Is there a discount if I get MA and PhD at the same time?

You can tell that something is wrong with higher education when university degrees are advertised at “999 €” prices like bicycles or package holidays.

999 university

(European University in Skopje, Macedonia.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
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4 Responses to Is there a discount if I get MA and PhD at the same time?

  1. ujsalmon says:

    I don’t really have a problem with universities openly advertising their prices. Higher educaton is increasingly expensive and any institution that can offer a good education for a competitive price will do well. University education has, like it or not, become a product in an increasingly crowded marketplace. All the students I teach have done extensive research in terms of getting the best value education for the price.

    Of course, there is the argument that higher education is a public benefit, not a private benefit, and, as such, should be fully funded by the state.

    • After having been to university in both systems (Germany without tuition fees and UK with tuition fees), I have changed my mind on this completely and have come to the conclusion that selling education as a product undermines the quality of education.

      Students who pay (a lot) believe they are entitled to a degree, not to reading a lot and doing lots of homework. And the universities are reluctant to kick out under-performing students, for fear of losing revenue or seeming tough which would scare away future students/customers.

      I am not sure if higher education needs to be a public good like primary and secondary education, but in countries with high tuition fees it has become more like a service industry or a degree shop than a real university with genuine academic exchange. It’s obvious from many university prospectuses (at least in the UK) which devote more pages to advertising their sports facilities, their student halls with broadband and their new flashy buildings than addressing academic requirements or expectations.

      In systems without tuition fees, students have no sense of entitlement at all, which in my experience makes them work harder. Also it leads to less spoon-feeding because the university doesn’t have the funds to put a tutor behind every young adult. They are just required to grow up. If they don’t, they are out and the university won’t mind because their funding doesn’t depend on that student.

      Another important aspect: if higher education is for free (or tax-payer financed to be more precise), it’s easier to try out different degrees and universities. It gives you much more freedom over the course of your lifetime to return to university whenever you want, to take a few classes, to take a break and so on. Nobody is forced to rush through his/her studies just to receive a diploma as soon as possible. There is more time for seemingly aimless academic pursuits, which in systems where the student pays (or takes on debt of) 10,000 € a year would be considered a waste of time/money.

      Overall, I don’t think it’s good for education if it is seen as an investment, whether by the provider or by the consumer as we seemingly have to call universities and students now.

      (I realize that this is actually a good topic for a separate blog post.)

    • Anonymous says:

      There is nothing wrong with treating students as customers that are entitled to get something for their money. It’s just that in students minds, what they expect to get is the degree, NOT the learning that comes before. Many students would probably be happy to get their degrees with as little learning as possible and second class non-free universities are happy to satisfy this demand…

  2. Dante says:

    I think I have to apologize to the European University for my very first thaught I had reading the beginning of the article: I suspected it to be a kind of a “degree mill” because the advertisement sounds a little bit like this.

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