23 June 2008
View from Cambridge Assessment's Group Chief Executive, Simon Lebus, on academic Diplomas.
"The Confederation of British Industry's recent criticism of the three new Diplomas in Humanities, Science and Languages is welcome, highlighting as it does the problems of trying to fit what have hitherto been academic disciplines into a pattern developed for the original, more applied, 14 Diploma Lines of Learning. The model adopted, of a common employment related core, works for disciplines like engineering or construction but it is far from clear what would be in a Humanities core. The very strength of the Diplomas will lie in their proximity to industry - on this they will succeed or fail in the eyes of the young people taking them. The new Lines of Learning will not have any such proximity - how could they? A group consisting of future employers of Humanities students would be so diverse as to be pointless. If diversity in the offer to students is what is wanted then this could be best encouraged by promoting extra flexibilities within A Levels."