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The Bologna Process and Three-Year Bachelor Degrees Frank Einhellig January 16, 2008 323 International Graduate Students, Fall 2007 Reasons for Consideration International graduate student number is expanding at MSU The highest number is from India, followed by China.

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The Bologna ProcessandThree-Year Bachelor Degrees

Frank Einhellig

January 16, 2008

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323 International Graduate

Students, Fall 2007

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Reasons for Consideration

  • International graduate student number is expanding at MSU

  • The highest number is from India, followed by China.

  • Number students from Europe, especially Eastern Europe is growing

  • Missouri State must evaluate credential for admission to graduate programs

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U.S. International Enrollments from “3-Year” Degree Countries

  • Students from Europe represented 2.2% of the total graduate enrollment in the U.S. in 2006-2007

  • Universities in 26 non-European countries award a first degree upon completion of a 3-year program

    • Graduate students from these countries represent 2.3% of the total graduate enrollment in the U.S.

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Occurrence of 3-Year Bachelor’s Programs

  • India

  • Europe

  • 26 other non-European countries

    Angola, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, and Vietnam

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The Burden of Credentials and Admission Considerations:

  • Some sharing of decision responsibilities

    • International Student Services

    • Graduate College

    • Program Directors

  • Outside evaluators may be utilized

    • Example: WES = World Education Services

    • There are substantial monetary costs

    • Costs also exist in terms of time.

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The Bologna Process

The Bologna Process is a series of changes being implemented in Europe to restructure tertiary education in accordance with the Bologna Declaration.

  • European agreement initiated in 1999

  • By 2007, 46 countries had signed

  • Created a European Higher Education Area (EHEA)

  • Purpose of fostering increased mobility of students and graduates throughout Europe

  • Enable European universities to attract international students in competition with U.S., Canada, and Australia

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Bologna Goal (1)

  • Restructure the European university degree into a 2-cycle undergraduate and graduate sequence

  • Undergraduate degree must be a minimum of 3-years

  • Must qualify for entrance to 2nd cycle

  • The 2nd cycle degree qualifies for access to doctoral programs

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Common Outcome of Restructuring

  • Five year program culminating in a masters will restructure to:

    3 (UG) + 2 (Masters)


    4 + 1; 3 ½ + 1 ½ ; 3 ½ + 2; 4 + 2

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Bologna Goal (2)

  • Convert institutional university grade reports to a standardized European credit transfer and accumulation system (ECTS)

  • Grades for those who pass are to be standardized:

    A (10%) B (25%) C (30%) D (25%) E (10%)

  • One year of full-time study represents a total of 60 ECTS

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Typical Degree Credits: Bologna Process

  • Bachelor’s: 180-240 ECTS credits

  • Master’s: 60-120 ECTS credits

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Bologna-Compliant Bachelor’s

  • How will we treat a Bologna-compliant bachelor’s in terms of admissions?

    • Eligibility for admission to a graduate program in the United States

    • Issues in determining if a degree is equivalent to a bachelor’s in the United States

    • Some degrees will be 3 years; others longer

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How will U.S. Universities Treat Degrees from Bologna bachelors?

  • Some will accept and admit

  • Some may develop special undergraduate “bridge” programs

  • Some may consider other factors, such as research or employment experience

  • Some may require completion of a year or part of the master’s program of the Bologna compliant credential

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Admission to a Graduate Program in bachelors?the United States

A Bachelor’s is a common requirement…

…but not a universal requirement.

  • Many U.S. universities admit high school graduates to a Master of (some program – like Architecture or Engineering). These students may not receive a bachelor’s on their way to a master’s.

  • Most U.S. graduate schools will admit applicants holding a professional degree (e.g. JD; DDS; MD; DVM; PharmD) – when no Bachelor’s degree was ever completed.

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Graduate Admission of 3-Year bachelors?Bachelor’s

  • Some U.S. Schools do; some don’t

  • Often argued that these students have completed as much course work in the major as a U.S. undergraduate degree

    • General Education is typically the missing component

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Missouri State University Admissions bachelors?

  • Admission with 3-year bachelor’s degree has been on a case by case basis with Program Directors having some latitude

  • Admission of European master-only students has been a discussion each time

    • More problematic, is the student with 4.5 years of a master’s degree sequence, but not completed…

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MSU International Graduate Student Admission bachelors?

  • Does the current verbiage in the Graduate Catalog need to be revised?

    “Complete academic record including proof of degree attained. The applicant must have completed all requirements that are equivalent to a U.S. baccalaureate degree in an accredited, licensed, or recognized college or university and have appropriate undergraduate training to pursue the graduate degree of the applicant’s choice.”

    (Page 35, International Student Admission)

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Conclusions bachelors?

  • Bologna Process is not a single event, but a process in progress that will harmonize degree and credit

  • Implications for Missouri State Program

    • We must evaluate degree and credit for admission

    • Evaluate credits for readiness at another level

    • Implications for partnership degree programs

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Immediate Issues to Consider bachelors?

  • Will the program accept students from 3-year bachelor’s program? (Europe and elsewhere)

  • Does the Graduate Catalog need any modification in wording concerning admission criteria?

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Some Website Reviews bachelors?