It is widely anticipated that there might be up to 12,000 new ‘Bologna Masters’ degrees by 2010 across the European Higher Education Area. What I have not heard being discussed is the huge additional costs that this will place upon those schools undergoing the Bologna reforms. These costs will arise from: curriculum development, additional quality assurance, new promotions, extra publications, website development to name but a few.
There is another (largely unspoken) element to these reforms and this relates to the likely drop in overall student numbers progressing directly to the Masters level as growing numbers of students exit into employment directly from their first degrees.
Is not the inevitable outcome of rising costs and reduced demand, that business schools in this situation will look to reduce their costs and that staffing is where they will look first? Another likely outcome is that the trend towards, two-year Masters courses, being widely adopted from the Bologna reforms, will be hard to sustain in a global market where one-year Masters are both the norm and highly popular with international students.