eWENR, Jan./Feb. 2001: Europe
The Sibelius Academy in Helsinki will offer a master’s program in arts management beginning in autumn 2001. The new program, which will be taught in English, is designed for students who plan to become professional arts managers, producers or cultural entrepreneurs.
The program provides hands-on training, in addition to teaching analytical skills. Accordingly, more than two years of full-time study will focus on the framework of arts organizations, finance and marketing, management issues in the arts and leadership.
Applicants are required to have a bachelor of arts degree or an equivalent qualification, in addition to practical experience in an arts-related field and an adequate command of English. Higher education in Finland is paid for by the government, so there is no tuition fee for this program.
Further information about the arts management MA program can be found at http://www.siba.fi/MAartsmanagement.
— Correspondence from the Sibelius Academy
Jan. 29, 2001
According to a recent survey conducted by the German Press Agency, universities in the former German Democratic Republic are becoming increasingly popular with students from Western Germany. In the coastal town of Rostock, for example, the number of Western German students has risen by 20 percent in the last few years. Similar increases have been reported for Dresden, Leipzig, Weimar and Ilmenau.
Many universities have been modernized since the Berlin Wall came down in 1990, and the West German education system was imposed on the East. New laboratories have been constructed, new faculties formed and new curricula have been reorganized and expanded. Many East German universities are known for their high standard of technical equipment and wide rage of specialized subjects, and in many cases, they’re considered superior to their Western counterparts.
— Deutch Welle 2000
Nov. 2, 2000
New reform measures in secondary education have led to the establishment of an integrated system of technical/vocational education, which ensures graduates easier access to the labor market and job security.
Technical/vocational school requires up to three years of full-time study and is comprised of two cycles: Stage A, which lasts two years; and B, which lasts one year. Each cycle focuses on a particular specialization.
After passing examinations in general subjects at the prefectorial level, stage A graduates are awarded a second-level degree that certifies them to do any of the following: obtain a license to practice a profession; continue on to Stage B.
Stage B students who pass national examinations in common subjects are awarded a third-level degree certifying them to do any of the following: obtain a license to practice a profession; enroll in a vocational training institute; or take another set of exams to enter a technical/vocational institute.
— Le Magazine
Number 13, 2000
The Dutch government recently announced plans to introduce a degree system based on the Anglo-Saxon or “Bama” model. Starting with the 2002 academic year, college and university graduates will be allowed to adapt the title of “bachelor” or “master” in addition to the traditional Dutch doctorandus.
The implementation of a degree system in the Netherlands is another step towards the harmonization of Europe’s diverse systems of education. Twenty-nine countries signed the Bologna Declaration in June 1999 and agreed to modify their degree structures to create a single European system.
Under the new system, Dutch students will receive their bachelor degrees after completing five years of study. Most universities have welcomed the news because the implementation of the Bama model will make them more competitive internationally. Some schools, like Leiden University, already offer master’s degree programs in English for international students.
Although Dutch colleges will also be allowed to offer master’s degrees, only universities will receive financing from the government. Degree titles will differ as well: universities will offer the bachelors of arts and sciences, while colleges will have to introduce more specifically named vocational degrees, such as bachelor of education.
— Times Higher Education Supplement
Jan. 5, 2001
At a meeting last fall in Krakow, education ministers from the 41-member Council of Europe endorsed a plan to issue a European Union (EU)-wide standardized document to evaluate language skills. The document, known as the European Portfolio, is a “linguistic passport” containing information about the holder’s linguistic skills based on the same criteria commonly recognized in all EU countries. Implementation of the project began in January 2001, which is being hailed as the Year of European Languages.
Included in the portfolio are diplomas, qualifications and relevant information based on cultural and travel experience, in addition to samples of written work. A pilot program was launched in 1998, which included at least 15 European countries. Russia, Hungary, Slovenia and the Czech Republic were among the participants.
The ministers were particularly enthusiastic about the portfolio’s transnational characteristics, which they see as being more conducive to promoting a single European labor market than the confusing domestic diplomas. The Year of European Languages will also include many other projects aimed at promoting a multi-cultural and multi-lingual Europe.
— European Reporter
According to a recently published annual report, almost half of Spanish students drop out of college before completing their first three years of study. Other problems mentioned in the report include lack of library and computer facilities, in addition to excessive student workloads.
On a positive note, the report also revealed a wider range of qualifications being offered, an increase in practical training and work placements, and greater participation in international exchange.
The study, conducted by the Universities Council, recommends that individual faculties set up mechanisms to curb the dropout rates in specific subjects. It also advised universities to upgrade tutorials at all stages of higher education. The University of Barcelona, which maintains high quality tutorial programs, has found that closer guidance from instructors has helped curb dropout rates among science, nursing and teacher-training degree candidates.
— Times Higher Education Supplement
Dec. 8, 2000
While English universities struggle to meet their enrollment quotas, Scotland is experiencing a student bonanza following funding changes north of the border. The Scottish executive’s decision to abolish tuition fees and introduce scholarships resulted in 2,000 additional enrollments compared with last year.
At the same time, the number of English students accepted to Scottish institutions of higher education has dropped by almost 15 percent this year. English students who go to Scotland for higher education must pay fees. Total enrollments at Scottish institutions rose 2.6 percent.
The number of students accepted at English universities increased by 1.7 percent, to just under 5000. There has been a 2.2 percent rise in English enrollments at universities this year. These are alarming statistics for the English because institutions of higher education are expected to fill the extra 52,000 university places currently available to meet the government’s expansion target.
— Times Higher Education Supplement
Oct. 27, 2000