University not ‘the-be-all-and-end-all’

​Too many parents and teachers promote university as automatically the best pathway after school, to the detriment of less academic pupils, according to a leading Scottish industrialist.

Sir Ian told a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee: “There is a real cultural thing about university being the be-all-and-end-all and therefore anything that is not university frankly tends to get secondary consideration.

“Parents are at fault, teachers are at fault, some schools are at fault,” he added.

Apprenticeships and trades occupations need to be given a higher status, particularly as many young people who had a technical education earned more than university graduates, he said.

“A lot of people go to university because their parents want them to go to university … but they come out and they are still not sure what they want to do and the qualification hasn’t really helped them an awful lot.

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