Academic courses are too full and degrees should gear learning towards work, said Patrick Coldstream, visiting professor at the Institute of Education.
He said undergraduates are expected to master too much and lecturers to teach too much. Lifelong learning means that much of the material ought to be left until later, he added.
Professor Coldstream said that lecturing should be reinforced with part-timers from industry. He also called for more institutional collaboration to devise programmes that almost all students can use in common.