Recent reports suggest that Scotland should cut down their four year degrees to three years.

The move would make postgraduate study more available to poorer students, who currently struggle to subsidise more specific or vocational further studies on top of a four year degree.

There is little funding available for such students who wish to gain the edge in today’s saturated graduate market, but simply cannot afford to do so. Alastair Hunter, who is president-elect of the lecturers’ union UCU (University and College Union) and based at the University of Glasgow, believes that reducing the length of degrees would help Scottish students as they would not be disadvantaged by a shorter course and it would free up funding for postgraduate qualifications.

“The four year degree is the gold standard in education”

However, the suggestion was met with a negative response by the governing body, the Universities Scotland, who stated: “The cost to the reputation of Scottish education would be more than any financial saving we would make. The four-year degree is the gold standard in education. England is the exception in having a three-year degree. A lot of countries in Europe keep the four-year system.”

She added that the present system gives students who have come to university immediately following their fifth year at school two years in which to settle into a good educational grounding before having to decide the subjects in which they wish to specialise.

The spokeswoman defended the system claiming that students studying certain subjects at A level are able to go directly into their second year to cut study time.

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