Could it happen in the UK?
The Guardian reports that Trina Thompson, an unemployed graduate of Monroe College in New York, is suing the school for not working hard enough to find her a job:
Thompson claims Monroe College in New York’s Bronx borough should refund her $70,000 (£41,307) in tuition for a bachelor’s degree because she has been unable to find gainful employment since she graduated in April. She said the college promised career advice and job leads but has not followed through. “They have not tried hard enough to help me,” Thompson, who received a degree in information technology, wrote in her lawsuit.
All will no doubt be rich pickings for the lawyers.
The Mission Statement of the Centre for Career Development (CCD) here at the University of Nottingham is explicit about the fact that it is about helping students and graduates to help themselves. It reads as follows:
HELPING YOU DEVELOP YOUR CAREER
The Centre for Career Development exists to help students and graduates of the University of Nottingham to develop their careers by providing :
* careers advice & guidance
* access to part-time employment & work experience opportunities before you graduate
* information about opportunities for graduates
* graduate vacancies & contacts with employers who target the University of Nottingham
* programmes of awareness raising and skills development to enhance your employability
The CCD statement of service provided also makes it crystal clear that the Centre is not a recruitment agency. The same will be true at institutions across the UK.
Others in the HE system in the US have a different perspective to the disgruntled graduate (again from the Guardian report):
But many Americans who work in higher education are sceptical of Thompson’s claim. “I tell my students that the real goal of college is not to train you for a job,” commenter Larry C wrote on a message board of the Chronicle of Higher Education…. “If that is what you desire drop out right now and go down the street to the school of cosmetology.”
Although I would suspect “If you don’t like our service then try hairdressing” is unlikely to be adopted as a slogan by many university careers services on either side of the Atlantic.
(With thanks to John Horton for the prompt)