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MBAs may lose their title under new quality standards


MBA qualifications may fall victim to new quality controls being imposed in a bid to rationalise qualifications routes in the UK, the Guardian has reported.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is to review courses across all graduate and post-graduate education in a bid to establish national standards across the board. The postgraduate sector is likely to feel the full impact of the reforms because of the huge expansion in masters degrees over the last ten years.

As part of a new national qualifications network, qualifications will be placed into one of five categories in a bid to clear up misunderstandings about the plethora of courses now available. Instead, they will either be classed as PhD courses, masters degrees, honours degrees, foundation degrees or one-year diplomas, leaving three levels up to degree level instead of the proposed four.

Writing in the Guardian Higher Education section, John Randall, Chief Executive of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, says that the UK can no longer take for granted its position of dominance in educating overseas students, as Universities across Europe become geared up to provide teaching in English. The Bologna Declaration, signed 18 months ago between 29 European countries, sets out a series of objectives for developing higher education in Europe. One of its key aims is to do away with the lengthy qualification routes currently in place on the continent and to replace them with a system based on batchelors and masters degrees.

Randall says that establishing, building and maintaining high standards are crucial in order that employers can know exactly what they can expect from students leaving Higher Education today. Key to this is providing greater clarity over the definition of the myriad of qualifications available - Randall cites the example of the five different definitions of the qualification "Masters" currently being offered.


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