UK should keep well out of Sorbonne plans

November 30, 2017

The article “Could EU’s ‘Bologna 2.0’ vision leave UK behind?” (News, 23 November) describes plans to further integrate higher education across the European Union. If the “Sorbonne Process” is to take higher education any further downhill than the Bologna Process, then the UK is better off outside it because good students will still be seeking somewhere to get high-quality tertiary education.

It is amusing that of all people, Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, should squeak about higher education when French universities are disastrously underfunded. In France, we have to increase the numbers of students per group so as to cope with an ever-decreasing number of colleagues as academic positions get frozen. A number of univer-sities are, through no fault of their own, bordering on bankruptcy.

Standards have nosedived because selection and entry criteria for master’s-level study are minimal, and once a student is enrolled we are expected to carry them through to a degree whether or not they actually have the ability. We have a large number of underachieving researchers wanting promotion who take on weak doctoral students in order to build a file for professional advancement. Is this the Sorbonne future that you want to join?


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