Thursday, March 17, 2011

Oh my what a wonderful course... ¬_¬ not.

So hi blog, long time no see. I am not encouraged to lvoe you and show you the tender loving care you deserve but I have returned with a gift. <3 Here is the complaint that I will be adding to my entire class' joint complaint to the Big Cheeses of my university. I really do hope you enjoy as there is a fun analogy to keep you going half way ;D

To whom it may concern.

This letter culminates my complaints toward the course I am currently undertaking at University College Falmouth; Public Relations. Money is a severe issue for not only students buy every individual member of society during this time of recession. I understand completely that the University requires payment from each student to be able to give a qualitative teaching unit to complete a degree; however, it can hardly be said that I, nor my classmates, have received this quality, or in fact the quantity required to complete a degree.

It is not fair that we must pay the same fees as other students at different universities that have a more structured and successful course. Below are the details on which I base my complaints; I hope you take them seriously and I require a reply within the week on how you plan to rectify these.

1.       Issue one is value for money.
a.       The summer term I am about to go into during my second year has no contact time whatsoever, yet I am paying a full terms tuition fees. The reason given by lecturers is that this is the time in which to complete the ‘case study’ module.  This specific module must be submitted mid May, after this we have nothing. It could be used to prepare us for Dissertation exercises, as we have 3 months open until our next term, but there is nothing like this planned.
2.       Quality of teaching when we do get contact time.
a.       We have been given puzzle sheets to learn how to write a press release; of which the sole purpose was merely a reminder of what should be included.
b.      The second lesson we had was a three hour test in which we were given a block of information and told to write news articles and one press release. This was before we had been taught how to write or given any house styles.
c.       The journalism tutors often criticise our work saying we have not been adopting the ‘house style’ in our essays and other references to which we have not been given the resources for. It has mostly been a mere accident when talking informally with friends on the journalism course we have found out about essay deadlines, titles, change in lecture times or rooms and also most of the assignments that we should have already completed. This information should have been communicated to us in emails; which is where the Journalism students have received it, but as we are ‘Public Relations’ students we are not included on many group emails.
3.       I chose Public Relations because I did not want to study Journalism.
a.       All but one of our lecturers in first year was a journalism tutor. And even though we were told in third term that the topics covered in the journalism degree are recommended to us and should be useful we were constantly told in presentations that the ‘following section is more journalism based rather than for PR.’ It could be compared to buying a banana but being given an apple. Although they are both good sources of vitamins and can be enjoyable, it is not what I wanted and I cannot do what I wanted with it- you can’t make a banana milkshake with an apple, no matter how you try and look at it.
4.       Journalism has a better structure.
a.       Our friends on the Journalism course that runs side by side to ours are given regular two maybe three a week assignments to update a blog, given ideas to start and feedback on each piece. In the 18 months of studying this course I have had perhaps two modules that have inspired me to keep a blog, but both are more academic theorising than practical pieces that I can show my talents as a media writer.
5.       CIPR crediting.
a.       Within three months of winning the title of being accredited by the CIPR we were told of the dissolution of the course and that the current students would be the last. A limited edition degree may not be appealing to any employer; it is understandable that the course should be stopped if the university cannot support it any longer; however with the quality of teaching we have so far received before the decision, and then the comparison to how we are being treated after, this course is barely giving us the background needed for the competitive careers market we will be in soon.

The obvious lack of passion from you and our lecturers destroy the remaining fires that we students have to continue injecting effort into our degree. We have paid for a service that we are still yet to receive.

Yours faithfully;

Natalie Venning

Second Year Public Relations BA (Hons)
University College Falmouth

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