eWENR, November/December 1999: W. Europe
Cypriot students who successfully complete secondary school are eligible to continue their education at three types of institutions: 1) a public, non-university, post-secondary institution; 2) a private, post-secondary institution; 3) the University of Cyprus.
Public post-secondary institutions include the Forestry College, the Higher Technical Institute, the Hotel and Catering Institute, the Mediterranean Institute of Management and the School of Nursing. The Pedagogical Academy formerly offered non-degree teacher training programs that are now offered as degree programs at the University of Cyprus.
There are several private, post-secondary institutions in Cyprus. Efforts by these schools to gain legal recognition have not met with much success.
The University of Cyprus opened its doors to students in 1992 and currently has autonomous status. Admission to the university is based on the completion of the six-year secondary school track. Although it caters primarily to Greek Cypriot students, special provisions are made for Turkish Cypriots, Armenian Cypriots, Greeks and overseas students.
The university offers four-year bachelor’s degrees and is in the process of introducing graduate degree programs. At least 120 credits are required to earn a bachelor degree.
The grading system at the University of Cyprus is as follows:
- 8.5-10 = excellent
- 6.5-less than 8.5 = very good
- 5-less than 6.5 = good
— EAIE Forum
In late September, thousands of students across the country spent several days demonstrating against the government. Their demands included more teachers, better equipment, less-crowded classrooms and academic programs geared more towards the job market.
Following similar protests that erupted a year ago, the Ministry of Education promised to implement reform measures. But students say the government has not done much in the way of improving the country’s education system.
— New York Times
Oct 1, 1999
The education reforms that were implemented a year ago are finally beginning to take effect. Three of the 16 German states (Bavaria, Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt) have passed higher education laws while eight more have drafted reform bills.
As a result of the new legislation, funding is now allocated according to the quality of teaching and research being done at individual institutions. The reform measures also allow for teaching and research to be monitored by external experts and students. University autonomy has increased significantly as institutions are allowed to experiment with new leadership structures (university councils, for instance).
More importantly, the new law allows institutions to offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees in addition to the traditional German diplom and magister qualifications. Universities also now permit students to transfer credits earned from institutions overseas to a degree program in Germany.
In addition, the reform law cuts regular study periods to four years for fachhochschulen (technical colleges) and 4.5 years for diplom and magister students. Universities now have to provide academic advising and administer intermediary exams to gauge progress among students.
But despite these improvements, other areas of the education system were left unchanged. The plan to impose fees, for instance, considered to be the most controversial component of the reform package, was jettisoned.
Another aspect of the reforms — to give universities the right to select their own students, allowing them to compete for the best and the brightest — was also gutted. In Germany, university places are awarded to students by a central organization based on capacity, not academic ability.
The reforms have also not affected professorial employment regulations. Under the current system, professors are tenured employees of the state and the main prerequisite for becoming a professor remains the Habilitation (postdoctoral lecturing qualification). However, a commission recently set up to review professorial employment rights will probably recommend the dismantling of the tenure system to make room for younger academics and encourage more internal competition.
— The Times Higher Education Supplement
Sept. 3, 1999
The number of students entering nursing degree programs has risen 20 percent this year, according to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The increase in enrollments comes after the introduction of a new career and grading structure for nurses and a 12 percent pay raise for most entry-level positions.
However, the number of students entering teacher-training programs continues its downward slide, dropping 2.5 percent this year. Enrollments in science and language programs are also declining. Compared with last year, chemistry is down 5.7 percent, physics 5.9 percent and mechanical engineering 10 percent. Likewise, the number of students enrolling in combination language programs is down 7.5 percent.
While business and management studies continue to be the most popular degree programs in the United Kingdom right now, computer science is a close second with enrollments up 16.9 percent over last year. Sports science is also doing well with a 15.5 percent increase, as is music, which is up 10.3 percent this year.
Degree programs in history are up 1.5 percent and geography is also up 6.2 percent. But enrollments in English programs have dropped 0.8 percent while sociology is down 5.2 percent.
— Times Higher Education Supplement
Sept. 3, 1999
Although Harvard, Wharton and Stanford may be considered the world’s top business schools, a recent German survey revealed that recruiters from 32 consulting firms across Europe prefer to hire graduates of European business schools. Recruiters from European branches of Anderson Consulting, Bain & Co. and other multi-national firms gave European schools 65 out of 96 points, while U.S. schools in comparison received only 53 points.
Of the 22 European schools recruiters had to choose from, Insead, Paris scored 47 points, London Business School received 38 points and the Institute for Management Development (IMD) based in Lusanne, Switzerland, got 29 points. When asked to choose additional schools, respondents awarded one point each to the following American schools: Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania; Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; Stanford University; University of California at Los Angeles; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
According to William Cox of Cox Communication Consultants, the German marketing firm that conducted the survey, European recruiters gravitate towards European schools because “Europe has a different culture and legal system, so European MBAs can get started right away when they get hired.”
Secondly, the international image of many European schools has improved in recent years, making them more attractive to recruiters. While top European schools like Insead or IMD have always enjoyed strong reputations worldwide, many second-tier business schools in Europe have been marketing themselves as international schools, and as a result, they’re getting more attention.
The International Graduate School of Management at the University of Navarra in Spain, for example, has increased its share of international students to 60 percent this year, up from only 36 percent in 1995. In comparison, foreign graduates make up a mere 30 percent at top American business schools.
Alloing Philippe, the European and Asian head of human resources for Arthur D. Little, stated that American schools have not done enough to internationalize themselves and have therefore been losing out to European schools.
According to the survey, respondents said they tend to lean toward European-style, one-year MBA programs over the two-year American model. The survey also revealed that recruiters preferred bilingual programs like the one offered at Insead or Instituto de Empresa in Madrid.
— Wall Street Journal
Nov. 24, 1999