Edifying to note that the likeable Sir David Attenborough has collected another honorary degree without having to have studied at the University, in this case St Andrews in Scotland.

Our Dave told the students who had studied there that his free degree was an honour he valued most highly, because universities are “the one institution which speaks truth, independent of commercial reasons, political reasons and dogma,” which should silence the cynics who feel that honorary degrees are just the cheap PR of academia.

Another fairly recent recipient of the highly rated honour from St Andrews was popular top banker Sir Fred Goodwin.

A recent survey of 1000 teenagers by City and Guilds suggests that nearly half of them would be avoiding going to University following the near-tripling of tuition fees. And a survey by training provider Lifeline found that more than 50% of employers rated work experience and volunteering above academic qualifications.

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