So they’re making the shift towards 3-year Bachelors’ in Europe:
In the early 1990s, the then-presidents of Oberlin College and Stanford University floated the idea that the standard time for an undergraduate degree might be better at three years instead of four. The idea went nowhere — at least in the United States.
But 45 European nations have pledged to make three years the standard time for their undergraduate degrees by 2010. Under “the Bologna Process,” named for the Italian city where the agreement for “harmonizing” European higher education was signed in 1999, degrees are supposed to be sufficiently similar that they will be recognized from one country to the next, encouraging student mobility.
But why can’t we do this in America?
Christian Bode, secretary general of the German Academic Exchange Service, told the group that there was far too much diversity in the quality of American higher education to make any blanket comparisons between American and European degrees. In the United States, he said, “a bachelor’s degree is not necessarily a bachelor’s degree.”
In an interview after his talk, Bode said European higher education is more homogeneous such that the rigor for a bachelor’s degree from a “top” university isn’t that different from one at a less prestigious institution. Given the quality gaps in the United States, “you have a problem in your own house,” he said, before Americans can denigrate European degrees.
Sort of interesting to think about that at American “top” universities, one could save themselves up to or more than $40,000 by knocking off a year of college. Given the debt problems of our generation in financing college in light of a government seeking to cut federal aid one might think this policy isn’t half-bad.
At the very least, it’s something to think about.