Some brains can't be measured in the confines of an exam hall or in an essay. Do you take in the world around you? Are you curious enough to ask questions? Are you engaged enough to have strong opinions?
For too long, a stigma clouded apprenticeships. But now that stigma has gone. A degree is no longer the only route that the ambitious and capable can take on their way to fulfilling their potential. Apprenticeships are a wholly viable option. A-Level leavers must make the choice that is right for them as individuals.
The cost of helping children to achieve their educational ambitions is arguably most acutely felt by single mothers, especially those who were not married when their relationships ended and so are not entitled to receive spousal maintenance.
As a postgraduate recruiter once told me, "These days, it's next to impossible to secure a job with a BA. Just like in Europe, MAs are becoming a necessity". If this assertion holds true, then we truly live in a rather sorry state of affairs. Rather than a university education empowering students, the necessity of advanced degrees seem to illustrate how the higher education industry has profited from student vulnerability.
Often, you'll see evil parents in films threatening their naughty children with boarding school, like it's the ultimate punishment. Well, that's just a load of nonsense. When I was eight years old I went to boarding school. A lot of people will automatically think 'how awful' - it wasn't. As the youngest of four I knew boarding school was going to be on the cards one day.
Our research further highlighted that outdated views are still prevalent with nearly half of parents (48 per cent) thinking that apprenticeships are geared more towards boys than girls and almost a third (32 per cent) thinking they are for less academically able young people. This is certainly not the case.
Each year the cost of living as a student goes up, with rent rates being hiked by landlords hoping to scratch a living and the fear of overdraft fees, not to mention the prospect of up to £53,000 of debt looming once you leave University, it's not surprising that an ever increasing number of students are turning to sex work as a way to make money quickly - cash in hand that will fit around a busy schedule of studying and socialising... The work that these students are doing isn't simply prostitution, with many turning to stripping on webcam services and working as lap dancers and strippers.
The CBI's well-publicised report, Tomorrow's Growth, as well as providing a welcome reminder of the parlous state of careers guidance available to young people, makes a strong case for tackling 'the idea that the A-levels and three-year degree model is the only route to a good career'.
As we head towards the start of the second year under the coalition's new Higher Education funding regime and with A-Level Results day (and the chaos that is clearing) looming on 15 August, universities, politicians and journalists alike are examining the effect on UCAS applications.
Oxford is a place where people are paid to research, and write about a vast array of subjects, most of which are united in their irrelevance to society. A tutor of mine has spent the last few years on a grammar of ancient Greek - pointless not least because the zenith of Greek grammar-writing was reached in the 19th Century. But one recent piece of research might even have topped my tutor's efforts...
The current situation means that UK students are agreeing to pay fees which they may never meet, on the basis that they agree to pay at a rate which, combined with income tax, means they may never pay off the capital on their loans.
The most common question people ask about depression is 'How do you know the difference between depression and just feeling sad?'. What marks me and all the others who suffer from depression out from people who are just down in the dumps, feeling the weight of the world or having a bit of a crap day? It's an interesting question, not least because it's one that doctors have to deal with on a daily basis.
As soon as the country falls into the mess of recession, that's when the prudence comes in, but by then it's too late. We're used to getting what we want when we want it in this country, and we've provided our own undoing as a result by living beyond our means.
Dr Sally Mapstone of Oxford University suggested that MOOCs were an extension of a lecture based style of higher education, in contrast the the small group teaching they provide at Oxford. There's an implication here about a trade-off between quality higher education and the sort of massive higher education opportunities that MOOCs might offer.
Over the last three years the Coalition Government has mounted savage attacks on teachers' pay, pensions and conditions of service. To justify these attacks and education reforms, the Secretary of State has sought to denigrate teachers and present our public education system as broken. As a result the teaching profession is now in crisis.
With rising tuition fees, Universities culling degree courses and soaring young unemployment, the future looks bleak. There is a great deal of negativity associated with employment opportunities at the moment. So what are your options? And how can you succeed?