Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
Dundee University announced this week that they are introducing a specially designed three-year honours degree. Appropriately qualified students from Scotland as well as the rest of the UK will be able to access these degree courses.
The prospect of a three-year honours degree is an extremely welcome initiative. With a large number of Scottish school students already being educated to Advanced Higher level, it makes sense that Scottish university degrees reflect this fact and provide students with a tailored learning experience leading directly on from their school education, rather than having to retread old ground.
For the students, this will reduce the cost of study by a quarter, even in the absence of tuition fees; for the universities, it will allow them to provide more focused and cost-effective education; and for business, it will assist in placing young people into firms earlier, allowing them to develop their practical skills ensuring that productivity is accelerated and bringing us into line with the experience south of the border.
Of course, three-year degrees may not be appropriate for every discipline, but this is exactly the kind of progressive thinking we need from our higher education sector as it seeks to provide world class, practical and efficient education to our business leaders of the future.
Scottish Chambers of Commerce are engaging with the education sector and with policy makers to help inject this kind of innovative, flexible thinking into the Scottish education sector. We would hope that this is the beginning of a series of reforms which will make further and higher education more relevant to today’s Scotland and the economic challenges we face.