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Gap year or NOT - are they useful?


Geoffrey Settle
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Indy's appearance on Radio Five Live with Tony Livesy has raised the opportunity for us to bebate the effectiveness of Gap Years.

 

Indy argues that they are inneffective and quote's his son as not being in favour.

 

For my son it was a great career move because he spent it in Perth, Australia, taking what he had learnt as a Wolves Primary Link Coach and Priestley BTEC studies student and exporting it to the city. He had to set up his own business and worked with schools and the Western Red Rugby League team - he's now working as the North Yorksire RFL officer, developing Rugby League.

 

Here is a link to Tony's views?

 

To hear Indy's first debate simply click here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0110gdj . choose the iplayer show from Tuesday 10th May. My debate starts at 2hrs & 17 mins into the show, straight after President Obahma story .....

 

I only got as far as the Isle of Man working in a hotel for two lots of 3 months but the things I learnt in that job my jobs have stayed with me and been useful throughout my career, especially customer service.

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Indy's appearance on Radio Five Live with Tony Livesy has raised the opportunity for us to bebate the effectiveness of Gap Years.

 

Indy argues that they are inneffective and quote's his son who went straight to Leeds University as not being in favour because they disrupt the continuity of learning.

 

For my son his gap year was a great move because he spent it in Perth, Australia. He took what he had learnt in Warrington as a Wolves Primary Link Coach and Priestley BTEC studies student and exporting this knowledge and experience to Australia. He had to set up his own business and worked with schools and the Western Reds Rugby League team - he's now working as the North Yorkshire RFL officer, developing Rugby League from his base in York.

 

Here is a link to INDY's views?

 

To hear Indy's first debate simply click here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0110gdj . choose the iplayer show from Tuesday 10th May. My debate starts at 2hrs & 17 mins into the show, straight after President Obahma story .....

 

For myself, I only got as far as the Isle of Man working in a hotel back in the 70's for two summer seasons. What I learnt during my time there in several jobs has stayed with me and been very useful throughout my career, especially customer service and team work.

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Personally, I'm all in favour of a gap year - or even two.

 

I think 18 is often too young to know what it is you want to study for the next 3 to 5 years - never mind what sort of a career you want to build.

 

In fact, currently decisions on universities and courses are being taken aged 17 when UCAS form have to be filled in - this is a time when a student is only just half way through their A-Levels, does not really know which subjects they want to pursue, and has to make a guess at what grades they are likely to acheive.

 

Putting unversity entry back to age 19 or 20 would mean that the whole course selection and application process would be based on the solid foundation of what results an individual had actually acheived. It would then completely remove the need for the ridiculous panic that is the clearing system - did you know that there are courses which have drawn their ENTIRE intake from clearing? In other words, we are paying for courses which NOBODY wanted to apply for!

 

A year or two of working a "normal" job, even if it's just a production line or labouring job, would equip those going on to uni with a greater understanding of time and money management. Which would hopefully ease the transition from teacher driven to self driven study - and from living at home to living away and meeting the bills.

 

It would also give them opportunities to come into contact with a wide range of people with different priorities and attitudes than they have previously met in their sixth form common rooms.

 

Some of them would also probably find that they don't want or need to go to uni after all. At 18 they've just spent the past 5 or more years in relentless single minded pursuit of exam grades to climb the next rung on the educational ladder, with a university place and a degree being the pinnacle they've been brain washed into striving for. Given a pause to review their options they might well decide that a BA in David Beckham Studies isn't the be all and end all, they might even decide to do something useful like becoming a skilled plumber, builder, tree sugeon or electrician after labouring for one for a while.

 

All of this would hopefully lead to a big reduction in the waste of resources which is represented by the current drop out rate from degree courses (over 50% at some institutions!), as well as turning out more rounded individuals at the end of it.

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Ridiculous idea. Get them working and earning whilst they make their minds up.

 

Who said you don't earn money during a gap year, plus you can get some practical experience and money in the bank to put towards your life at uni?

 

How many on here have said that the problem with graduates is that they are wet behind the ear and have no life or work experiences - well a gap year can give all those things. :wink:

 

As for National service - did you enjoy yours Obs :?:

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Can I have a tax payer funded gap year? Between my 59th and 60th birthday would be nice because that gives you a couple of months to decide :wink::wink:

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Is a gap year an official thing or is it just a name given to a longer period of that a person decides to take off because studying/working is boring and they fancy doing something else for a while.

 

Who actually takes 'gap years'? Is it students between A Levels and University or are they taken during university etc etc.

 

I'd like a gap year too please :D

 

My son currenly appears to be on one ... it's otherwise known as attending Warrington Collegiate :lol::wink:

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Commonly, it's a year taken between A Levels and university - spent either working to build up some cash/learn to drive/buy a car, or spent travelling to see a bit of the world.

 

Often a bit of both - travelling and funding it by working the grape harvests etc. in various countries around the world.

 

At it's best it's a year spent doing some growing up, at it's worst it's a wasted year in front of the Xbox.

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Is a gap year an official thing....?

 

Strictly, it only applies to those who have deferred entry to Uni for a year - eg, they would be applying now for a start in September 2012 (not many of them this year though!). That's how you know it's only a year.

 

The term is used more broadly though, but just bumming around and watching daytime TV with no short or long term plans doesn't count.

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Wikipedia's definition is as follows:

A gap year (also known as year abroad, year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year, time off and time out) is a year during which students take time off and do something other than schooling, such as travel or work. The gap year is most commonly taken after secondary school and before starting university. However, over recent years there has been an increase in 21-23 year olds taking a gap year after completing their degree

 

But I think it is also used by some companies who release their workers for a set period to study, travel or gain work experience elsewhere with the proviso that their job will be there when they return. However with today's economic climate this sort of offer is limited.

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A year or two of working a "normal" job, even if it's just a production line or labouring job, would equip those going on to uni with a greater understanding of time and money management. Which would hopefully ease the transition from teacher driven to self driven study - and from living at home to living away and meeting the bills.

 

It would also give them opportunities to come into contact with a wide range of people with different priorities and attitudes than they have previously met in their sixth form common rooms.

 

I agree Inky - they should get out and actually work - then if they want to go to college - they should pay for it. I do believe that things that are earned are much better than things that are given(work wise). :wink:

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