Global University: Dual/Joint Degree Working Group

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University of Wisconsin – Madison

Sample definitions of JDs/DDs/CDs

Dear colleagues,

Apologies for being so quiet – I’m in the middle of the Hmong Studies faculty search process, which should end in about two weeks.

On definitions, I’d encourage us all to examine Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange) by the International Institute for Education (IIE) and the Freie Universität Berlin. In it they state, on page xvi:

A joint degree program: students study at (at least) two higher education institutions and receive upon completion of the study program a single degree certificate issued and signed by all the participating institutions jointly.

A dual or double degree program: students study at (at least) two higher education institutions and receive upon completion of the study program a separate degree certificate from each of the participating institutions.

At the National University of Singapore, a few years ago, they used these definitions (I compiled some of these on the basis of notes so please don’t assume they are 100% airtight):

Joint Degree Programs: 1. Joint degree programs (JDPs) are specially designed programs that make the best complementary use of expertise in partner universities.  Students are awarded with one degree (that is, one graduating certificate, with two university crests on it).  They may be at the undergraduate or graduate level. 2.The joint degree will take the same length of time as a single degree, and for an undergraduate degree, the student will usually spend three or four of eight semesters overseas.

More recently they defined Joint Degree Programs this way:

JDP combines the strengths of both NUS and the partner university, and integrates international experience fully into a student’s course of study and research. Students will be jointly taught, supervised, assessed and jointly awarded a degree. The degree scroll bearing the crests and official signatories of both universities will be a doubly validated qualification.

Again, on the basis of my notes from a few years ago:

Double Degree Programs: 1. Double degree programs (DDPs) are specially designed programs that also make the best complementary use of expertise in partner institutions and may be at undergraduate or graduate level.  Students are awarded with two degrees, but would generally take less time and fulfil less requirements than if the student were to take the two degrees separately (i.e. not as part of a DDP).  However, they would take more time than that required for a single degree.  Usually, what would take six to eight years would take five to five-and-a-half years with a DDP arrangement. 2. It is envisaged that students will spend about half of their five to five-and-a-half-year candidature on each campus.

More recently they noted:

Double degree coursework programmes normally allow some modules taken to be double counted towards the requirements of both degrees, thus allowing the student to complete the two degrees in a shorter period of time than it would take to complete both degrees separately.

At the undergraduate level, the National University of Singapore currently defines Concurrent Degree Programmes (CDPs) this way:

CDPs involve a combination of a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the same Faculty/School or from two different Faculties/Schools and allow a student to pursue a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree concurrently. The programme structure allows some of the requirements for the Bachelor’s degree to be double counted towards the Master’s degree so that a student could graduate in four and a half to five years with both degrees, something which would normally take between five and a half and six years if pursued separately.

This type of degree can be ‘international’, even within one campus: for example see their Bachelor of Laws from NUS and Master of Laws from New York University where “NUS Law students may apply for admission to the NYU LLM in their second or exceptionally in their third year of studies” though the admission decision is made by NYU. In this case NYU has a base at NUS , and they collaborate closely together in the field of law.

There are a number of other definitions, of course, and ways to deepen our understanding of each.  For example, Pascal Deslile (in Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange) talks about “research-drive double degrees” and “professional education double degrees”.

Or see this graphic from a report (Joint and Double Degree Programmes: Vexing Questions and Issues), by Jane Knight and the OBHE:

I’ve sent out a call to some colleagues working with such degrees and programs for their most up-to-date & lucid definitions…keep you posted.

Kris

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Filed under: Kris Olds, Uncategorized

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