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You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The tables below give information about sales of Fairtrade*-labelled coffee and bananas in 1999 and 2004 in five European countries.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
Write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Some people think that all university students should study whatever they like. Others believe that they should only be allowed to study subjects that will be useful in the future, such as those related to science and technology.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
The tables compare sales of two categories of products, namely : fair-trade-labelled coffee and fairtrade-labelled bananas in five European countries in two different terms, 1999 and 2004. These coffee and bananas were produced by farmers of developing nations and a fair price is given to those farmers according to the agreement and that’s why the name fairtrade is attached.
Overall , i t is clear that majority of the countries experienced an increased sale of those products and the biggest rise of sales were in UK and Switzerland respectively .
In 1999, the largest coffee sale, 3 million Euros, was in Switzerland but after five years, the highest sale could be observed in the UK (20 million Euros) that recorded more than three times higher than that of Switzerland (6 million Euros). The sales amounts in Denmark, Belgium and Sweden were 1.8, 1 and 0.8 million Euros respectively in 1999 and these amounts increased in five years.
Meanwhile , Switzerland was the largest market for the fairtrade-labelled banana sales with 15 million Euros sold in 1999 which was higher than the combined sales in other four countries. The sales amount of bananas reached to 47 million Euros in 2004 which was more than three times higher than that of 1999 and the second largest market for this product was in the UK where 1 million Euros was sold in 1999 and that increased by 5.5 times in 2004. Interestingly the sales volume of the faritrade bananas decreased in Sweden and Denmark in 2004 than that of 1999.
The lowest amount of sales for fairtrade-labelled coffee could be seen in Sweden and it was Denmark and Sweden where the lowest amount of fairtrade-labelled bananas were sold in both years .
People have different views about how much choice students should have with regard to what they can study at university. While some argue that it would be better for students to be forced into certain key subject areas, I believe that everyone should be able to study the course of their choice.
There are various reasons why people believe that universities should only offer subjects that will be useful in the future. They may assert that university courses like medicine, engineering and information technology are more likely to be beneficial than certain art degrees. From a personal perspective, it can be argued that these courses provide more job opportunities, career progression, better salaries, and therefore an improved quality of life for students who take them. On the societal level , by forcing people to choose particular university subjects, governments can ensure that any knowledge and skill gaps in the economy are covered. Finally , a focus on technology in higher education could lead to new inventions, economic growth, and greater future prosperity.
In spite of these arguments , I believe that university students should be free to choose their preferred areas of study. In my opinion, society will benefit more if our students are passionate about what they are learning. Besides , nobody can really predict which areas of knowledge will be most useful to society in the future, and it may be that employers begin to value creative thinking skills above practical or technical skills. If this were the case , perhaps we would need more students of art, history and philosophy than of science or technology.
In conclusion , although it might seem sensible for universities to focus only on the most useful subjects, I personally prefer the current system in which people have the right to study whatever they like.
(297 words, band 9)