Society today has no place for academic snobbery

2nd November 2007 at 00:00

Edge is delighted to have stimulated such a passionate reaction from Stephen Jones ("Parity teeters on a knife-edge", October 19) and welcomes his admission that he too has been guilty of academic snobbery. He is not alone, and his comments are exactly why Edge, an education foundation promoting the benefits of practical and vocational learning, is running its campaign `Another Way Forward'.

However, his reaction does prompt a passionate response of our own - namely that it's not a simple choice between university and bricklaying, a step on the social mobility ladder versus the tradesmen's entrances.

The world has moved on: vocational learning is about sound engineering, graphic design and software developers, careers that any parent should be proud for their child to pursue, but may not require a university education. It would be easy to sit back and accept the view that vocational qualifications are inferior and that to challenge this perception is only doomed to failure, but if everyone took that view how would society ever move forward?

Garry Hawkes, Chairman, Edge.

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