More Scottish universities exploring 3-year degrees

January 16, 2015

Universities in Scotland are increasingly beginning to offer 3-year, accelerated degrees. Most recently, the University of the Highlands and Islands began to offer a 3-year bachelor of science degree intended to help students “embark on their chosen career more quickly and save money in the process.” The University of Dundee, Abertay University, and Queen Margaret University have all also launched 3-year programs with similar promises. Lindsay Paterson, a professor of education policy at the University of Edinburgh, said that the new programs are emerging in response to questions about the affordability and efficiency of 4-year degrees. Many Scottish institutions were already charging students from elsewhere in the United Kingdom for only 3 years of study. Paterson says that “there is a degree of unsustainability about that 4-year program. That can’t go on forever, having to subsidize that from other sources.” While some noted that a 3-year program can increase flexibility for students, there are concerns that such an approach will sacrifice quality in the pursuit of enrolment numbers. Inside Higher Ed