From the third post now, I will start to publish a series of IETLS writing practices that I wrote, in regarding to the most common topics. These articles may be either excellent enough to gain a high score, say 6, 7 or 8 maybe, or just clumsy stuff that should be thrown away. Please do feel free to tell me what you think of them.
The first topic is about the university functions and education method. I will start with the writing task description:
Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer.
What, in your opinion, should be the main function of a university?
Nowadays, what universities should mainly provide to graduates become somewhat controversial. With good reason, many people question that whether the academic knowledge is pragmatic in one’s later life. Other, however, make a convincing argument that only imparting job-related skills for workplace has its own limitations. Considering both sides, my view is that practical skills should be the primary function of university.
First, it is obvious that for most students, the purpose of receiving tertiary education is to obtain specific knowledge and skills, which will enable them to become eligible and competitive in the future job market. This is because most of them, after graduation, will enter workplace, earn their living, and raise their own families. So universities, as services providers, have to become learner-oriented, and give top priority to these customers’ real requirements.
Moreover, focusing on the job-related skills can benefit the university itself. For instance, the science fiction movie Avatar has marked a milestone in the filmmaking industry and sparked massive interest in 3D technology. If a university can quickly respond, and embark on consolidating teaching resources to offer courses regarding 3D, not only will its graduates be more competitive in the near future, but the university itself will keep pace with the modern technology.
However, those who harbour the view that the main function of universities should be to disseminate knowledge believe that the theoretic knowledge is the foundation of all practical skills. There are, of course, students interested in pure knowledge such as maths and philosophy, and tend to be experts and scholars, who will make tremendous contributions to society. But unfortunately these talents are scarce.
In sum, the majority function of university should be providing job-related skills, guaranteeing high-rate employment. Meanwhile, we should not ignore the other critical role university should be undertaking. Only by doing so can university maintain dynamic and sustainable development, and thus nurture versatility in students.