It is as traditional as punting, elite clubs and one-to-one tutorials with dusty dons, but the 'complimentary' masters degrees awarded to Oxford and Cambridge graduates is under fire, writes Julie Henry for The Telegraph.
Students with a bachelor degree from the ancient institutions are entitled to a 'free' master of arts title without having to complete further study or examinations. Postgraduates from other universities have at least a year's hard slog and fees of around £4,000 (US$6,400) to pay in order to achieve a masters. All that Oxbridge demands is £10 to cover administration costs and for three or four years to have been passed.
Now the "Byzantine relic of a bygone era" has come under challenge from a private member's bill brought by Chris Leslie, the Labour MP for Nottingham East, alumnus of Leeds University with a 'real' masters in industrial and labour studies. He argues that the master of arts, awarded to 3,000 Oxbridge graduates every year, gives them an unearned advantage in the jobs market and devalues the work of the 200,000 postgraduates taking masters qualifications at other universities.
Full report on the Telegraph site
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