and material commitments don’t look after you. It didn’t take 2 university degrees to learn that!!

    • michaelcoughlan


      I really liked this. There are loads of people out there willing to help each other. If you have had a bad experience you may be subconsciously affected in that you may have been so hurt or traumatised psychologically that all you now see (or subconsciously look for) are the same types of scumbags you had to deal with in the past.

      The way round this is to retrain your mind to actively look for the good people out there doing great work. Then you won’t even see the scumbags. When you achieve this psychological shift you will feel absolutely liberated! You may need to get help from someone who can point you in the right direction as self-sabotage happens at the subconscious level but it is worth making the journey no matter how painful.

      • lff12

        Michael – you are quite right, and my story of the world class singer kind of shows evidence of this – somebody cared enough to put out for her and look after her until she was able to manage for herself – the story in her own words is here – http://ind.pn/Wk7sEO

    • Adam Byrne

      Good insights, thanks.

  12. BurrenRocks

    “a chill up the gowns of academia” – the online winds of change. Nice.
    Khan Academy, Code Academy Coder Dojo – These may improve technical ability, but universities in Ireland have an advantage in that they support the opportunity to build long lasting relationships which may get you further than mere talent….

  13. uchrisn

    Yale usent teach finance till 20 years ago. It was more concerned back then with educating people for education and not the jobs market. History philosophy etc. The valueof a college education should not only be measured by jobs especially in a recession.

  14. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    This is another top quality offering marking a great start to the New Year (I hope I don’t sound patronising).

    It raises very important points most notably do Irish University graduates get bang for their buck? I am 41 in February and by and large most of the people I know who went to third level got better paid jobs than those who didn’t. The current lot of students however will fare worse I believe.

    It is however a very crude measure of the success of a system in that the education itself may have an intrinsic value which may not have a substantial economic value subsequently but still maybe a very worthwhile endeavour to pursue to degree level.

    The bigger question though is that why it is that university graduates now can no longer expect to be rewarded with better paid jobs for making the sacrifice to increase their skill level to a higher level obtainable at the leaving cert which will subsequently allow them to add higher value to goods and service provided by their future employers? I don’t believe that it has anything to do with the third level sector itself.

    I believe that the answer lies in the fact that the world’s financial system (I know you are probably thinking “here we go again” PLEASE bear with me) is inexorably driving down the standards of living of working and middle class populations all over the world to subjugate every one of us into servitude, a modern day feudalism if you will, so that the few nut jobs in control have unimaginable levels of wealth and complete control.

    This analysis is concurrent with your previous article and my response to it about Mr Armstrong. The nut jobs in charge of the world’s Hedge funds and financial system aren’t actually in it for the money as utterly ludicrous as that sounds. They are driven by the same utterly twisted psychotic drive that propels Mr Armstrong. They must COME FIRST AT ALL COSTS.

    They can’t come first David if they can’t control the wealth creators coming out of the Universities to their own aims if those same wealth creators get the leg up through their third level education now can they?

    You know what Mr Bill gates does to every competitor who creates superior products to his own? He CRUSHES them even using illegal means to do so. The sociopaths in charge aren’t constrained morally so the sum becomes very simple which is: Does the financial cost we pay in fines add up to less than the losses we will take if our competitor gets ahead of us and if it does fuck everyone then, competitors, regulators, legal systems, people careers and sure they can always assuage peoples ire by buying off public opinion with self-serving philanthropic gestures to whatever charity allows them to spread their utterly perverse warped outlook.

    Very shortly David within two years I believe China will put manners on all the come first at all cost nut jobs in the Anglo Saxon hemisphere by paying their international debts in gold or bilateral trade and when that happens what do you think will happen to the increasingly worthless dollar?

    Sure they can wall paper the offices of the Universities with them.



    • midnightrider

      Hear, hear… and who is one of the main contributors to The Khan Academy? …The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    • Tony Brogan

      Good comments Michael

      The major problem with the educational system is that it will not address the root cause of the financial problems.
      As you point out it is the financial system, or more pointedly the monetary system, that is the root cause of the problems with the economy.

      Formal education will not address the problem because all the educational foundations are financed by those who are the problem. The international financiers and their sycophants. The foundations have a policy to sponsor by scholarship the brightest and best into the learning establishments that promote the very policies that the finaciers want promoted.

      Thus the educational system is infiltrated from Creche to Phd+

      Once a mind is programmed it takes more effort to change that mind than it did to lock it up in the first place. A mind that has not been programmed is free to explore all options and to arrive at conclusions. The younger the mind the more receptive to the propaganda; The harder to change; often the mind is set for a lifetime.

      We can not look to those of higher education to do what is right. We can not look to those educated in the most pretigious halls of learning for help.

      All are infected with the virus of finances and economics induced by the financiers, the financial controllers.

      Our politicians are bought and controlled as the political process and the politicians are also financed by the same insidious financiers.

      We the people must break that system via the political process while we still have the opportunity and the time. The US is already a police state designed to remove dissent of any kind. To do so without due process of law. As noted on this blog Habeas corpus is in the precess of being destroyed if in fact it has not been already. This is the basis of a free society for over 800 years, and modern criminal law.

      Ireland has not reached that police, military state yet, and as has been explained by DDI there is in the constitution a provision for referendum, initiative and recall. It was attempted to be removed from the constitution by the first parliament of the Republic but was not properly done according to law. While unused it still exists.

      A political party can revive these democratic principals without a call to change the constitution as they are already embedded there.

      That is why I suggest all look at this principle clearly and encourage people to embrace the only party with this as part of its platform. Lay not in apathy but get up and put your energy toward a worthwile endevour. If it is not supported it will atrophy and die and you along with it.

      In the meantime China is as you note Michael, moving rapidly along the path toward world dominance. They see and recognise the destructive path of western financial and economic policies. They encourage their people to buy real money; grams , ounces, tonnes of silver and gold. The Chinese government itself is rapidly adding to gold and silver reserves and may well at this point be in second place or even in first place in accumulation.

      Why do they do this? They know that western governments and central banks are corrupt and secretive and dishonest. They know that they do not tell the truth and obscure the truth about the peoples holdings of bullion. This bullion that is the accumulated wealth of the people.

      The western countries have been encouraged to sell, lease, swap, hypothicate in any way they can to artificialy drive down the price of precious metals, the real money of the world.

      Why? because it is in the interests of the financiers to do so. How? The financiers operate the fiat money systems by which they control the world. While doing this the paper profits have been (are) used to scoop up cheap bullion for their own gain.
      Gold and silver are direct competition with fiat money and so must be denegrated, scorned and ridiculed in any way to obscure the peoples understanding. To miseducate them.

      As such there has been no audit of the peoples money allowed. Central bank secrecy. Even government is not allowed to know what is happening to the peoples money. Dishonest accounting is allowed.often the gold is counted in two or more seperate locations; double, treble accounting. The gold suggested to be there is in fact not there.

      We see Germany aroused recently by the peoples demand for audit. We see Germany demand repatriation. We see Germany recoil. Instead of shipping home 2000 tonnes of the peoples money they agree to a trifling amount spread over 7 years (see postings recently).Germany now knows that any move to repatriate its gold will reveal that the gold is not there to be returned.

      Others such as GATA.org have recorded statements from disparate sources and calculate that the amount left for the western banks to fight over is a half of what is stated. It may be less.
      If this is revealed to the public the current world financial system may (will) collapse. Not on my watch say the politicians, kick the can down the road again.

      China places her cards close to her chest and smiles. The longer this game progresses the stronger she will be.

      One year, two years, 5 years, Michael, the time approaches. In the absence of of any proper actions from the people or their government one must prepare to protect ones self as best as possible. There will be no rational solutions from the educated classes and least of all from the majority of economists mired in their own doctrine.

      Nor will there be proper suggestions in the main stream media as they too are owned and financed by vested interests.

      Take care Michael, stay well, stay strong.

  15. uchrisn

    Yale has some excellent online courses for free. There is an oppurtunity for the best teachers to reach a wider audience through the net. Someone still needs to grade work and give feedback.

  16. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    I guess that education is never a heavy load to carry.
    My own belief is that you study what you enjoy and never consider the job-market value of a subject. I graduated in 1980, Ireland was unemployed at that time.

    When you are born you possess only one thing of value, and that’s time.

    Education should never be job oriented. No person of note from Newton to Einstein from Aristotle to Wittgenstein ever did anything except what they enjoyed.

    I have an 18 year old doing their leaving cert this year, my advice, do what you enjoy, we are no worker bees in some mad unfair loaded economic hive, we are human.

    University on the internet is like facebook just an excuse for the “real” thing. University is about living and enjoyment, about discovery and joy, about meeting and growing.

    Work on the other hand, is about exploitation and misery, about bullying and economic threats, about giving your only possession (time) to another person for food.

    • midnightrider

      The most important comment made so far

      “No person of note from Newton to Einstein from Aristotle to Wittgenstein ever did anything except what they enjoyed.”

      These are the models we should aspire to.
      Instead we have this base attitude that a degree is a meal ticket to the table of the rich. And almost everyone on this page of comments has written as if this is the truth.

      It is the worship of Mammon that has the world in the heap that it’s in.

      Without a RADICAL (involving the roots) – revolution in our values things will only get worse as we plummet in the RACE TO THE BOTTOM …Duh!

    • Your last two sentences are right on the money Puschkin

      Living and interacting with real people on campus is healthy for many reasons not the least of which is that it forces you to come out of your shell and deal with people from all backgrounds. You treat it like a full time job and more because for a time at least it becomes your life. If you go on work experience during the summer then all the better are the prospects of understanding the game of work and growing into a well rounded individual

      To make the most of it you work hard and pass and enjoy the student life and why not. I did in my late 30s during the boom. Now I know so much about my chosen subject (IT) that I enjoy studying it every day because I am fascinated with the social as well as the technical apsects. A job is not my priority and never has been because I don’t need a job to feel happy. I am not in the least bit ashamed of that and I had a successful career before we all hit the buffers

      Some people are so disenfranshised that starting a course is a big step in itself especially after a long lay off when confidence is at an all time low. There is nothing wrong with using college or uni as a prep school for the real world but it is vital that people are given the chance to take subjects that interest them and meet people with experience who will listen to them and point them in certain directions. That is all that is needed in many cases

      This is where colleges can be outplayed and outgunned with alternative institutions who are agile enough to provide up to date curriculums on rapidly changing topics like IT and Media Studies. If you are talented enough then there is no need to even attend college or uni

      If you force people to take subjects they are not suited to then like me some of them will say ‘fuck you’. I’ll pass your course for the recogniition but don’t try to tell me this is a proper education. Proper education is more than just a college paper and I know people with no formal education who are among the smartest people I know

      “Education should never be job oriented”
      Interesting point and one I believe in but it was not so long ago the tories were calling for universities to provide courses that were career oriented and the success of which could be meausured in pounds and pence.

      The league table brigade are despicable in my opinion and I would not let any child of mine anywhere near that nonsense. I’d ask them what they like and want to know why. Encourage them a bit and tell them to play the game but keep their eye on the ball

      Now the neocon rhetoric has bitten the dust and we have nations full of unemployed graduates whose education is worth hee haw. Some of them could not cook an omlette

      Work is bs. That is why it is better to self educate and then offer services that you are great at because in this climate with all this technology there is room for everyone to carve a niche and do well. As long as they are clear about what they can do and name a price such people will never be short of work

      Work is miserable full stop unless you are working at what you enjoy

      • I got a letter from the social welfare or ‘Intreo’ as they are now called. On the back of the letter was a list of free courses

        There were seven courses listed among which was ‘Medical Secretary’, Carer and 2x wait for it as this needs a line all on it’s own …

        “Young, Eager and Willing to Work”!

        Drum roll. I am serious! I am 48 years old ffs.

        So much for the idea of a national jobs bank

        Haw haw haw

        Sometimes I laugh because it is all so feckin hilarious

  17. Tull McAdoo

    What I am going to be fascinated with, when it comes to this article in any case, is when Bon Bon arrives on the scene which invariably happens around now and proceeds to write 10,000 words which will interweave education with the re-instatement of Glass-Steagall.

    This will be followed shortly thereafter by Tony Brogan who will explain how Education can be tied to the “Gold standard” or “silver standard” or some other metal of your choice.

    Adam will then arrive, and after mourning the fact that he has lost out to “subscribe “first will then treat us all to the latest musings from George Monbiot / Will Hutton et al and their take on education, as seen from the Ivory towers of “The guardian” newspaper……..

    Estragon: Nothing to be done.
    Vladimir: I’m beginning to come round to that opinion.

    Vladimir: You should have been a poet.
    Estragon: I was. Isn’t that obvious?

    Estragon: Let’s go.
    Vladimir: We can’t.
    Estragon: Why not?
    Vladimir: We’re waiting for Godot.
    Estragon: (despairingly). Ah!

    • Reality Check

      Ha ha enjoyed that Tull.
      Strawberry bonbons, lemon bonbons Glass seagull.
      I wish the website had the functionality to put bonbon on ignore.

      • bonbon

        The true libertarian censor. Milton Friedman would be proud of you.

        • Tony Brogan

          Time for the truth on Friedman. Pinochet was already in power for two year before Friedman visited and gave a lecture. Then he awas asked by Pinchet to propose ecomomic policy. Adapted by the Military Junta it allowed for the adaption of a democtatic process and the ecomonic recover of chile.

          Milton Friedman (Wiki report)

          Milton Friedman gave some lectures advocating free market economic policies in La Universidad Católica de Chile. In 1975, two years after the coup, he met with Pinochet for 45 minutes, where the general “indicated very little indeed about his own or the government’s feeling” and the president asked Friedman to write him a letter laying out what he thought Chile’s economic policies should be, which he also did.[21] To stop inflation, Friedman proposed reduction of government deficits that had increased in the past years and a flat commitment by government that after six months it will no longer finance government spending by creating money. He proposed relief of cases of real hardship among poorest classes.[4] In October 1975 the New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis declared that “the Chilean junta’s economic policy is based on the ideas of Milton Friedman…and his Chicago School”.[21]

          Commenting on his statement about the “Miracle”, Friedman says that “the emphasis of that talk was that free markets would undermine political centralization and political control.”[22] Friedman stated that “The real miracle in Chile was not that those economic reforms worked so well, but because that’s what Adam Smith said they would do. Chile is by all odds the best economic success story in Latin America today. The real miracle is that a military junta was willing to let them do it.”[23] Friedman said the “Chilean economy did very well, but more important, in the end the central government, the military junta, was replaced by a democratic society. So the really important thing about the Chilean business is that free markets did work their way in bringing about a free society.”[22] The term Miracle of Chile is also commonly[by whom?] used to refer to the favorable economic results of economic liberalization in that economy.

          Friedman has wondered why some have attacked him for giving a lecture in Chile: “I must say, it’s such a wonderful example of a double standard, because I had spent time in Yugoslavia, which was a communist country. I later gave a series of lectures in China. When I came back from communist China, I wrote a letter to the Stanford Daily newspaper in which I said, ‘It’s curious. I gave exactly the same lectures in China that I gave in Chile. I have had many demonstrations against me for what I said in Chile. Nobody has made any objections to what I said in China. How come?’” He points out that his visit was unrelated to the political side of the regime and that during his visit to Chile he even stated that following his economic liberalization advice would help bring political freedom and the downfall of the regime

        • Dorothy Jones

          The shower of F*ckwit plants who post as bonbon

    • Adam Byrne

      Haha! Subscribe Tull! Spot on dude.

    • midnightrider

      Brilliantly funny thanks for that… well observed and spot on…

    • bonbon

      With Bill Gates in town, things do go astray, don’t they?

    • Tony Brogan

      Much Adoo about nothing Tull

      thanks for the laugh :)

    • Dorothy Jones

      Jaysus Tull spot on

  18. malone

    Interesting Article David

    As somebody pointed out earlier online courses do nothing for a persons wellbeing. It is a very solitary way of learning and compared to going to college or university with its structured approach it does not even measure up.
    However it should be used as an aid to university courses , an aid to learning.
    I would agree with you that in university some lecturers are absoluely hopeless.But that is the fault of the system , People who apply for teaching posts should be tested for their ability to get the message across rather than the qualifications that they have.
    However if it comes down to the question why pay for universtiy when I can do an online course then it seems that only the financial side of the equation is being looked at. The benefits of actully going to college and the other skills that are learned and the contacts that are made are being forgotten which would be needed in the future if a person wanted to make a start in the area. Also if the area is say engineering , the practical skills would not be taught with an online course.


    During the 5 yrs I spent in a Dublin secondary school, not a single employer came to the school to offer career advice or work experience. The smartest people emigrated, the dummies found cushy work via their families. Grads can’t compete with experienced workers who in later life can work for 1/2 pay and don’t ned any training. With Bulgarians and Romanians getting access to the job market on top of half a billion europeans who already enjoy this, the prospects are dismal for the 90,000 who leave the education system per annum. The Uk private sector has generated an impressive 1 million new jobs in the past 3 yrs,dumb irish employers just moan endlessly, their Bill Cullen attitude is ” live with your parents, work for free ” LOL. In the 1950′s a net wage of £ 7 per week, would pay a monthly mortgage on a smart 3/4 bed house , 3 miles from Dublin city ! Our friends in ulster can’t wait to join the republic.

  20. bonbon

    With all the costs mentioned, a little note is required here :
    Graphic of costs

    Ireland is highly competitive, number 1 on all these :
    Cost of European Banking Crisis 2007-2011 Euro-millions
    Ireland -41,044
    Germany -40,101

    Cost of European Banking Crisis 2007-2011 & GDP
    Ireland -25.0
    Latvia -3.0

    Cost of European Banking Crisis 2007-2011 per Capita
    Ireland -8,981
    Germany -491
    That is for every man woman and child.
    Now that is a fine example of the sporting free market in toxic debts, and Ireland scored a home goal!

    Why should we pay for this?

    • Tony Brogan

      Good stats and good question
      Nothing to do with a free market though.

      • bonbon

        You have to ask yourself how is it that Ireland ended up in this bracket. It is disastrous, extreme beyond belief. It stands out so stunningly so, it must be deliberate. Exactly as in 1846-7. Other side of the coin, at the risk of drawing fire, it could be used with enormous impact- if the next step is without blinking proposed – a new economic platform. Could it be Enda knows exactly how delicate the Davos denizens really are? If the Cyprus mouse could eat the EU Lion, imagine what Ireland could do!

        Will the Cypriot Mouse Swallow the Eurozone Lion?

        Jan. 22, 2013 (EIRNS)–The Eurogroup, comprising euro area finance ministers, met yesterday and voted in Dutch Finance Minister Joroen Dijsselbloem as their new president, replacing Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker, who until then had also held the duchy’s finance minister’s portfolio. Although Spain voted against Dijsselbloem, probably because he will be pushing the same austerity policy that has been pushed all along, Dijsselbloem issued a silly “optimistic” statement asserting that the period of crisis management is over and now he would move on to “delivering and implementing sound medium-term policies.”

        On the sidelines of the same meeting, however, European Central Bank board member Jörg Asmussen was not so optimistic. He told Reuters in effect that the Eurozone mouse, Cyprus, could swallow the lion of the entire Eurozone. The financial problems facing Cyprus should not be underestimated, he warned, and could become a “systemic” disaster for the Eurozone. “Disorderly developments in Cyprus could undermine progress made in 2012 [sic] in stabilizing the euro area. Cyprus could well be systemic for the rest of the euro area despite its size,” Asmussen said.

        The statement was a response to comments by optimists that Cyprus, with a Gross Domestic Product of about 0.2% of the Eurozone’s GDP, was not “systemically relevant” for the wellbeing of all 17 nations. Cyprus is currently in discussions over a bailout that could be finalized in March.

        “Under normal circumstances one would expect the direct impact of a default to be limited, and it’s obvious that without assistance the country will default,” Asmussen said “At the same time we should recognize that the situation is not normal… this situation is still fragile.

  21. Puschkin the Black and White Cat

    I suppose it would be great for the fascists if they could close or restrict the Universities, one more source of informed human voice squashed.

    Introduce Facebook for all, then they would have also cornered camaraderie.

    The fascist future according to Orwell “A boot forever crushing a human face”, of course we know it as NAMA, ANGLO/IRBC and the Kenny puppet Dail.


  22. aidanxc

    Very relevant article. We see professional IT courses being offered here locally in Dublin for up to €900 per day and then you can go to http://www.coursera.org and get IT courses for free. (To boot it’s part run by an amalgamation of US universities including Harvard, Princeton etc).

    How can standards of education fall given the amount of free online resources there are?

    The universities here are slow and cumbersome but they are excellent at winning grants from the EU and SFI. I think if the government cut research funding to universities and pumped it into start-ups instead Ireland would be better off. When we get unemployment down to an acceptable level we could consider funding blue-sky research again/

    • bonbon

      Ah, so now cut research to save the banks. Very intelligent, and highly educated opinion there.

      An amazing piece of “logic”. The only money being pumped now is to banks, between banks and for banks. No credit for the physical economy is available. Even the IMF has publicly admitted it has not the faintest idea why. And this will continue as long as the banks are not split up, releasing them for normal functioning. They do not function now. Anyone who has tried a startup will see that.

      Research gets a pittance, crumbs from the masters table, is critical to a science and engineering economy. Sources of funding must be accountable.

      • He said that money should be pumped into start ups but did not explicitly say how. No mention of banks.

        My question is : what kind of start ups?

        • bonbon

          Strange that silence on banks, deafening in fact. The pumping between them is today a silent (religious) collection.

          The reasoning of “startups”, has become a sorry joke. The brilliant libertarian idiocy that everyone can be a Me Ltd, or Ich AG, is promoted by the agencies to get them off the books, and most go then privately bankrupt – off the books of course.

          This is the incredible Austrian School dogma that the economy is the “sum of the events that occur in it”.

          So the much batter concept of Hamiltonian Public Credit to move the entire economy to a higher platform, a totally anti-imperial direct antitote to the libertarian grip on gov’t and citizens alike, puts on the table something no (online) Uni teaches today. So let’s point out the utter bankruptcy of the houses of learning, dump the liberal imperial economics-for-dummies.

          • You’re coming through all garbled HAL. Run than one past me again please

          • cooldude

            What he means is that private business should be banned and we should all work for the state on massive 5 year projects designed by a guy called La Rouche. This was tried by Stalin and Mao Tse Tung and resulted in the deaths of millions of people. Totalitarianism in other words.

          • Tony Brogan

            Bon bon has a couple of loose wires Pauldiv.
            he needs rewiring. Can you help?

          • bonbon

            Have you not heard of the latest “job center” trick? It was debated here not long ago. The Me Ltd, or I Ltd, or Ich AG (germany) where everyone can be their own company and go bankrupt – true libertarianism. The State Agencies have adopted this Milton Friedman/Austrian School dogma. Many fell for this, and fell of the books. Keeps the numbers down you know.

            See below Moody’s report on the nex banking tsunami, and weep for startups.

          • I am a skilled wireman and could pull out my iron and pliers I suppose. It’s been a while mind you but I still have a steady hand even if the eye sight is kaput

          • bonbon

            I’d stay away from brain surgery then if I were you. Bad for business.

          • Tony Brogan

            Don’t worry about the lack of practice. If you think you may fry the circuits, would it be wise to make a back up first?

        • As was easily predicatable no one has a clue what kind of start ups Ireland should be focusing on. Any time I ask this question I draw a blank and even the man himself has no answers

          We don’t all have the cash and research resources to start tinkering with world beating atmospheric re-entry technologies

          I wonder what can be done with seaweed. It is everywhere

          Ice Cream anyone?

    • bonbon

      Link Quote : In one recent experiment, Stanford University attracted the interest of 356,000 people from 190 countries by offering three free online computer science courses. Forty-three thousand people received a certificate of completion of at least one course.

      That is about 1/9th actually completed and no indication of how well. How does that compare to real Uni’s?

      Reminds me of the “home-office” dilemma some firms have. Seems cheaper on paper, but what happens to the firm?

  23. Reality Check

    Education like Health is something you do to yourself.
    Why should access to any profession or be limited (in a gate keeper fashion) by the universities colluding with the professional bodies?
    One way to reduce prices paid for professional services is by increasing the supply of professionals.
    Let’s have online dergeees in;
    Labs/practicals could be condected in the same manner that the open university conducts labs and practicals.

    • bonbon

      And online brain surgery, with a signed online disclaimer that the site is not responsible for the content of links. That lucky surgeon can always be online, just like in student days! The patient could even browse as the work progressed! Wonderful. My God, he could even post here!

      Sickness is an individual choice in a free world, so we can choose to lower costs by not recognizing the expensive ailments; and the aged – well they did that to themselves, did’nt they?

      • Tony Brogan

        Surgery is already done by remote control with robot and patient in one location and the surgeon in another

        • bonbon

          By a surgeon hope. I know about the trends, first hand believe me.

          Most of these new projects are motivated by health care cost-cutting. Noticeable as CAT and PET scanner sales fall – these are capital intensive.

          I can list off these projects, but the main point is firms made rosy projections before 2007 and apparently were totally blindsided.

          Next time in the OP ask if the anaethesist has an MD or a technical background. Then remember they hold your very life in their hands.

          • Tony Brogan

            It is the required cut backs that force me to refer you to Pauldiv to get those cross wires fixed BB. He is likely to do it free of charge (no electriciy that is)to try to avoid making the mess worse than it already is.
            PS we will not require an anaethesist as with a little luck you will be out cold.

          • Tony Brogan

            Can you fix bb by remote control. He can plug in wherever and you can operate from Sligo”

    • cooldude

      The reason for this is because the modern “allopathic” health industry has been totally hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry. Modern day doctors and psychiatrists are little more than drug pushers for the pharmaceutical industry. Until the 1930′s other forms of medicine based on lifestyle, exercise, herbal remedies etc coexisted the the drug orientated “allopathic” form but since then the pharmaceutical industry has taken over all the medical schools and banned any form of teaching except the drug based one. The Rockefellar Foundation was at the heart of this with their tax free donations because they had a large stake in the growing pharmaceutical industry. This is also true of other parts of our education system including economics which nowadays only teaches the deeply flawed Keynesian school because it suits the banking industry and big government best. There are other schools which explain how an economy functions much better and I think most Keynesians are beginning to see that this endless stimulus and negative real interest rates is not getting us anywhere. If not they will very shortly.

  24. bonbon

    I wonder has this theme something to do with Bill Gates meeting Enda before Davos World Economic Forum? I wonder what “philanthropist” Gates has to say about education ?

    We know what he says about population reduction.

    • bonbon

      Education Reform
      The public school reform program of the Gates Foundation has come under criticism by education professionals, parents, and researchers for promoting reforms that they see as undermining public education. The reforms include closing neighborhood schools in favor of privately run charter schools; using standardized test scores extensively to evaluate students, teachers, and schools; and merit pay for teachers based on test scores. Critics also believe that the Gates Foundation exerts too much influence over public education policy without being accountable to voters or tax payers.

      Hmmm, the infamous points-system, privatized education, no accountability.

      Do the math, smell the coffee, or the champagne at Davos.

  25. “look at the celebratory reaction from the media and politicians to a rise in house prices.”

    That says it all David. I always find this perverse and am glad someone else feels the same. It is a sure sign that we live in an unnatural society.

  26. Interesting read. The main thing is that the graduates you mentioned did in fact graduate. They have achieved something and should feel a sense of pride in that achievement. What they do next is up to them and it is they who need to take responsibility for how they see the future

    Maybe you are right and that for some of them their proudest moment is behind them but that is the way of the world now and there is no point in moaning when the world does not hand you your dream on a plate

    Sligo IT have been offering online Degrees and Diplomas for years now and lectures are recorded and put online for distant learners

    Some of the teachers are poor in our institutions and I knew this when I was studying but the way I saw it is that it was my job as a mature student to educate myself and pass without moaning about the lecturers like a lot of students do. That is a cop out ultimately but I agree that lecturers could become more skilled communicators and their attitude seems to be ‘I don’t need to bother my backside’

    They are clever and they lack the passion to teach, unlike yourself and they don’t have the hunger. Maybe we should give the ball to the yellow pack lecturers who will run with it and prove themselves to be great teachers

    Studying at a campus has several advantages I can think of :

    You have to get up early every morning.
    Face to face contact with lecturers and staff.
    A sense of community.
    You make friends in the flesh and not on facebook.
    Clubs and Societies catering to your interests.
    Library facilities.
    Sports facilities.
    Student services.
    etc etc etc.

    Like the man said would you like your heart bypass operation being performed by someone with an online degree or someone who went to a bricks and mortal medical school

    Some subjects are fine for distant learning while others are best taught in school. That’s my view

    • bonbon

      Bricks and Mortar? You mean blood, tissue, nerves, bones and muscle I hope. At least that’s what I saw MD’s studying. Maybe things have changed though. The housing bubble maybe?

      The toughest usually fainted at anatomy class, and even taking blood samples victims keeled over. If someone faints in front of a google page, it’s for some other reason.

      • Reality Check

        University of Limerick (UL) Graduate entry Medical programme doesn’t use cadavers. The students learn/practice on rubber dummies.
        This course has been validated by the Medical council.
        Your point is rubbish.
        Would you object to a graduate from UL treating you because they didn’t learn with cadavers?

        • bonbon

          Ok, so they faint at the first real OP. Better they faint as students.
          It is a good question for any doctor, exactly how the training went.
          MD for dummies is a bad idea, even for rubber dummies.

          • Tony Brogan

            Reading finance for Dummies is a bad idea too. Better to go to an Austrian School for reading material.

      • Burke and Hare went out of business. They refused to move with the times by investing in plastics. I suspect their portfolio manager will face some serious questions!

    • Reality Check

      I wouldn’t care how a person studied or trained to be a Doctor as long as they achieved the necessary professional standard. (rigorously and independently tested of course).
      Why deny access to a profession because the traditional bricks and mortar universities block access?

      • bonbon

        More bricks and mortar – the housing bubble has gone to the cerebellum.

        • Reality Check

          I’ve broken the glass seagull with a strawberry flavoured bonbon.

          • bonbon

            Sorry to inform you but the prize went to Sandy Weill of CitiGroup as the self-proclaimed “Shatterer of Glass-Steagall” – he kept that framed in his office. Now he calls for Glass Steagall, rather like the reformed anarcho-bankster. So, no cigar.

            One can change, that’s what education is all about!

          • Tony Brogan

            Sandy Weil of the elite financiers of Citi Group. A too big to fail bailedout bank. He knows what is proposed is of no effect. He’s having you on. Same leopard, same spots.

    • joe hack

      I like some of your thoughts

  27. Reality Check

    Bonbon the Luddite. Teachers are being trained online a(Hibernia college) with no ill-effects – indeed many are saying the teachers being produced by online means are better.
    Why not in the professions like Medicine then?

    • bonbon

      No ill effects to the teachers, perhaps, but what about the kids?

      The theme here is Uni education. There academics usually teach as a necessary overhead to research, some have no teaching skills at all, but their students are not kids either.

      The human organism, I dare to inform you, is not bricks and mortar, and the human mind not a machine. An MD is not an engineer. Diagnosis, while philanthropists claim could be done online, or by the patients themselves to cut costs, involves human contact. Anatomy classes are something beyond most monetarists experience.

      Accountants today are making life and death medical decisions – healthcare reform – viewing the patient as a cost center, less than bricks and mortar. Look what they did to the economy – keep them away from human beings, they are a menace!

  28. Eireannach

    I started refreshing my school French on http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages . Now I speak fluent French – no lessons, no grinds! Granted, I lived in France for years which helps.

    But if it’s foreign language you’re learning, there are fantastic language labs on BBC languages. Free.

    It’s like the language learning pirate bay, but paid for by the British tax payer.

    • bonbon

      It’s funny to hear the bbc “language trained” abroad.

      Learn French in France, German in Germany, and Schwiizertüütsch in Chur. Online if ye want but living in the country.

      • Eireannach

        You wreck this blogroll, Bonbon.

        You really do.

        • cooldude

          Thanks for the link Eireannach. I have added it to my favs and am going to get down to learning Spanish which is something I have wanted to do for a while. Real education is a life long process and has nothing to do with “the system”.

        • bonbon

          Well you lived in France and are refreshing French. It would be unfair to give graduates the impression that bbc alone will do the job.

          Living in country is a totally different matter to online learning. That was my point. I suspect you may have noticed that too in France.

          So if language needs direct face-to-face daily contact to really hear what is actually spoken, then Uni’s need direct face-to-face contact at Labs, and with researchers.

          That’s my point.

        • Realist

          +1 every day more and more :)

        • Dorothy Jones

          Actually Eireannach; y’know that feckin crowd of plants who post under bonbon have polluted this blog. Mod thinks it’s ok; David thinks it;s ok; some of the posters think it’s ok.

          I think this crowd is sh*** and I’m out. No more DmcW for me, not that it matters. No gigs, no tweets, Bye y’all D

          • bonbon

            Those associated with investment banking in some way have a real problem with Glass-Steagall. Well, it is coming along, and it is good now to adjust outlook.

            Now back to real economics, real education.

            Keep an eye on Glass-Steagall, it is coming to a bank near you.

          • Dorothy Jones

            F*ck you you C*nt

          • Dorothy Jones

            Bonbon shower of f*ckwits

          • Then do something about it!

          • Realist

            And all bonbon could say to Dorothy is Glass-Steagall.

            David at least posts one dodgy article and do not bother us in the discussion, while bonbon cannot stop his governmental and know-everything crap at all.

            I went out a few times already but for whatever reason returned, as you might hear something smart, but only in discussions and almost nothing from David.

  29. Eireannach

    BTW you can learn everything in the whole world on http://www.khanacademy.org

    • Interesting links Eireannach. Khan academy has a section on macroeconomics that might interest some economics students


    • bonbon

      Not really. You can learn the exact economics that caused the collapse there and probably get an MBA too!

      Highly qualified to smash the economy. Look at the finance section – it’s exactly that.

      Which should be the point about education! Whether free or not, what is being promulgated, widely believed, is wrecking everything.

      • I know it is bs HAL but if you want to fit in and get on then you need to be seen to be playing the game. That is what most people do. They keep their heads down and work hard and achieve the position they aspired to within the systems and rules of their profession

        In some people alarm bells go off after a few years because they waken up seeing the futility of it all. Only the spiritually numb choose to stay asleep and pretend that everything is normal

        Others choose to go and seek real education and look for more meaningful answers. Wise people know that the answers are inside and that the best education of all is to know yourself and make the most of what you’ve got

        • bonbon

          Well alarm bells go off much faster today, the crash is in full tsunami mode. That opens the door to conceptions of Man and Nature, as the great poet Shelley said.

          And by the way poetry, classical music must form the basis for understanding economic development. It is an anti-entropic human activity, and in direct conflict with the “practical” pragmatic utterances from gov’t and citizens alike that have led to this collapse.

      • joe hack

        true; a copy paste education train them to conform to same mantra

  30. Webswite

    Free Education for Everyone
    against the neoliberal restructuring of Irish education


  31. Dorothy Jones

    I agree with you David [I'll be murdered].

    MIT has been a pioneer and has it’s courses online for a while now:

    Students in UCD get their stuff sorry ‘course material’ online on Blackboard in addition to the ‘talk and chalk’ methods.

    Some courses are suited to distance learning; some require a mixture of both.

    Anyway; as you know Brian Lucey of TCD has an article this Sarturday in the Examiner on this theme. Apparently TCD has not allowed him to introduce his module on the banking crisis in his course. I’m sure he’ll have valuable thoughts on the subject.

    Outmoded Institutions work for you though don’t they with Independent ’round the corner? :)

    I referred a potential UCD business student to Independent last week. They were excellent and clear; recognised his previous credits and offered MUCH better value. Good on them.


    • joe hack

      Blackboard now web-courses is farcical

    • Deco

      Would TCD bosses be merely expressing a policy that is complementary to the wishes of their main paymaster….the state ?

      • Dorothy Jones

        Maybe so indeed; It’ll be interesting to see what B Lucey writes on Sat. It seems bonkers not to allow the module on the banking crisis though, whatever way you cut it.

        Karl Whelan in UCD posts all his lectures for free on his blog.

        As does Stephen Kinsella of UL.

        Brian Lucey has lots of stuff on his blog, but the lectures are behind the TCD firewall.

        Some of Morgan Kelly UCD stuff was online; but the navigation on the UCD is not easy; so I can’t find it now. I did once!

        The content of David’s course and reading material is on Independent College’s website; just not at the minute. Course starts in October. It always looks great.

        Maybe David will include more on the banking crisis
        :):) TCD’s loss….

        With the international system anyhows, students are choosing courses of all nature and at all levels based on content and transferability of credits/recognition of credits earned. Brand UCD / TCD et al doesn’t carry as much kudos in many areas.

        And that’s a good thing to see!

  32. Dorothy Jones


    Stephen Kinsella of UL has just now tweeted this article on the perception of poor performance in Irish Universities.

    Yez’r all about this theme this week :)

  33. bonbon

    “We believe that many banks, in particular in Spain, Italy, Ireland, and the UK, require material amounts of additional provisions to fully clean up their balance sheets,” Moody’s said in its global banking outlook for 2013, meaning European taxpayers may again be tapped for cash, after raising 100′s of billions already, mostly from gov’ts.

    “Some banks have in recent years delayed full recognition of embedded loan losses, partly by restructuring loans,” the report added. “This strategy of buying time (often tolerated by regulators) limits a bank’s capacity for new lending and poses risks for creditors of European banks.” Moody’s did not say how much extra money banks would need.

    Glass-Steagall and full auditing of the zombies immediately!! Notice how Moody says lying stops lending.

  34. joe hack

    David you make some valid points towards a degree in copying and pasting

    (I won’t miss Her Majestic Voice ‘HMV’)

    To compare a private company like HMV to “the people’s educational system” is not valid.


    Education, as you have previously addressed is not only about a points system or a factory fodder system. Your suggestion for education institutions to go online in an effort to avoid HMVs faith is like apples and oranges I won’t miss HMV nor will those who frequented it. If the education system was solely in the business factory fodder, then the company that gain from this part educational system should do this type factory fodder training and I don’t mean the slave labour of internships (a person will never be out job if they work for free).

    Well you know that education is not just a training program of monkey see, monkey do, it has far more reaching affects than that, it is about interacting with like mined individuals and communicating with them , in fact having a bad tutor is part of that process of learning.

    Learning to deal and overcome the tutor’s faults is part of that process (and later maybe the bosses’ faults), you learn from dealing with the not so talented and talented students, you learn much more about yourself and your abilities.

    Imagine Psychiatrists and psychologists studying alone in a dark damp bed sit now that would create a monster out of some of them. the people that do this type of course to fist find out about themselves or their past issues, I have met several of them and not one did not have background of some form of abuse and /or lived in an abusive family environments or with some perceived form of abuse, but they learned.

    There are certainly lots of flaws with the education system and there are certainly lots of people that would benefit from online education programs.
    Stop living in a world of money; diversity of opinion which I believe you’re a fan is a good thing.

    Education or money which comes first, the original educators set out to discover today we copy and paste and copy the postings of others whom have copied and pasted, this is moronic within the online and offline education system but as you have said it might make one appear intelligent.

    If I was basing a money system on anything it would be on discovery, certainly not gold and trinkets and fiats they rust, so let’s spend that PROMISED NOTE on a learning process of discovery we can argue which project is best but that in itself would be a start.

    (3.1 billion on a promise to learn like the bad and great kings and queens of the past, maybe we should in some ways thank them?)

    The irrational transcendental number of the 3.1 billion would go a long way towards discovering the worlds around us, the universe and everything and when we find everything we can look for more of everything.

    This a true progression, a way to be a omnipotent race, we will discover ourselves and most likely we will find we are not omnipotent but at least we will open our minds, and that there is what education is (more knowledge) not the online offline copy and paste, that we now have.

    Your keep plugging the moneyed destruction of us/me /my children and maybe my grandchildren that may follow, that is you are advocating the production more stuff, what In the name of moneys am I going to do with the android ‘horse-Pie version 4.3.14159265359….’

    As a father do you really want your kids to learn to copy and paste…So that they can be part of the junk production team, are do you see as the talented….

    “And those who get jobs are seeing their wages fall. Last week, we saw graduate nurses’ entry level wages set at €22,000 a year — 20pc less than their colleagues. These ‘yellow-pack’ nurses will also earn the same as many workers in unskilled jobs, despite having spent four years in college. However, the new recruits will have the same responsibilities and be expected to carry out the same work as their colleagues.” How will online education change this?

    Social mobility what it that? Debt? Was it much more pronounced before the sixties?

  35. joe hack


    most of what you write has %$£€ all to do the education system



    “30 are working voluntarily (unpaid physiotherapists).
    16 are doing further study (13 in the area of physiotherapy).
    49 are currently unemployed or working outside of physiotherapy.
    10 have emigrated.
    One is employed in HSE/voluntary hospital/through an agency.”






  36. joe hack



    Most of what you write has F$£€ all to do the education system.



    “30 are working voluntarily (unpaid physiotherapists).
    16 are doing further study (13 in the area of physiotherapy).
    49 are currently unemployed or working outside of physiotherapy.
    10 have emigrated.
    One is employed in HSE/voluntary hospital/through an agency.”






    • dwalsh

      Well said Joe.

    • Hi Joe,

      You seem quite angry. The point of the article is to highlight that a social contact, and “understanding” regarding education and social change may be breaking down. As for teaching itself, I do give courses and enjoy them. I think the students do too.



      • joe hack

        What has the education system got to do with nurses on yellow pack wages?

        Nurses, not so long ago, did not need a degree, the degree came about in an attempt by Nurses to pull up the ladder by those already in the nursing profession The leaving cert was all that was required to train as a nurse.

        Your appear to be advocating college as factory fodder business only, the originally educators had much more noble reasons as you well know, the arts degrees are very unlikely to return jobs.

        As for social contracts they have been broken within the banking system and the economy it has nothing to do with the online VS offline training system.

        The lack jobs have nothing to with online or-off line training in fact it is more likely that online training will export jobs where will your social contract be then.

        There is merit in some type’s online vs offline training courses but most online courses are junk and there is certainly no social contact when completed.

        “In 1994 nurse training changed from a certificate/ apprenticeship programme to a 3-year Registration/Diploma Programme. The 4-year Registration/Degree Programmes were introduced in 2002.”

        There was a social contract were by people paid taxes for services it was broken by greed and incompetence’s of those in charge we now pay taxes outside of any social contract. The people of Ireland had no contract with the banks to pay their debts.

        I try to ask again David, how would the unemployment of graduates change as a result of attaining their degrees online and as opposed to attaining their degrees in a brick building? (if the jobs a there even those without degrees get jobs)

      • He is angry Davido but forgive the anger as you forgave mine on occasions. We are all civil at heart come the end of the day and anger turns to fear, or, at worst, apathy and at the edge of the abyss it can even turn to pure ecstacy. A spiritual education can’t be bought for all the coin in Ireland and it is something that has to be found either by design or by chance

        Any true rambler will know what I am on about and there is a lot to be said for living the true life of a rambler. It is marvelous and for some reason it makes people jealous when they see someone getting trough life and being happy with what seems like very little

        The person with very little is often the richest of them all

        Complete freedom is only felt when you have nothing left and nothing to lose. You feel like a loser for a time and the rebirth begins from a clean slate and with childlike simplcity. Then you feel invincible and like the warrior because you ventured to the quiet of the wilderness and learned to know your real self. It’s a cliche but it is true

        Reaching rock bottom is to be recommended to everyone at least once in their lifetime and it happens to us all

        Especially when you know that your education has not been in vain and something that will outlast the duration of a job or a career. Education is lifelong and a personal responsibility that is far too important to be concerned with one career or god forbid one calling. A degree or a phd means eff all and is not worth anything in itself. You need more. Much more

        People are taking pot shots at you and reading between the lines it sounds like you have vested interests in private education. That’s fair enough. I hope they give it with both barrels because it sounds like elitism to me and that you are not being straight. I personally don’t like private education because it produces snobs

        If someone had a mind to they could learn all they need to know in 6 months to walk the walk and talk the talk in your world because it is a case of putting logical questions to a profession which does not have logical answers. A sitting duck that can be torn to shreds in seconds, violently if need be and that has no credibility left whatsoever

        If people are paying you for education then what does that tell you when all they need to know is available online and in libraries?

        It tells me that they are middle class and that they have plenty of disposable income. It tells me that they have never read the story of self educated men like James Connolly. It tells me that they think education can be bought and that it will give them credibility

        Vinnie Browne, Sommerville, Gurdiev et all – I’d like to get you all into a room because I’d smash your heads together and say right lads get this thing sorted right away. I want to fix the country and not to be buying all your books. Waken the hell up guys

        All social contracts are broken and it the responsibility of us all to rebel, today preferably and with determination, controlled anger and quiet dignity. It is the only action open to any thinking person who has left a shred of self respect and who had no intention of playing into the hand of bullies in crash helmets swinging batons

        The alternative for most (80%) is to live life on the edges of society looking in while suffering in silence. I speak from the heart and from experience but no-one is listening. It’s hard to motivate a village full of simple people who cower and still bow to the sight of the cloth. It makes you feel like a streanger when you see all the cars outside chapel on a sat night and it makes you think there is no hope and that you are the only person awake

        And to alleviate the hoplessness they send you letters informing you of courses like:

        ‘Young, Eager and Willing to Learn!’

        Is this country full of fucking simpletones or what I ask.

        I mean. Imagine putting that on your cv.

        Surely the HR person would be belly laughing before scrunching it up and tossing into to the basket among with all the others

        ‘Young, Eager and Willing to Bend Over’!’

  37. Pat Flannery

    Future conversation on a Dublin bus – “what course are you taking?” Mary: “I’m taking an online associate degree in Child Psychology with an Australian university prior to moving there and finishing a full Bachelor degree. How about you?” Sean: “Oh, I’m doing an online course in Agricultural Science with a specialty in genetically modified corn with a Canadian university.”

    Maybe that is what it will take to wake up the smug Irish academics and politicians. I thank you for ringing the warning bell.

    • joe hack

      “Maybe that is what it will take to wake up the smug Irish academics and politicians.”


  38. dwalsh

    Come on David!!
    You cannot blame school teachers and universities for the state of the jobs market. No one ever said education guarantees a job; only that education gives a person more options; or higher options.

    The business community and the public sector is responsible for creating employment….not schools or universities.

    Due to the irresponsible fiscal miss-management of our economy; and the reckless gambling of our banks and other financial outfits; our economy has been seriously damaged and is contracting.

    This is not the fault of teachers or lecturers.

    In fact it is outrageous to make such a claim.
    If I didnt know better I might think you were a troll!!
    (I am not a teacher or lecturer)

  39. Deco

    UCD’s biggest problem is that it’s graduates are all over the current banking and wider economic policy mess.

    TCD’s problem is that it is number 2 in the roll of honour, with traditional employers like BoI and IL&P splattered all over the floor. TCD’s biggest stars like Michael O’Leary have not exactly been glowing in their reviews of it.

    I hope they have decided to have reassess what they are teaching graduates.

    • joe hack

      Thank you for the thinking Food;

      Maybe each college should not allow anyone to read the so called great economist and should be banned from quoting them.

      We may then get people who learn factual economics, just the facts and not someone else view or politics.

      When they go into the real world they can chose their own idols

      They also need to prepare them on how to be a whistle-blower without losing their lively hoods but no, the truth is not allowed.

      • Deco

        Irish defamation law, ensures that people will not even open their mouth when they see something, never stand up and be a whistle blower.

        • bonbon

          Of course it is possible to criticize a curriculum, but much better to present a better far superior one, and much much harder.

          So point out the utter bankrupcy of most economics courses, to which you point very correctly. The exact same bankrupcy exists in most online, privatized or free courses (as if the funding source determined truth?).

          It is not the law, rather popularity-seeking, going-along to get-along that keeps the mouth shut, or conversely raging about some irrelevant “issue”.

  40. bonbon

    Here is an online introduction to Educationg a Renaissance

    Ireland — An Economic Revival, (Based on Marine Transport, Engineering and Scientific Exploration).

    Some features may be happily found breaking out at an Uni near you – and in unexpected quarters. And why not help those Uni’s to be brave – after all students are their life and soul.

    Nothing less than a Renaissance is now needed. The New Dark Age rapidly casting a deathly shadow must be banished.

    • Realist

      Last thing our heads need to think of is a “A Vision of Transport in Ireland in 2050.”

      Like anybody can possibly know what is that going to be in 50 years so to put a lot of resources in that direction by our new beloved national bank.

      Are you bonbon considering yourself that smart?

      • bonbon

        The future determines the present economic action, and the choice of two counterposed forecasts does indeed put the issue of civilization on the table. This is what economics is all about, or rather should be, instead of searching statistics for a grain of (golden) truth.

        One “forecast” by Dr. Schellnhuber and also by Sir David Attenborough is for massive population culling – openly stated. And be sure they will go for that if not decisively countered with Reconstruction on a massive scale. A generation at least of major work to be done.

        So it becomes rather obvious what to do. It’s not some magic incantation, it is real economics. It has a successfull precedent, FDR’s grand success.

        • dwalsh

          The only people allowed to plan in Realist’s austrian dystopia are the private sector….they plan for their own profitability….and magically this produces the best of all possible worlds.

          • Realist

            dwalsh – are you saying you are against the profit ?

            The profit is the only thing that drives the actors in economy.
            For example, I am sure you want to get return on your savings and investments above inflation.
            How are you going to achieve that ?
            Who is going to give you that return if not some profitable company ?

            And all this fallacy is coming from the fact that in exchanges between two parties one party profits and one looses.
            Are you going to grown up dwalsh and realize then both parties in exchange profits (when forceful way not used)!!!!!

          • Realist

            What about some most profitable companies, like Google, Amazon and Apple. Would you stop them prifiting and advancing the science and human progress ?

            I only hate when companies profit from the governmental privileges, like patent laws, tarrifs, grants, tax releifs, subsidies, …
            I am for free competition where best will survive and worst die.
            At the end only competition is lowering the profit of best while bringing cheaper products to the community.

  41. Tony Brogan

    Education. Been thinking. That is what my postings are all about. There is a complete lack of understanding of how the economy works. A total lack of understanding of the function of money.

    It is this basic ignorance that has allowed the manipulations and the booms and now the ongoing greater depression. That is why there is no work for the graduates. The other reason is that they think jobs open up because they appear. Wrong again.

    People have to tailor their expectations to what is wanted and needed. The ‘sense of entitement’ causes them to think that a job will be there because they trained for it.

    Better a person takes any job to support themselves and then figure out where to go and what to do from there than to go to school for 8 years post secondary and find themselves with a Phd and washing dishes in the kitchen of a fast food outlet.

    In order to avoid such an event as the Greater Depression upon us today, people need to be educated as to how an economy works. Educated in what money is and is not. When that is achieved there is hope that the political process will provide the right foundation for a thriving economy and that jobs will be plentiful for those that want them. That the people will prosper.

    I talked in the last theme that the only reason I contribute to the blog is to try to educate others. That used to be the major sources of information for people; learning from each other. We rely too much on a ‘system’ to educate us.

    I have found this blog to be a source of learning and I am caused to research and check information from the various presenters herein. This will not give me credentials but will make me a more rounded person and more fulfilled. Maybe some of my information will be useful to others.

    That is the value of this blog. it is an educational tool for those that want to use it.

    Read and learn and enjoy.

    Time for a bike ride.As I ride I mull over events and ideas. Go for a run, it is good for the soul.

    • bonbon

      Then let’s see how FDR ended the Great Depression, started a massive Recovery, financed it, and with a much stronger economy defeated fascism to become the greatest economy the world had ever seen. He certainly did not follow any product of the London School of Economics, neither Keynes nor Hayek/Fisher. He followed Hamilton, not taught at the LSE’s affiliates, and never mentioned at Irish Uni’s.

      Strange that, as the founder of Eire, Arthur Griffith, educated everyone with the United Irishman, on exactly that economics, explained very well by Friedrich List. Ireland has a long history of education, and always managed even under the genocidal yoke of the British Empire to continue that.

      • Tony Brogan

        Your education did not endow you with original thinking bon bon. just a programed mind ala LaRouche. Quite a waste of exceptional talent

      • bonbon

        Still nothing to offer on reconstruction after the damage that has been done. This is the litmus test.

        Civilized humans are not thrown into society, and have a long development of principles. Animals are totally liberated from that, have no past nor future.

        It is a choice – civilization or beast.

        • whatamess

          “Then let’s see how FDR ended the Great Depression, started a massive Recovery, financed it, and with a much stronger economy defeated fascism to become the greatest economy the world had ever seen. He certainly did not follow any product of the London School of Economics, neither Keynes nor Hayek/Fisher. He followed Hamilton, not taught at the LSE’s affiliates, and never mentioned at Irish Uni’s.” — “Original thinking” is not needed tho’ Tony to point out we have dug ourselves outa deep holes before and as we are all so enslaved now in the biggest hole we’ve ever been in ,that we don’t have the ability to think outside the box and arrive at a mega solution(multi pronged) to a mega problem.and yes it will have to be MEGA! Reconstruction,in whatever guise,must happen!Event horizon fast approaching.It’s self sabotage to ignore the enormity of the fast approaching tsunami about to devour us!

          i wrote before that “cleaning from the inside out” is what’s needed.I’m a goldbug just like you Tony,but gold won’t save the day,as i suspect you will agree.We did emerge from The Great Depression and we need desperately to do the same now.Discussing all these ‘side-line’ issues is an exercise in futility and extreme self-denial in it’s essence.critical mass has been reached.I’m not worried that the plane’s landing gear is faulty when i’m about to crash at 300mph into a mountain.

          • Tony Brogan

            Getting rid of the banking and current money system is key. All else is in vain until that is done..
            Hoping for a mega project to ‘save us all’ is to agree to play the bankers game.
            Any project will be controlled by them as the enslaved cry to their captors to be released. Not going to happen

            It is up to the people themselves to save themselves. Looking for a savior to bail everyone out is a loss and a waste of time. Tighter bindings will be the result.

    • Your contributions are valued because you talk in plain english and your life experience is plain to see. It’s good to read contributions from anyone who has a mature head and is consistent

      The blog is what you make it and I think like me you get a lot out of it. There is the odd fly that keeps buzzing around but they are just harmless flies

      Ps. Enjoy the bike ride. I was up in the hills today and it cleared the head good style

  42. joe sod

    There are probably too many going to third level doing dubious courses. There are vacancies in specialised technical areas but thats always the case and the shortage skills always change from year to year. In general most jobs in Ireland despite all the protestations do not require huge levels of education and I think the skills to do the vast majority of jobs can be picked up in 6 months. Most jobs now are service type jobs puffed up to sound bigger than they actually are.I think because we live in a globalised world most of the industrial production is being done by fewer and fewer people and companies. We drive VWs or BMWs, we all use facebook social sites on apple ipads or laptops. Therefore these companies and countries dominate and everybody else buys their products, so its winner takes all.

    • McGoo

      Actually, there are plenty of jobs in Ireland that require years and years of training and experience. The real problem is that they usually don’t pay much better than those jobs that can be picked up in 6 months. So, back to David’s question, does education provide a financial return on investment? According to a study in the UK, only 4 university courses provide any finanical return: Medicine, Dentistry, Law, and Economics. Taking any other university course is about getting a job that you are interested in, not about getting a better-paid job. And, in most cases, it doesn’t work – people graduate, fail to find that dream job, and and up in one of those 6-months-to-learn jobs, with a big student debt to repay. But, there can be a pay-off later in their career – many companies still refuse to promote above a certain level without a degree.

  43. joe hack

    I did not know that David Mc worked for the INM college until about hour are so ago, I had made assumptions that now appear to be correct, self promotion David is not noble…

  44. Tony Brogan

    David Icke on education and other things


  45. SMOKEY

    “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”
    First heard this one in Annie Hall.
    Shaw I think, still relevant.

  46. SMOKEY

    It’s easy, for example, to defend high-priced famous colleges if you focus on the ideal situation. The ideal student, getting instruction from the ideal professor and making ideal progress. No one can argue with this.

    On the other hand, when we see the outlier (the person who is manipulating the system, or the one who is being harmed by it) i.e. unemployed, it’s easy to generalize in precisely the other direction, deciding that the entire system isn’t worth saving

    Maybe we are going to arrive somewhere in the middle?

  47. Reality Check

    David said; “Probably the biggest threat to universities is found in the findings of a 12-year study by the US Department of Education, which concluded: “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

    The reason for this is simple thoise who master the skill of self-directed learning are more motivated to succeed in education.
    Online degree students master the skill of self directed learning – the opposite of rote learning.
    Self directed learing is a key component of problem based learning (PBL) which is being incorporated into Healtcare based professional training like Medicine.

    High Time then for an online based Medical degree, This would increase doctor numbers to a sufficent amount thereby puting an end to the abuse of EWTD (European working time directive) by the HSE.

  48. Reality Check

    David said; “Probably the biggest threat to universities is found in the findings of a 12-year study by the US Department of Education, which concluded: “On average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.”

    The reason for this is simple those who master the skill of self-directed learning are more motivated to succeed in education.
    Online degree students master the skill of self directed learning – the opposite of rote learning.
    Self directed learing is a key component of problem based learning (PBL) which is being incorporated into Healtcare based professional training like Medicine.

    High Time then for an online based Medical degree, This would increase doctor numbers to a sufficent amount thereby puting an end to the abuse of EWTD (European working time directive) by the HSE.

    • joe hack


      So if doctors train online as opposed to off-line they will get jobs. did the minster for health James Reilly say that he would employ more doctors

      What offline 3rd level college does not use self directed learning

      • Reality Check

        I never said they shouldn’t be trained offline.
        I’m saying Medical degrees should be available in an online format.
        University of Limerick uses the problem based learning approach. A small amount of lectures with group based practical learning.
        There is no reason why a Medical degree couldn’t be delivered online — lectures via webcast and group meetings/tutorials via a web conferencing medium such as http://www.gotomeeting.com

        • joe hack

          how will that create jobs in Ireland in fact the site you link to is out side of Ireland

          • Reality Check

            More Doctors need to be trained to comply with EWTD.
            Anatomy and physiology are being delivered online.
            No reason why a medical degree couldn’t be.

          • joe hack

            How will that create jobs in Ireland in fact the site you link to is out side of Ireland…

          • Realist

            Paying more efficient company anywhere in the world helps both sides, both foreign efficient company and domestic companies. To see how it helps domestic market you need to understand this flow:

            The site is outside Ireland ==> less jobs in brick and mortal universities ==> less taxpayers money spend on it ==> more workforce available means more competition, lower price of labour ==> more money in taxpayers pockets means more money in economy ==> this means more economic activities domestically ==> more jobs created by companies employing cheaper and more skillfull labour while using money leftover in our pockets.

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