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  • #16
    There inability to organize a piss up in a brewery is nothing new and certainly not something they can blame on the “new management team” even 12 years ago when I was doing my OOW we had lecturers not turn up, lecturers who had no idea what they were talking about and just general lack of any arrangement.

    I also returned to do my Chief Mates 6 or 7 years ago now and boy was that a dumb decision on my part - they had got majorly worse - didn’t even have a course in place for us (first group of ex FD to do mates) - they just stuck us in with the other mates course that was running but had started 6 weeks earlier! Queue a bunch of complaints and they eventually arranged a 2 hours of orals prep a week for us instead of 6 hours a day of stability and weather! Icing on the cake had to be when it transpired that they had arranged the 2 weeks of short courses after the end of the actual course - despite implying it was included within the course time!

    Needless to say I didn’t make the same mistake for masters - I no longer recommend Warsash to anyone - it’s the most expensive of them all and definitely the worst.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

    – Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
      There inability to organize a piss up in a brewery is nothing new and certainly not something they can blame on the “new management team” even 12 years ago when I was doing my OOW we had lecturers not turn up, lecturers who had no idea what they were talking about and just general lack of any arrangement.
      Tbf I don't think this sort of thing is unique to Warsash. When I was a cadet at Glasgow it was the same and when I did my chief mates at Shields it was a similar story.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by YoungMariner View Post
        All of the colleges are struggling. The salaries they pay certainly aren't set to attract the best talent, probably barely a 3rd mates salary at sea. Part time lecturers such as the semi retired or those working as pilots in Southampton can help, but the only way to attract and keep good talent is to put up the salaries.
        Short courses bring in a lot of money, but i'm not sure if that is used to balance the books elsewhere?

        As for Ron Price, it would be interesting to hear what happened to him, he's a clever guy and an excellent lecturer (in my opinion), but like many high functioning intellectuals lacks social skills in some areas.
        Too right all of the colleges are struggling. They are resorting to recruiting lecturers who can’t speak clear English. It’s not racists to say it, but the Indian accent is totally non-conducive to a learning environment for native English speakers. Lecturers should have to speak in an accent that is intelligible to the students they are teaching and doesn’t put them to sleep. The Indian education system is built around a rote learning parrot fashion memorisation and regurgitation style where people memorize walls of text that they don’t understand, rather than higher level conceptual learning like we are used to in the UK, so the clash in learning styles can be problematic.

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        • #19
          Sir,
          The Indian accent is wholly irrelevant to the assessment of a lecturers quality and I have almost no doubt that your generalisation about the Indian education system is based upon nothing but conjecture and, possibly, anecdotal hearsay. I have to say that I have observed lecturers whose English fluency appears less than perfect but there is far more to the question of ensuring that a course is excellently delivered than whether or not the teacher sounds brown. I have also observed Indian and other overseas lecturers whose delivery has been exceptional despite an apparent accent.

          That said, I agree that it appears the colleges are struggling to recruit and retain competent teachers and there appears to be a growing dependence upon overseas recruitment (Although that is far from a rigorously researched statement of fact). That colleges struggle to such an extent to recruit and retain staff in the UK and that the quality of lecturers being recruited from overseas is still too poor to adequately deliver courses says a great deal to me about the working environment within the colleges as well as remuneration and career progression available to those doing the actual job of teaching.

          The issue of course quality and delivery is far, far larger and extends way beyond the nautical colleges (A good summary of issues in UK teaching institutions can be read in the link at the end and its identification in an overseas publication should be of concern) and so denigrating the Indian learning culture or indeed lauding our own should be done with a great deal of care. I think it would be of far greater value to focus attention on the governance of teaching establishments in whose gift it is to develop learning environments than to target a small number of lecturers whose level of spoken English makes them easy targets for criticism.

          https://www.newstatesman.com/politic...lost-its-value

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          • #20
            I am afraid it is not just the colleges that are struggling to recruit lecturers. The MCA is also struggling to recruit examiners. This is all down to pay I am afraid. The pay for both posts, considering leave ratios, tax etc are so bad compared to wages at sea that people just do not want the jobs. A Master\Chief Engineer qualified surveyor\examiner is on £42K for 37 hour week. I know 2nd Officers with Chiefs tickets nearly on this and their leave is so much better. College lecturers are even worse. Fleetwood are advertising for a lecturer in Engineering with a salary of £24k - £29K and you have to have a 2nds ticket and a teaching qualification! Lowestoft College £25k - £33K for same role. Peterhead £33k to £41k for Masters experience and ticket.

            So the problem is recruitment and retention, but some colleges are managing this worse than others and I think Warsash has been getting this wrong for many years in my opinion.... This is why there are so many foreign lecturers AND examiners.

            As to the individual colleges.... I have already discussed the MCA results with the FOI request I made 2 years ago and Warsash is sinking fast. There is also the experience of my son, who did both his Mates course at Warsash and then Fleetwood and they were chalk and cheese. I cannot comment on any other college but my son cannot speak more highly of Fleetwood, and will be back there in 2021 to do his Masters short of a bomb going off in the college between now and then.

            As to the standard of the examiners I personally believe that the MCA MUST start to record Orals and have proper review and assessment procedures to deal with appeals and complaints. At this time they are not able to prove uniformity of standards in examinations as any report written by an examiner is not able to be independently verified.....

            I do not think that we can ignore the race issue here - it is a contributing factor in all of this, but is not a root cause.

            Glad I am not doing my orals now..... It was bad enough sitting in front of Mr Mitchell - Chief examiner of Mates and Masters in Liverpool in 1985.... Now there was a bar steward - but in a nice way! Tough man to please, and I had already got form with him when I went into my orals. He really put the wind up me!

            It is down to hard work and a little bit of a fair wind on the day. Every question is easy when you know the answer and bloody difficult if you don't!

            Ian.
            "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
            "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

            "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hatchorder View Post
              As to the standard of the examiners I personally believe that the MCA MUST start to record Orals and have proper review and assessment procedures to deal with appeals and complaints. At this time they are not able to prove uniformity of standards in examinations as any report written by an examiner is not able to be independently verified.....
              .
              Oral exams aren't fit for purpose. They only serve to make money for oral prep training centers like Glasgow Maritime Academy. Other North European countries like Sweden and Norway etc have nothing like an MCA oral, their CoC assesment is simulator based which is grounded in reality a lot more than the UK system. Judging by the number of wingnuts I've met with UK Master Unlimited CoCs there are some very big flaws in our system.

              Again it's not racist to say it because it is true but, for myself and many others I went to college with the hardest thing about going to Nautical College is not the course work or exams etc, it is having to deal with the grossly incompetent foreign lecturers with UK Master Unlimited CoC (mostly but not exclusively Indian or Pakistani) who speak very unclear English, to a clarity totally unsuited for working in education, but they did have very big chips on their shoulder and swaning around the colleges acting smart calling themselves Captain so and so... when they're not Captain anymore. Some say it's because of the Indian Caste system they still want to call themselves Captain to make themselves feel superior when in the Merchant Navy you are only Captain when you are on the ship. It might make them feel superior but to most people it makes them look like idiots. UK lecturers don't call themselves Captain.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by LordNelson View Post

                Oral exams aren't fit for purpose. They only serve to make money for oral prep training centers like Glasgow Maritime Academy. Other North European countries like Sweden and Norway etc have nothing like an MCA oral, their CoC assesment is simulator based which is grounded in reality a lot more than the UK system. Judging by the number of wingnuts I've met with UK Master Unlimited CoCs there are some very big flaws in our system.

                Again it's not racist to say it because it is true but, for myself and many others I went to college with the hardest thing about going to Nautical College is not the course work or exams etc, it is having to deal with the grossly incompetent foreign lecturers with UK Master Unlimited CoC (mostly but not exclusively Indian or Pakistani) who speak very unclear English, to a clarity totally unsuited for working in education, but they did have very big chips on their shoulder and swaning around the colleges acting smart calling themselves Captain so and so... when they're not Captain anymore. Some say it's because of the Indian Caste system they still want to call themselves Captain to make themselves feel superior when in the Merchant Navy you are only Captain when you are on the ship. It might make them feel superior but to most people it makes them look like idiots. UK lecturers don't call themselves Captain.
                This IS definitely rascist.

                Some of the best lecturers I have had the pleasure of being taught by have been from places other than the UK.

                As a merchant navy cadet I felt like any lecturer had every right to ask us to call them Captain - it teaches respect.

                I suspect it is not the lecturers you have encountered who have the chip on their shoulder.

                Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by LordNelson View Post
                  Oral exams aren't fit for purpose. They only serve to make money for oral prep training centers like Glasgow Maritime Academy. Other North European countries like Sweden and Norway etc have nothing like an MCA oral, their CoC assesment is simulator based which is grounded in reality a lot more than the UK system. Judging by the number of wingnuts I've met with UK Master Unlimited CoCs there are some very big flaws in our system.
                  I actually agree with most of this. The current system is outdated nonsense in need of a complete overhaul (could apply that to the MCA in its entirety tbh). Its essentially a memory test and has very little to do with how competent you are in the real world. I don't need to memorise random sections of Solas (for example) to be good at my job. Thats why it is in a book. So you can look it up. Obviously the ROR stuff etc is a different matter but it would actually be a lot better to do that in a simulator environment than sitting across a table from some bloke with wooden models whilst he tries to put you off by making sarcastic comments.

                  Originally posted by LordNelson View Post
                  swaning around the colleges acting smart calling themselves Captain so and so... when they're not Captain anymore. Some say it's because of the Indian Caste system they still want to call themselves Captain to make themselves feel superior when in the Merchant Navy you are only Captain when you are on the ship. It might make them feel superior but to most people it makes them look like idiots. UK lecturers don't call themselves Captain.
                  I always found the "Captain this, Sir that" a bit bizarre. I've encountered plenty British "Captains" this applies to as well so I don't know where you are getting the racial element of it from but the general point I agree with. People can do what they want I guess and maybe I'll change my mind if I ever get command but I doubt it. Never understood people who wear uniform ashore either (to weddings etc) but if you like that sort of thing it doesn't harm anyone I suppose.

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                  • #24
                    I don't understand how the people that call themselves "Captain" ashore don't realise how stupid it makes them look. Uniforms to weddings is pretty sad also. Doesn't harm anyone it just makes the person involved seem a bit desperate.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by EH75 View Post

                      I actually agree with most of this. The current system is outdated nonsense in need of a complete overhaul (could apply that to the MCA in its entirety tbh). Its essentially a memory test and has very little to do with how competent you are in the real world. I don't need to memorise random sections of Solas (for example) to be good at my job. Thats why it is in a book. So you can look it up. Obviously the ROR stuff etc is a different matter but it would actually be a lot better to do that in a simulator environment than sitting across a table from some bloke with wooden models whilst he tries to put you off by making sarcastic comments.



                      I always found the "Captain this, Sir that" a bit bizarre. I've encountered plenty British "Captains" this applies to as well so I don't know where you are getting the racial element of it from but the general point I agree with. People can do what they want I guess and maybe I'll change my mind if I ever get command but I doubt it. Never understood people who wear uniform ashore either (to weddings etc) but if you like that sort of thing it doesn't harm anyone I suppose.
                      The orals are essentially the same exam that you have to do three times, it become harder to do the oral as it becomes more soul destroying memorizing the same useless information over and over again. They create a false sense of achievement to people who do get Master Unlimited CoC, it rewards conscientiousness and memory skills not competence or intelligence.

                      Glasgow Maritime Academy teaches all orals candidates in the same class, OOW, Mates, Master 500 and Master Unlimited. BECAUSE IT IS THE SAME BL***DY EXAM!!!

                      The owner of GMA is well on his way to becoming a millionare off the MCA orals, granted they do run other courses there. They turned over £1.3m in 2018 and £1.7m in 2017 as per companies house linked below.

                      https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/c...filing-history

                      So oral exams only seem to function to make money for oral preparation training centers and keep people in jobs, not much else.

                      The UK system is so stuffed up, but nobody seems interested in fixing it. Other countries have far more efficient and functional examples to be copied, but we stick with a backwards way of doing things. Sums up broken brexit britain.

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                      • #26
                        This all seems a bit bitter and twisted for some reason, it's unusual for someone to be so aggravated with the system to act like this! The irony is that apparently the UK orals system is producing substandard senior officers, and the foreign officers teaching in the colleges are also substandard. So deducting from that, nearly every officer in the world is substandard. As an engineer I've met a lot of Northern European dual-ticketed officers and they all went through similar training to me, including oral examinations and simulator training. I'm not sure where you're coming from when you say that their system is a lot different?

                        Passing an orals exam and gaining a ticket doesn't mean you should sail in that rank; if your company has bad senior officers then your company has low standards, low standards which presumably are applied to your role onboard also. Certainly the companies I have worked within have huge amounts of people with chief engineer and masters CoCs sailing as third engineers and second officers, because without excellent testimonials and references from excellent senior officers you would not move anywhere. My orals examiner told me when I passed that my learning started from that day, and passing the exam didn't mean I was a capable and/or good officer.

                        Maybe you should look at it like this too, or change to a company where the riff-raff don't climb the ranks?

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