Bologna, three-year degrees, and what it means for the U.S.

August 23, 2016
  • AACRAO Connect
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
Photo of several small rubber balls decorated to look like global maps.

Consistent and fair treatment of three-year degrees can pose a challenge to international education professionals--especially the handling of three-year degrees from India, one of the primary sources of international applicants to U.S. institutions.

"If the European three-year degree is deemed sufficient for admission, what about the three-year degree from India, Pakistan, Australia, or South Africa?" asks Robert Watkins, Assistant Director of Admissions in the Graduate and International Admissions Center at The University of Texas at Austin, in the recently-updated AACRAO International Guide.

"Consistency and fairness in the handling of three-year degrees is important," Watkins writes. "When a three-year degree does not unequivocally and universally lead to admission to the next higher (graduate) level degree in its country of issuance, it should not be equated to the degree that does not routinely allow access. For example, the Ontario three-year Ordinary degree does not lead to admission to a master’s program in that Province… Conversely, the three-year Bologna-compliant first degree is designed to provide access to the next level of higher education."

Watkins discusses three-year degrees within Europe’s Bologna Process and what they mean for European students wishing to study in the United States in his chapter in the Guide, which also includes topics such as:
  • undocumented students,
  • international student-athletes,
  • fraudulent diploma mills,
  • the plight of schools in Crimea.ï

With updated standards, case studies, and best practices from leading experts in various fields of international education, the 2016 Guide is the ultimate resource for any institution operating on a global scale. As internationalization becomes a “bold and necessary step” for college campuses, it is imperative that institutions recognize the challenges and benefits of sound international education policies.

The AACRAO International Guide is now available at the AACRAO Bookstore!



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