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Nordic countries: side effects of Bologna degree structure reform

The Nordic countries are beginning to discover side effects of their very smooth transitions to the Bologna degree structure. In the first evaluation of the Quality reform (the Bologna degree structure reform) effects on Norwegian higher education, one finding is that the bachelor degree seems to have a lower status on the labour marked in comparison to the old Cand Mag degree. Despite longer semesters and more tutoring, many university professors are concerned as that they are spending too much time on the student and not enough on research.  However, the student satisfaction is relatively high. Students reported to have received more tutoring and more feed back. In related news, the Finnish reform of university degrees in 2005 will cause a surge in the number of graduates in 2008, as the transitional period of two parallel degree requirements ends. Students who began their studies prior to 2005 are allowed to continue on the old 'Candidate' track (an often prolonged study period leading the the equivalent of a master) but must finish by 2008. The 2005 reform introduced a compulsory lower degree in almost all academic fields. Hence, in addition to the “old” master’s degree students, a large number of graduates of the so called “Candidate’s first degree” (the equivalent of the 3 year bachelor) who began in 2005 will finish their studies at the same time.

The average annual number of those taking a master's degree certificate is around 13 000 in Finland, and this figure could now be exceeded by many thousands, as the faculties of universities have sent hurry-up reminders to tens of thousands of students who have not finished their studies as yet. Both Norwary and Finland are ironing out the kinks of degree structure reform. Reform
Finnish Ministry of Education