French students shy of real world
First off is this mention that the French education system is not all that good:
But despite the nationwide passion for education, surprisingly, not a single French university makes it into the world's top 40.I know these lists can be subjective, but to not have a single one make a top 40 list is interesting.
So what are the French students studying (besides the anatomy of fellow students, I mean)?
There are 65,000 psychology students in France - that is a quarter of the European total for that subject.Not exactly future hard-driving engines of commerce, it would seem.
I asked a passing student what he wanted to do when he left university. "I want to be an eternal student, " he said. "Just learning for learning's sake."
So, how is the unemployment rate in France? Maybe jobs are overflowing so having employable skills is not a concern?
The national unemployment rate may have recently fallen to just under 8%, but in Montpellier it stands at 11.3%.To put this in perspective, every night on their TV news broadcasts, the BBC is claiming gloom and doom for the U.S. economy because the U.S. unemployment rate is 4.8%. But in France the rate is close to double that, near triple in Montpellier and this guy wants to be an eternal student.
Eternal leech on society is more like it.
So how well prepared are these students for the real world? Not very.
At the local careers office, counsellor Agnes Urhweiller told me she worried that the French education system was completely out of sync with the world of business.Gee, who would think that in a socialist country the students are not being prepared for a productive career in the business world?
Ms Urhweiller regularly sees hundreds of students who are well qualified but who have no real skills to offer employers.
So where do socialists-in-training want to spend their careers?
A recent survey showed that 75% of graduates want to work in the public sector because civil servants and teachers enjoy a high level of social protection.That's right, being good little socialists, wrapped in the protective blanket of socialism itself. Yet now they're getting worried:
Marc Willinger, an economist at Montpellier University, believes young people today live in a more precarious world than their parents did.Notice the focus of government hand outs. But as far as their being in more precarious times, that's nonsense. No generation has guarantees for a soft life. You don't just walk from the graduation platform into a six-figure salary with a 401k and a corner office.
Not only is finding permanent work more difficult, but - with the state coffers empty - their retirement will not be cushioned by the government hand outs their parents will enjoy.
I graduated into the middle of the 1980-81 recession and worked as a security guard for a while.
Then get a load of this generational-socialist jealousy:
And they have to live with that every day - not just because of unemployment but also because they have a much higher burden than the previous generation. They will have to care for themselves, for their children and they'll also have to care for their parents' generation.Hey, you socialists at the BBC, here's a news flash for you. Every generation has to care for themselves, their own children, and at some point their parents as they age. That is what is called a family, you self-obsessed morons.
However, there is some hope for the young generation:
Kia, who is training to be a waitress, told me she thought young people's expectations were too high.People like Kia and Anthony will go a lot farther in life than the eternal students.
She said that while some might scoff that she was "only a waitress", she enjoyed her work and believed it was a good thing to get a job and to get on with life.
Anthony, aged 20, is in the catering business. He was also adamant that young people should stand on their own two feet.
"I don't have any family," he said.
"But you can't say the government has to help me because I don't have parents - I can't blame them. Young people are often lazy and think everything is owed to them but we need to work and to prove ourselves and then we can have dignity."