STUDENTS ARE SMART, STOP THE INSULTS, Medical Observer (31 August 2012)

According to Christine Bennett, the Dean of Medicine at Notre Dame, it behoves on UCAT prep organisations to show there is evidence the courses will help (Call for crackdown on UCAT preparation courses, MedObs 3/8/12). This is an insult to the intelligence of students taking the courses and their parents, since it implies that they are not able to make an informed decision about whether to do a preparation course and if so, which one to do.

Secondly, according to the logic of University of the Notre Dame academic, it behoves on the university to show there is some evidence that the degrees they churn out in all disciplines help, after obtaining about $100,000 (from students and the government, for a three year degree). Many students stay unemployed after obtaining their degree or work in unrelated fields or even end up at McDonalds!

Many universities have also been criticised for offering highly dubious courses in order to get additional income. As one example: RMIT University had the dishonour of winning the ‘Bent Spoon Award’ by the Australian Skeptics for being “the perpetrator of the most preposterous piece of paranormal or pseudo-scientific piffle” for its Chiropractic degree. “it never occurred to me before that they would teach this type of nonsense in a University” a spokesman said (Australian Doctor 02/12/2011).

Many other universities also offer ‘Quackery’ degrees such as in homeopathy, iridology, reflexology, kinesiology, healing touch therapy and aromatherapy (Scientists urge universities to axe ‘quackery’ courses, Australian Doctor, 03/02/2012).