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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I understand from IT Week (21st August 2006) that there has been an 8% drop from last year in the number of FE students taking IT or Computing A-levels. Apparently only 20,000 students took IT-related A-levels this year in comparison to some 28,000 in 2003.

I'm not entirely surprised at these figures and from my own occasional involvement in lecturing at university level, I conclude that it is only part of a definite drift away from "hard subjects". I can quite see why students, faced with a subject that essentially asks questions that can either be right or wrong and has less subjectivity than many other softer programmes, might opt for the certainty of a higher grade and an arguably easier subject.

Furthermore, I can definitely see why hard pushed FE colleges and sixth forms might favour their students taking subjects that ensure their league standing is increased by having their students achieve relatively higher results. I certainly know that what is measured gets done and we are measuring colleges and sixth forms on this.

What particularly worries me is where we will stand as a country in the future, with a knowledge-based economy where there aren't enough graduates with the right skills.

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