The audience waits as student debater John Brinsley-Pirie
considers his response as he argues against the notion
"students today have never had better career prospects".
Photos by Linda Robertson.
University of Otago students admitted they sounded like
''team whinge'' at a debate last night, but some were starting
to question their English literature, French and gender studies
In fact, three debaters became extremely negative as they
considered their job prospects post-degree.
Fortunately, their pessimism at the Moot Court at the
university was countered by a team from local government and
business quite sure the debating point ''students today have
never had better career prospects'' was right on the money.
The ''great debate'' was part of the Otago Careers Festival,
and gave debate chairman Mayor Dave Cull some evening
activity after a full day's intellectual workout at the
city's annual plan meeting.
Team members Grace Jansen (left) and Joe Ascroft (centre)
Despite his role in the middle, he stepped in at times to
counter some of the students' concerns.
Students John Brinsley-Pirie, Grace Jansen and Joe Ascroft
argued things were not as they were 50 years ago, when, they
claimed, a young graduate could step from the campus to the
workplace and begin a career.
Nowadays, their degrees put them on the same footing as
thousands of others searching for few jobs, despite
university advertising slogans.
But Calder Stewart general manager Darren Evans, AbacusBio
consultant Anna Campbell and city councillor Aaron Hawkins
responded the skills they learned in their studies were more
useful than they thought.
That, along with hard graft at whatever position they found
after university, would give them an edge in a world of
change and opportunity.
Despite regular input that appeared strongly to favour the
positive side of the debate, Mr Cull judged the event a draw.