08 May, 2006

No more education for you!

A friend of mine is heartbroken in the UAE today. He found out last night that the new law passed by the federal goverment, the one that has arbitrarily decided that no one can obtain a Masters degree without first completing a Bachelor's, has no grandfather clause. He finished two years of his Batchelor's and is now halfway through his Masters, has paid for the night courses in the Masters program, and his matrimonial plans hinge on the fact that he's a man in pursuit of a Masters, not a guy with no degree whatsoever.

There's no room to budge on this one. His school won't refund his money for the Masters courses, there are no night classes for people who have full time jobs to go back and GET their Bachelor's, and there is no exception being made for a guy who had his entire life pinned to the rules as he understood them a week ago. And he'll be stuck at his current position at his job because he can't get any promotions without this Masters.

Someone pulled the rug out from under his universe, and I'm sure he's not the only one spinning from this arbitrary, unfair ruling. No warning, no compensation, no dispensation, just "Hey, let's ruin your life, Mr. 3.98 GPA!" And nothing can be done to change this -- except perhaps to wait until they change their minds again on a whim and introduce some new law.

And of course, can I find any information about this law? no i cannot. The Ministry of Education site is in Arabic, and I don't see any option to view it in English. If the newspapers are writing about it, I can't find any reference. Where was this change announced? Was anyone given any warning? Was any thought given to the young men and women studying here in the UAE who are smart enough, dedicated enough, to do the Masters work and skip all that boring undergraduate stuff?


redstar said...

Whilst I don't approve of the way these laws appear to have been introduced, what value is a Master's degree from someone who was unable to complete his Bachelor's?

Anonymous said...

no authenitc university in the world would allow a person to do masters without their bachelors degree, the arab world was messed up from before, there is no proper educational heads govenrning proper education,

they are changing now, and its good for the future and present generation.

As new and better universties are being opened in dubai, the gov's educational dept can learn from them, the path to educate their ppl

secretdubai said...

It was probably a transfer or conversion thing, where a university might allow someone to swap over to the higher course.

It's a bizarrre decision by the Education Ministry - my only guess is that they are trying to weed out diploma mills and increase standards generally.

It doesn't sound like this poor guy is flush with cash, but he should consider studying overseas or via correspondence, because there are probably quite a few international universities that would let him complete.

secretdubai said...

no authenitc university in the world would allow a person to do masters without their bachelors

Well, that depends whether you view the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Glasgow etc as authentic ;)

And Oxford and Cambridge grant automatic upgrades from BA to MA degrees, no further study required.

That said, I would hardly put any UAE institutions on the level of these universities.

archer14 said...

I can't believe my eyes. This is yet another bizarre story of completing a Masters before the Bachelors. Unbelievable. This has to be farked. That is, if someone could tell us which uni here offers these one-of-a-kind courses.

Goodlife Dubai said...

Ah but my point is:
He had no warning or notice
he is already halfway through his MA, was given special dispensation from the University to stop persuing his BA and get his MA, and he's got a 3.98 GPA in his Masters studies right now.

If they had wanted to change the laws, they should have grandfathered the people currently on an MBA fast track and allowed them to complete their studies.

Right now, anyone previously permitted to skip BA courses in favour of a MA have no recourse. they have no refund for the MA courses for which they have already paid, they have no option to go to night school to complete their BA's while they hold down jobs, they were given no warning that these policies would be changed.

The point is not whether this practice of skipping BA studies to get an MA should ever have been permitted. The point is, anyone who was allowed to do this last week is no longer allowed to do this today. And that's just not right. No new candidates should have been allowed to jump. But the folks already in the program should either be allowed to complete the program, or given a more flexible schedule to finish their BA's, or at the very least reimbursed for the courses they have paid for this semester that suddenly mean nothing.

grapeshisha said...

While the ruling is a tad bizarre, it is a shame that this guy is left in the loophole, but yes, SD brings up a good suggestion for finishing by distance learning.

As Bachelors, it makes absolutely no sense to start a Masters without the basic education, ESPECIALLY out here.

And dont get me onto MBAs - for an MBA to be worthwhile, you need to have at least 5-10 years post bachelor experience for it to be worthwhile.

The fast track one year MBA, or ones that you can do straight after a bachelor, really bring down the value of the MBA in general, especially for those who have good down the traditional route of getting one.

Education is not about the fast track, it's all about learning something.

Tim Newman said...

And Oxford and Cambridge grant automatic upgrades from BA to MA degrees, no further study required.

To be fair, these are well known to be Masters by Purchase, not Masters by Thesis, and are treated as such.

I did a 4 years course which resulted in an MEng, and I never was awarded a BEng. I think the Scottish system works on the same principle, whereby you effectively complete a Bachelors and Masters consecutively and get awarded the latter on completion.

That method of doing things aside, nobody should be attempting a 1 years Masters by Thesis without having done a bachelors, much less stake his career on it.

Tim Newman said...

And dont get me onto MBAs - for an MBA to be worthwhile, you need to have at least 5-10 years post bachelor experience for it to be worthwhile.

You are spot on there.

Goodlife Dubai said...

Wouldn't that be grand, to be able to finish up via online or distance learning? Unfortunately, his University doesn't recognize such coursework.

Seems he needs to transfer his credits out of there and get a real University degree under his belt from a real university.

It's too bad there are no programs here that give college credit for life experiences. His job experience would place him within easy reach of BA.

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