One year masters degrees

Posted By TEU on Aug 18, 2011 |

Tertiary Update Vol 14 No 30

New Zealand universities are considering cutting a year from the traditional five-year programme for a Masters degree to try to compete with Australia in attracting international fee-paying students, according to TVNZ.

Some Australian universities offer a four-year course, compared with the usual five years in New Zealand. Many Masters degrees in New Zealand take two years to complete after three years of a Bachelor degree, while in Australia some universities allow a Masters to be completed in one year.

There are already many examples of one year masters programmes available in New Zealand but the new proposal could have consequences for the amount of research included in a thesis-based Masters, as well as challenging the traditional role of one year honours degrees.

But Professor Pat Walsh, from Universities’ NZ’s Committee of University Academic Programmes (CUAP), told TVNZ the current system is disadvantaging universities here.

“There is no doubt I think we all agree that it does disadvantage New Zealand universities in terms of recruiting international students.”

The idea is still being discussed by universities, and any recommendations would go to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Co-president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations Max Hardy told TVNZ he would need some convincing.

“It would be completely inappropriate for both domestic and international students to undermine the quality of our qualifications to get a quick buck from overseas students wanting a quick degree,” he said.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. Two sacked lecturers at Victoria’s International Relations programme
  2. National links benefits to job training
  3. Sir Paul Reeves
  4. Equity status to ensure equality for refugee students

Other news

The cost of study will go up yet again as borrowers are charged new fees in the Student Loan Scheme Act passed under urgency in Parliament yesterday. On the positive side, student representatives will celebrate good administrative changes in the Bill – NZUSA

Proposals to merge the Education Review Office and New Zealand Qualification Authority, and to transfer work within Vote Employment from the Department of Labour to the Ministry of Education will not go ahead at this time – State Services Minister Tony Ryall

International students may be able to bypass the immigration department when getting visas under a new scheme to increase enrolment. Immigration New Zealand chief executive Nigel Bickle said that “trusted institutions” could get the power to make visa decisions for students – as was done in Britain – The Press

Twenty-five postgraduate students took part in what Otago University officials said was the world’s first official university Twitter conference devoted to thesis-based research – Otago Daily Times

TEU Tertiary Update is published weekly on Thursdays and distributed freely to members of the Tertiary Education Union and others. You can subscribe to Tertiary Update by email or feed reader. Back issues are available on the TEU website. Direct inquiries should be made to Stephen Day.



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