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  #81  
Old 29.08.2020, 17:01
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Please provide a source for this assertion. I think it's nonsense. What information do you have on IQ scores a century ago?
Obviously your thinking is wrong. Yet again.

Educate yourself on the Flynn Effect, it's a well-known and generally accepted phenomenon.
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  #82  
Old 29.08.2020, 17:09
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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You're right, I got that part wrong.

Still, however much you're getting fleeced (or not) is a consequence of your own free choice.
Trying to set it straight: wasn't blaming anyone. People who unconditonally rely on financial advisors are about as clueless as those who employ interior decorators


BTW - my only apple device (phone) was free and battery capacity is going down
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  #83  
Old 29.08.2020, 17:13
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Trying to set it straight: wasn't blaming anyone. People who unconditonally rely on financial advisors are about as clueless as those who employ interior decorators


BTW - my only apple device (phone) was free and battery capacity is going down
I don't think financial advisors would be the career of choice for anyone who wishes to make a lot of money, rather Banking where bonus's often exceed 1 million.
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  #84  
Old 29.08.2020, 17:13
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Obviously your thinking is wrong. Yet again.

Educate yourself on the Flynn Effect, it's a well-known and generally accepted phenomenon.
I'm aware of the Flynn effect. It's Psychology 101. And it answers your own question about apparent increases in IQ over a short period of time where there is in fact no true change—just a change in the measurement process.

Happy to have helped you to this conclusion.
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  #85  
Old 29.08.2020, 17:28
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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I'm aware of the Flynn effect. It's Psychology 101. And it answers your own question about apparent increases in IQ over a short period of time where there is in fact no true change—just a change in the measurement process.

Happy to have helped you to this conclusion.
Talk about trying to shift the goalpost.
This isn't a short-term phenomenon, we're talking about many decades up to a century.

You're either intentionally being obtuse or don't understand the issue in the first place. And no, you weren't aware. Had you known about this phenomenon you wouldn't have posted the "nonsense" in the first place.
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Old 29.08.2020, 17:36
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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I don't think financial advisors would be the career of choice for anyone who wishes to make a lot of money, rather Banking where bonus's often exceed 1 million.
Beg to disagree. Unless you're in the top echelon of a bank, you (as a "financial advisor") should have a higher leverage to make a lot of money vs official boni
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Old 29.08.2020, 18:08
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Talk about trying to shift the goalpost.
This isn't a short-term phenomenon, we're talking about many decades up to a century.

You're either intentionally being obtuse or don't understand the issue in the first place. And no, you weren't aware. Had you known about this phenomenon you wouldn't have posted the "nonsense" in the first place.
My final word on this subject. Unlike you, I don't have an overwhelming need to have the last word in every argument.

Firstly, your comprehension skills (at least in English) could do with improvement. Your misunderstanding that I highlighted upthread is not your first. Yet, you are frequently—usually—extraordinarily dogmatic in your responses (not, for once, in that case, but you have been on other issues in this thread). You won't listen to others when they point out faults in your arguments; you cannot accept that you may be wrong at times.

So, do I know about the Flynn effect? Yes, I do. I studied behavioural psychology and intelligence in one of my degrees and as I said, the Flynn effect is first-year undergraduate level. It's widely known. But I don't think that you understand what the effect is. This is apparent from your nonsensical statement that everyone within the 90–110 range of IQ today would have qualified for university a century ago. Among many other issues with this statement is that intelligence, and specifically IQ, with all of its faults, has never been the sole criterion (or even a criterion at all) for acceptance to university, and perhaps more so a century ago when social class and other factors entirely unrelated to intelligence were conclusive in determining admission to tertiary study. And suggesting that well over 80% of all people today could have entered university 100 years ago, when (as you noted) there has been no significant increase in intelligence by biological means, is clearly ludicrous, depending as it does on intelligence being the sole criterion for admission.

Moving now to my description of a century as "short term", it's entirely accurate in the context of human evolution—which is what you introduced with your comment about "biologically caused" increases in IQ.

Nett: increases in IQ do not necessarily equate to increases in intelligence. Or IQ is not an unfailingly accurate measure of intelligence.
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  #88  
Old 29.08.2020, 18:22
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Beg to disagree. Unless you're in the top echelon of a bank, you (as a "financial advisor") should have a higher leverage to make a lot of money vs official boni
If you were interested in making money you would aim to work for Goldman Sachs, OK their 'Partners' today get to earn pocket money v the real partners at floatation.
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  #89  
Old 29.08.2020, 18:35
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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A good example of the Swiss undermining themselves. While the country has certainly been nudged in the right direction previously by attracting exceptional foreign pioneers, especially regarding initial industrialisation, I doubt that importing current HR specialists will go down as a similar success story.

Apologies if I helped derail this thread. Instead of sowing doubt in trusting “financial advisors”, I only wanted to bash HR. Especially when they’re forrin, right? What did the University of Upper Tooting ever do for us, I ask you?
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  #90  
Old 29.08.2020, 22:13
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Plus I think the % of professional foreigners makes a difference - I live on the silver coast and in my daughter's class, only 1 child has Swiss parents. The rest are mixed at the very least, with a high percentage of Germans, and anglo saxons who migrated here due to their profession.

For these foreigners, it's university or nothing, as that is what they know. I heard in Germany something like 60% of students go to Gymni. So of course they expect their kids to go to Gymni too. For a Swiss, Gymni is only for the smartest, and they think it may not even be a good thing if your kids are not the studying type and more a practical type.
Or maybe we know we're not welcome here for life? An apprenticeship career might allow someone to make a living in Switzerland, but not necessarily in other countries. If my family goes back to Canada, I doubt any apprenticeship credentials are worth much. All standards are different. A degree from a university is universally recognised.
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Old 29.08.2020, 22:42
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

The percentage of students with a Matura has been rising slowly but steadily for several decades. Here are the statistics: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/de/home...aetsquote.html
For data before 2000, see the table below the graph. Lately, most of the increase has been due to the Berufsmatur. If you add a year to that, inofficially but commonly called Passerelle, you get the same diploma as after a Gymi.

It is a widespread urban myth in Zürich - among locals and expats alike - that „they“ are deliberately keeping a tight lid on the number of students at local Gymis. The competitiveness of Zürchers around the Gymiprüfung strikes people in other regions of the country as weird. Perhaps things are the way they are here because we have more expats from cultures where an Abitur or a high school diploma is the norm and not the exception. I get that that poses a problem if the kids want to return. Still, I can‘t find it in me to agree that a Gymi is as horribly difficult and élitist as some parents lament. (As a rule, they belong to those whose kids are clearly unsuited to an academic career and would have been happier if spared the challenge.) Nor was it 30+ years ago, when the Maturitätsquote was under 10% where I come from. It’s just not everybody’s cup of tea. If a teen has little intellectual curiosity and finds no joy in learning for its own sake, yet wants a Matura, then a Berufsmatur might be preferable. With the Passerelle, it will open all the doors that are open to Gymi graduates.

Edit: in answer to OP‘s question, I‘d say no. Usually has more to do with how laid-back the local community is. We actually moved away from a district where everybody wanted their kids to go to a Gymi, and we’ve been very happy with the schools in a less pushy part of town. Different priorities.
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  #92  
Old 29.08.2020, 23:45
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Or maybe we know we're not welcome here for life? An apprenticeship career might allow someone to make a living in Switzerland, but not necessarily in other countries. If my family goes back to Canada, I doubt any apprenticeship credentials are worth much. All standards are different. A degree from a university is universally recognised.
That depends on the apprenticeship. For standard trades needed everywhere, such as, for example: plumber, carpenter, nurse and electrician, a Swiss apprenticeship may very well open the door.

This, expecially if the person has taken the trouble to document the actual contents (not just the qualification, not only the names of the modules) of the theoretical parts, and has assembled comprehensive employment references detailing the types of projects/settings and the responsibilities/compentencies he/she had there. And all of this translated into the local language of the new country.

Such a person may well, in the new country, have to
  • learn the local language there
  • learn the local trade specific vocabulary and formal standards of the work
  • add on some more modules and pass some exams to localise his/her knowledge,
  • work below their level of qualification for a while, till they've completed the above
and would then most likely find their way.
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  #93  
Old 30.08.2020, 00:07
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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That depends on the apprenticeship. For standard trades needed everywhere, such as, for example: plumber, carpenter, nurse and electrician, a Swiss apprenticeship may very well open the door.
and would then most likely find their way.
I'm not sure if you're aware, but nursing is a degree program in most countries. If my child did a nursing apprenticeship here, that would translate into similar qualifications as a nurse's aid or an orderly in Canada. Electricians often require a career training diploma, and apprenticeships would have to be redone under local standards. Plumbers and carpenters are probably more transferable skills, but would pay peanuts in other countries.

I've immigrated across continents a couple of times and come from a family of immigrants. Apprenticeships make sense if you're not part of a minority group and you plan to stay put. Everyone else should get a degree before even considering an apprenticeship.
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Old 30.08.2020, 00:28
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

Yes, I'm certainly aware that in in various countries these skills are apprenticeship, in some are university degrees, in some are college or trade certificates.

As I wrote my post, my mind was buzzing with the tales of many people who had moved across several countries, some with apprenticeships and some with university degrees. In many cases they had to localise, if not actually upgrade, their qualification to gain official recognition. It works the same way for those who enter Switzerland, even for nurses with university degrees.

Indeed, that's why I wrote that in transferring from one country to another, the immigrant may have to work below their level of qualification for a while, till they've completed the conversion or upgrade to the local standard.

That is partly national pride since each country thinks their own standards are betterester than anyone else's, but partly it is true that one really must master the local vocabulary and standards and the local way of doing things.

Knowing this is also part of the reason I wrote, earlier in this thread:
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Yes. I think that, if at all possible, anyone who might want to or might have to emigrate should, finances permitting, try to acquire two qualifications, in different directions. I knew someone who was a newspaper editor in one country, but was able to emigrate by refreshing his electrician's licence.
Perhaps I ought better to have said not just "different directions" but more along the lines of different types of qualification, if one can, both a university degree and an apprenticeship in a different field.

And I agree with you that if one has the personal capacity, and is able to afford the opportunity, then by all means a university education is a great thing to do, both for the process of training one's thinking, and for obtaining the degree certificate to put alongside one's cv, and it almost always opens doors that would otherwise remain closed.

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Old 30.08.2020, 00:41
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Plumbers and carpenters are probably more transferable skills, but would pay peanuts in other countries.
I'm sure you're right, in some countries. But this is not universally so.

One friend who comes to mind is an engineer. When he moved countries, (not Switzerland) he'd have had to do quite a bit to localise his Masters and to become professionally recognised. Since he needed to start earning quickly to support his family, he managed to became a school-teacher which he was allowed to do after just one year's add-on post-grad diploma. He was then promoted several times, and worked happily. When his son, who grew up in the new country, reached the end of school, they calculated the costs of studying and of learning a trade, and earnings, and the lad learned a trade. Once he had a few years of post-apprenticeship hard work experience, his earnings quickly equalled those of his father, and he's been doing very well ever since.

I can think of another country where the younger sibling, who has a trade, earns about 30 to 50% more than the elder, who is an architect with a Masters.

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  #96  
Old 30.08.2020, 09:35
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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I'm sure you're right, in some countries. But this is not universally so.

One friend who comes to mind is an engineer. When he moved countries, (not Switzerland) he'd have had to do quite a bit to localise his Masters and to become professionally recognised. Since he needed to start earning quickly to support his family, he managed to became a school-teacher which he was allowed to do after just one year's add-on post-grad diploma. He was then promoted several times, and worked happily. When his son, who grew up in the new country, reached the end of school, they calculated the costs of studying and of learning a trade, and earnings, and the lad learned a trade. Once he had a few years of post-apprenticeship hard work experience, his earnings quickly equalled those of his father, and he's been doing very well ever since.

I can think of another country where the younger sibling, who has a trade, earns about 30 to 50% more than the elder, who is an architect with a Masters.
Plumbers and carpenters may not be the only or the best examples, but generally speaking I don't see the reason for which a person who was educated/trained in the Swiss system wouldn't find a similar position somewhere else. And why would I plan around another "somewhere else" for my children, it's either here or back home. After all, our foreign diplomas didn't prevent us from getting a job here. I guess everyone is planning their life as they wish or rather, as it fits their situation and it's nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned, I personally try to put down roots in this place too. I guess I ain't an expat anymore.
This situation makes me smile, a century and a half ago only (or mostly) the higher classes got to be educated in Switzerland/abroad (at least where I come from), now we doubt their systems.... How times change.

Last edited by greenmount; 30.08.2020 at 10:10.
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Old 30.08.2020, 09:40
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Define intelligence, and what parts thereof you believe to be inheritable.

IQ test score is not a measurement of intelligence, just a (relatively narrow) part of it. The IQ score of the typical western population has risen by 2-3 points per decade over the last century. The IQ range of 90-110 is usually considered "normal", IIRC it encompasses ~60% of the population. Basically everybody in that range today would have easily qualified for university a century ago (based IQ score alone), most with a somewhat higher score today would have been close to the genius range or in it. Such an increase over such a short time is definitely not biologically caused.
I put intelligence in inverted commas because there are so many kinds of intelligence and abilities; numbers, spatial, language, music, logical thinking, hands-on, emotional etc. and they are all difficult to define and quantify.
I chose IQ as a simple example, the whole concept of IQ is a minefield.
Largely inherited - maybe overstated - the nature/nurture argument is not going to reach a conclusion - we are so obviously a mixture of both.
Human evolution has been going on a long time. I think that the last few centuries have had a negligible influence compared to what went on before.
Humans survived because of their diversity.
Diversity (also in "intelligence") is to be celebrated and enjoyed.

To answer the thread directly: no, I think the general standard of swiss schools is good and not better in those communities getting more students into gymi. As others have pointed out, there are cultural differences here and doing an apprenticeship and moving on from there is a much much better option than it might be in the UK or NZ where almost everyone goes into some kind of tertiary course.
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Old 30.08.2020, 10:56
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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Agree with the posts about swiss parents in general being less pushy with their kids than many other places. There is is just a discord between this and the gymi situation in Kanton Zürich; maybe something to do with money?
Definitely something to do with money. Well-off parents that themselves went to Gymi often expect their kids to also go to Gymi. Combine that with a large number of expats who also believe Gymi is the only way. Or the parents that did not go to Gymi, but all the kids' friends do...it becomes a cycle. It's hard to be the only family with kids not in Gymi, when you live in certain areas of Zurich.
Personally I believe the about 20% that go to Gymi in most other places is the more appropriate number. Kids should go to Gymi if they love school, have the intelligence for it, and are willing to work hard.
For everyone else, there are so many other wonderful options with life experience on the way. I have a son that has done an apprenticeship and loved it. I have a daughter in gymi who I sometimes wish explored the apprenticeship option more. But she really wanted gymi, so that is where she is.
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Old 30.08.2020, 14:32
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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After all, our foreign diplomas didn't prevent us from getting a job here. I guess everyone is planning their life as they wish or rather, as it fits their situation and it's nothing wrong with that as far as I'm concerned, I personally try to put down roots in this place too. I guess I ain't an expat anymore.
Yes, but my foreign *degree* is what was transferable, not an apprenticeship. I hope the same for my children.
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Old 30.08.2020, 14:53
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Re: Does %of kids going to gymnasium indicate the quality of schools/village ?

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In my sons [sic] class out of 20 children, 4 went to Gymnasium and all Ausländers.
I guess the locals [sic] too busy learning about Cow bells [sic].
It's amazing that an immigrant who's been living here for a mere ten years or so has been able to acquire a high command of the local language, enabling him/her to develop such deep insights into the work ethic, psyche and culture of his/her hosts.

The post is a little ambiguous though, isn't it. “4 went to Gymnasium and all Ausländers.” Does that mean all Ausländers went to the Gymnasium plus 4 who weren't Ausländers? Who were the four, then? Or did you mean that out of a class of 20 children, four went to the Gymnasium, all of whom were Ausländers?

Be that as it may, it doesn't really tell us the whole story. Here's a story I hope you'll find illuminating.

A couple of years ago, I had my kitchen and bathroom renovated and employed a local builder. He worked mostly on his own, but the refurb wasn't just a quick painting and decorating job. The ground floor was stripped back to its bones and the bare stone walls and the solid rock on which the house stands – without foundations – saw daylight for the first time since 1749 when it was first built, possibly by someone who had neither completed an apprenticeship nor obtained a degree in anything. My builder came to work with his son to help with the really heavy work. The son's Mum had died when he was 12 years old and his Dad had brought him up singlehandedly since then. The Dad had obviously taught his son everything he knew and the son needed only minimal instructions and no supervision. Fair enough, you might think, like father like son; the Dad taught him well and apprenticed him. It would be true that the Dad had taught his son well, except that the son hadn't done an apprenticeship at all, but he did have a PhD, spending his holidays helping out his Dad.

I still can't make up my mind which one of the two deserves more of my respect and admiration, so I just admire and respect them both equally.

And the moral of the story? I am quite certain that the Dad could have easily gone to uni after he completed his apprenticeship and his masters; he clearly has the required IQ, but that wasn't his calling. The son, in turn, could have easily chosen to become a very successful builder like his Dad. After all, he had the IQ and the talent for it, but that wasn't his calling. It became very obvious very quickly that both of them didn't just have a high IQ, but they both possessed a very high level of emotional intelligence, which, arguably, is just as important as IQ. And by the way, I have no doubt that either of them could knock you up a great looking cowbell on a rainy afternoon.

I know the trend globally is to believe that a degree is necessary to have a successful life. I guess the tide will turn when everybody and their dog has a degree but no work and nobody has a clue how to build a house.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against higher education, far from it. I did an apprenticeship and I have a degree as well and I don't regret doing either. Both have been very useful in my career. Initially, my apprenticeship enabled me to support myself through my four years at uni, without the financial support of my parents or having to take out loans. Instead of stacking shelves at Tesco's for minimum wage, I worked freelance when I needed to and left uni with my degree and no debts.

The second moral of the story? A good apprenticeship is of more value than a crappy Mickey Mouse degree.
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