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Is any bachelor degree as good as another?


Frost
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Hello everyone. I am not sure if anyone knows the answer to this, but it is worth trying:

 

My daughter has been accepted to Ballet West. We live in Scotland know, but as we are Norwegian citizens, we will (probably) not qualify for funding from the Scottish student loans. Hence we tried Norwegian Student Loans. Then trouble began. As Ballet West is neither a recognised nor a listed body, Norway will not fund it. They claimed - which I found quite provocative - that "education is big business in the UK; so a bachelor is not always a bachelor, and that many private schools does not provide sufficient qualities on their bachelors, and that Norwegian Universities often did not accept Bachelors from the UK on this premise"

 

Does any of you know if this is actually true? My impression of the Scottish primary and secondary schools, where my 4 kids go, is that they are excellent, so I find it really hard to believe that there are higher education institutions which are merely doing it for the money. But I might of course be wrong. I guess for dancing schools the main focus is more how well they teach students to dance rather than academic qualifications, but still the Norwegian attitude did make me curious where this notion came from.

 

Does anyone know if any Ballet West students have ever been rejected from studying a master in dance due to it being a private school?

 

Hopefully someone knows something about this.

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I have a Norweigian friend at ballet west who has also struggled to get funding, but I believe she applied for some kind of government scholarship, so that might be worth a try?

Also, many BW students go on to do Masters degrees, so it certainly isn't impossible! Hope that helps xx

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Well the awarding body of the degree at Ballet West is the University of Northumbria is it not? I assume that makes it just as valid a degree as any other awarded by that university? Would you be able to get a loan from Norway if your DD was physically going to the University of Northumbria? If so, I would try that argument with the loan people.

Hope you can get it sorted out soon.

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You probably need to refer the Norwegian authorities to the University of Northumbria, who validate the Ballet West degree. This is a perfectly normal arrangement, and not done for money - I'd venture that Northumbria loses money over the arrangement, actually. 

 

Not all BAs are equal, but that's a matter of relative standing of the university. Northumbria is an ex-polytechnic. Most polys were converted into universities in 1992 so we call them post-92 universities. They are generally less established, have staff who are not research leaders, and are easier to get in to. Generally - there are exceptions (and I've always worked in the Russell Group of universities). 

 

HOWEVER, all English & Welsh universities are subject to HEFCE regulation for quality, via the QAA. You can find reports about any university on the QAA website. There is a national system for assuring quality of teaching via the QAA, ahd for quality of research,  via the Research Excellence Framework (the REF). All of this is public information.

 

Universities in the UK are highly regulated, and the quality is overall excellent.

 

As far as I know, the only 'for-profit' university is the University of Buckingham. So I'm afraid the Norwegian authorities sound quite uninformed and prejudiced. 

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Well, I am glad to hear that Kate_N. This is my definitely my impression as well. I think the Norwegian student funding is just talking nonsense.

 

I have talked to the parents of the other Norwegian Ballet West student about funding, and they are having the same problems as us unfortunately. She, and we, have gotten private scholarships from Norway, but for us it only covers 1/3 of the school fees, so still a lot left to pay, without student loans. It really is strange, they will not even grant her a LOAN, can you imagine!

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Have you spoken to the Scottish student loan people? As your dd is part of the european union she is entitled to student loans from Scotland. I enquired about this because my DD (who is finishing her second year at Ballet West) was entitled to this funding because she had been living abroad since she was 4. They said she was entitled to claim and would be treated like a Scottish student ie. would not be required to pay back the funding. Unfortunately it does not cover all the fees so we took the English funding in the end but you should definitely contact the Scottish people, they were very helpful.

 

Good luck

DRSC

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Have you spoken to the Scottish student loan people? As your dd is part of the european union she is entitled to student loans from Scotland. I enquired about this because my DD (who is finishing her second year at Ballet West) was entitled to this funding because she had been living abroad since she was 4. They said she was entitled to claim and would be treated like a Scottish student ie. would not be required to pay back the funding. Unfortunately it does not cover all the fees so we took the English funding in the end but you should definitely contact the Scottish people, they were very helpful.

Good luck

DRSC

Norway is not in the EU.

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Just found another website for you,Frost. It is at www.workpermit.com. There is a section called Working in The UK. But under that it says, "You can live in the UK as a student,as a retired person, or if you are not working,as long as you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay without needing help from public funds."

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Thank you for your replies.

 

What I really would like to know though, is if anyone has any suspicions that some bachelors really ARE of lower standards than other, or if there only is the reputations of different schools that are different.

 

I will also try other finance options, but what I think really is the case here is whether there are any truth to the allegations of the Norwegian Quality Assurance people. If I could find a good counterargument to bring forward to them I was hoping they would change their mind, and then my daughter would get funding in line with students at approved centres in Norway such as LIPA and LSC etc.

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If you are attempting to convince an external funding body, then other people's opinions of what constitutes a good university are unlikely to be persuasive. There are some accessible independent sources that provide reviews and rankings such as 'The Complete University Guide' (UK) which you can look up on line. Keep in mind that overall ratings will vary by subject, for example if I wanted to convince someone that Northumbria University's chemistry degrees were worth having, I could point to the fact that they are accredited by The Royal Society of Chemistry. If you can assemble an evidence based dossier of the accreditation process, inspection reports, destination of graduates etc you might be able build a strong case.

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Norway may not be in the EU, but the UK is - for now.  I'm pretty sure there's some sort of system for standardising qualifications between different EU Member States, but if I've bookmarked anything about it it'll be on my work computer :(

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The EU mechanism for equalising qualifications is the Bologna agreement. The difficulty historically was that most other European countries offer a 4-year first degree (rather more like the Scottish degree), whereas England & Wales offer a 3-year Honours degree. But the intensity of the E&W degree was shown to equal the rather more elongated 4-year degree elsewhere.

 

The UK qualifications framework is the National Qualifications Framework. All UK public universities are overseen by the QAA. Some links:

 

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en

 

http://www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk/qualifications-and-credit-framework-qcf.html

 

http://scqf.org.uk/

 

https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/overview

 

http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

 

PS Northumbria won't come up well on any published league table (except on widening participation), but that doesn't mean that it doesn't fulfil the criteria of the QAA and the national qualifications framework. 

Edited by Kate_N
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Norway may not be in the EU, but the UK is - for now.  I'm pretty sure there's some sort of system for standardising qualifications between different EU Member States, but if I've bookmarked anything about it it'll be on my work computer  :(

Not just the EU/UK but worldwide. My friend is Canadian and did all of her schooling/college there. When she enrolled on a college course here [she is married to a local man, has kids and has lived here for 20 years], the man at the college was able to look up her Canadian qualifications and get the UK equivalent of what they are straight away. Turns out she has the equivalent of four A levels !!

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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Frost, as far as I know, there is no difference in the standard of the qualification between a degree done at Ballet West or at one of the other vocational dance schools which offer a degree.

 

What might be causing some difficulties with your authorities not being to find it, is that Ballet West is technically classed as a private institution (with the degree validated by the University of Northumbria as someone mentions above) and because it is private, UK students can't claim the full £9k student loan, but only £6k, so I don't think it appears in the normal way on the regular 'official' degree funding list as an option for that reason.

 

Students from other nations do study at BW - have you contacted the office to ask whether they know the best way to approach this, as it may have happened before.

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Hello taxi4ballet.

 

The problem mainly arises since Norway is not in the EU (EU citizens get funding from the Scottish loan people), and that Norway does not acknowledge any bachelors from private UK institutions, so it is not an issue with ballet west per se. Therefore I was curious to know whether a bachelor from a private institution for some reason are of lower quality than bachelors from the bigger self-accrediting institutions. The Norwegian QA people say they suspect so, but I cannot see why and how this could be the case - then the entire system would have to be somewhat corrupted, as I thought titles were pretty protected, but maybe I am wrong.

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Hello everyone. I am not sure if anyone knows the answer to this, but it is worth trying:

 

My daughter has been accepted to Ballet West. We live in Scotland know, but as we are Norwegian citizens, we will (probably) not qualify for funding from the Scottish student loans. Hence we tried Norwegian Student Loans. Then trouble began. As Ballet West is neither a recognised nor a listed body, Norway will not fund it. They claimed - which I found quite provocative - that "education is big business in the UK; so a bachelor is not always a bachelor, and that many private schools does not provide sufficient qualities on their bachelors, and that Norwegian Universities often did not accept Bachelors from the UK on this premise"

 

Does any of you know if this is actually true? My impression of the Scottish primary and secondary schools, where my 4 kids go, is that they are excellent, so I find it really hard to believe that there are higher education institutions which are merely doing it for the money. But I might of course be wrong. I guess for dancing schools the main focus is more how well they teach students to dance rather than academic qualifications, but still the Norwegian attitude did make me curious where this notion came from.

 

Does anyone know if any Ballet West students have ever been rejected from studying a master in dance due to it being a private school?

 

Hopefully someone knows something about this.

There's been some talk by the government of introducing more private higher education, but at this point it's only talk. That Norwegian site may be referring to the acedemisation of schools rather than to universities with their "big business" comment, but schools don't issue bachelor degrees and even the academies still offer A-level and Baccalaureate programmes, they aren't doing their own thing in that respect. It sounds as though the Norwegian Student Loans organisation is either confused or being deliberately misleading.

Edited by Melody
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