Tests Taken: 48336
Published on: 14 Dec 2017
You should spend about 20 minutes on this task.
The table below shows the results of surveys in 2000, 2005 and 2010 about one university.
Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.
You should write at least 150 words.
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Some say that because many people are living much longer, the age at which people retire from work should be raised considerably.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
You should write at least 250 words.
The table shows the change in attitude, over ten years, of students at a particular university to different aspects of its academic provision.
Firstly, the most striking set of statistics relate to approval for electronic resources. There was a sharp increase in the number of students giving these resources a good rating, particularly in the first five years: from 45 percent in 2000, to 72 percent in 2005, and 88 percent in 2010. There was also an overall improvement in ratings for teaching quality, though the increase was relatively small (65 percent in 2000 rising to 69 percent in 2010) and there was a decline in the interim (63 percent in 2005). There was also a fluctuation in attitudes to print resources, rising from 87 percent to 89 percent in the first five years and then falling by one percent in 2010. Good ratings for the university's buildings and teaching facilities were identical throughout, at 77 percent. Finally, there were poor ratings at the beginning of the period for the range of modules offered (32 percent in 2000) and they got worse, falling steadily from to 30 percent in 2005 and 27 percent in 2010.
Currently, in many countries, the age at which people stop paid work tends to be between 55 and 65. In the past, with few people living beyond the age of 80, it was rare for anybody to enjoy more than 20 years of retirement. Flow ever nowadays, that figure is much more likely to be 30, or even 40 years. This is often cited as a reason for requiring people to work to a later age.
Advocates of this point of view claim that it is extremely expensive to support people for so long in retirement. Pensions are paid for partly by people in their working lives, but today pension schemes usually yield far less money than necessary because they were designed to maintain people for much shorter periods. Increasingly, it is argued, the burden falls on younger people who end up working harder to pay for the enjoyment and relaxation of the old in their extended retirement. This, they say, is fundamentally unfair.
Although I acknowledge the validity of this argument, I believe it is outweighed by two very powerful counter arguments. Firstly, when older people retire later they deprive young people of the opportunity to work and develop professionally. Secondly, I believe that people aren't just valuable members of society when they are earning money. Retired people can contribute a great deal through sharing in family responsibilities such as child care, and also in the wider community, by doing voluntary work. I think we should maintain the current retirement age and allow people to flourish in different ways when they finish paid employment.