Friday, 12 November 2010

Good news from the bureaucratic front - we're official!

Why oh why does the EU turn every good idea into a bureaucratic nightmare? When I first heard about the Bologna ideas, I was really excited. Three-year BAs, compatible degrees across Europe, new syllabi - I could already see good education of the snappy, focused, useful variety coming to all of Europe (and not just the UK). Some years later, it's clear that the teaching Taliban have highjacked the undergraduate teaching structure; many ideas entirely unrelated to the basic idea of having compatible ideas across Europe have been tagged on. One of the really idiotic things that the Bologna process gave us is that Master's degrees now need to be certified by the national authorities -- you can get an "official" and "unofficial" master, effectively. In the US, there are universities that are accredited, and those that are not - fine. MIT is accredited, and Abraham Lincoln College in Podunk, Nebraska, is not. But the idea of perfectly well-established universities having to submit each and every course syllabus, etc., for a master to be officially approved (including those that have been taught for decades) is straight out of Kafka.

To cut a long story short, we got there -- the good fairies in the Barcelona GSE office guided us through the whole process, and starting with the class of 2011, our (and all other Barcelona GSE) masters are official - hooray!

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