Matt's Crow Country: Time for a rethink on further education

I KNOW we re supposed to be officially out of the recession now, but these are still troubled financial times. And while it s never nice to see anyone losing their jobs, unfortunately it s a fact of life that cuts are still being made in every sector of s

I KNOW we're supposed to be officially out of the recession now, but these are still troubled financial times.

And while it's never nice to see anyone losing their jobs, unfortunately it's a fact of life that cuts are still being made in every sector of society.

Last week it was announced that higher education is the latest area feeling the pinch, with �449million of central government funding - via the Higher Education Funding Council for England - being stripped from university budgets as of next year. This has in turn led to fears that a lot of college and university staff will lose their jobs.

I have great sympathy with anyone whose livelihood is under threat, but this was always going to happen at some stage.


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Over the last few years the virtues of higher education have been constantly pushed by the government, meaning we now have more degree courses than ever before, and that people who don't even need to go to university are spending three years there for the sake of it.

A lot of these graduates finish their course then go into a job completely unrelated to the subject they have spent a considerable amount of time studying. And while education is important for our society as a whole, there needs to be a healthy balance between academic courses and vocational training programmes. Perhaps something positive will come from these cuts, and they will necessitate a rethink of the system.

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John Terry has already generated more than enough column inches to last a lifetime, but I thought I'd add a few more about the decision to strip him of the England captaincy.

I don't like Terry very much, so don't have a problem with boss Fabio Capello ditching him as skipper after his extra-marital exploits. I also think the significance of the captaincy is massively over emphasised - I liked the description I spotted in another august journal that its importance is akin to that of a regimental goat mascot - so in that respect I don't think the person wearing the armband in South Africa will make any difference to the team's progress.

However, I do think that if the FA are trying to make a moral point then they've scored an own goal by passing the captaincy on to Rio Ferdinand.

Lest we forget Ferdinand is the man who was banned from football for eight months for going shopping instead of taking a drugs test. If they were looking for a more positive role model than Terry I think they should probably have cast their eye elsewhere!

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