As 200,000 university applicants are set to miss out on a place in 2010 should the application process be competitive?

Due to the recession there are thousands more applicants to universities than there has been in the past. At the same time the government is cutting the funding they give to universities. The result is a squeeze on the number of places available for students starting this year. So how should the Universities decide who does not get a place anywhere?

As 200,000 university applicants are set to miss out on a place in 2010 should the application process be competitive?

Yes because... No because...

Ability to function in a competitive situation does not equal academic competence.

While it may not be necessary at University, there will be a competitive environment when applying for jobs or trying to enter the world of paid academia that students need to be prepared for.

The problem with making application more and more competitive is that the skills required for applying competitively are not the same as those required to do well at University. To survive in a highly competitive environment, you have to be a confident, assertive, determined and good at promoting yourself and often willing to sacrifice personal integrity. There are many brilliant academics who are quiet and reserved. Many would rather maintain high standards and push themselves constantly than praise themselves when they do not feel they have achieved greatness yet. Those with integrity who treat University as a chapel of education will not feel it appropriate to sell themselves in such a way.

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