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GEO-TECTONICS  August 2011

GEO-TECTONICS August 2011

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Subject:

Re: BSc to PhD?

From:

"Ryan, Paul (EOS)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Tectonics & structural geology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 8 Aug 2011 12:31:59 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (175 lines)

The Bologna Process is about more than degree recognition, but amongst other things, it seeks to provide a mechanism
where degrees from all signatory countries can be recognised.  Students will have a 
Diploma Supplement outlining their degree, details of the modules that were taken and passed to achieve
the award, the level of the award (in local 'currency') and something about the local university system. 
This can be given to a Faculty Office, or a firm's HR office, in any of the signatory countries for processing.  
It is designed to avoid the "Oh, we don't recognise degrees from THAT country/institution, we must keep up our standards" 
argument.  This can only be to the students' benefit.  Sadly, we are not there yet.

Paul

Professor Paul D. Ryan
EOS, NUI, Galway, Ireland
tel:+353(0)91794599 mob: +353(0)872956190 



-----Original Message-----
From: Tectonics & structural geology discussion list on behalf of Brandon, Mark
Sent: Sun 8/7/2011 10:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: BSc to PhD?
 
Interesting discussion. Let me take up the "further training" issue that John mentions below.

In the US system, there has been a decreasing emphasis to get an MSc before a PhD. At Yale, we only have a PhD program, and about 90% of our incoming students have not done a masters. The trend is to decrease the amount of time to a PhD from about 7 years for both a MS and PhD when I was a student back around 1980, to about 5 years for a PhD alone. I prefer this approach to the UK approach, where students are expected to get a PhD in 3 years. The reason is that the US approach provides the time needed for a student to develop his or her own research project. My sense is that students in the UK and in Europe are more commonly assigned a project that has already been defined. That allows them to finish in a shorter time, but does not allow practice doing independent research.

The other change is the increasing number of PhD students that go on for post docs. About 1/3 of our PhD grads go on to get academic positions. Many of those get post-docs, which provides an important opportunity to develop further independence and experience. The shorter time to PhD is probably appropriate for those PhD grads that go on to industry, consulting or government jobs. The post-doc opportunity provides a more efficient way to provide academic based experience for those who need it.
Best,
Mark

________________________________________________________________________
Mark Brandon, Professor, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics
Yale University, P.O. Box 208109, 210 Whitney Avenue
________________________________________________________________________

From: "John F. Dewey" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Reply-To: Tectonics & structural geology discussion list <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011 16:40:04 -0400
To: "[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: Re: BSc to PhD?

Jeff Greenberg is right that the US system produces a better-educated, more-rounded person but that person needs furthe traing in their discipline before undertaking Ph. D lavel research.We need diversity.

John Dewey




On 8/7/11 2:24 PM, "Jo Marion" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
With the long-term effect of the misguided abolishment of state-run grammar schools in Britain, we are in real danger of losing all meritocracy in education, especially with the introduction of exorbitant undergraduate tuition fees.  The British geology degree is of a very high standard and I do believe students are adequately schooled for PhD research if they have innate analytic ability.

An excellent way of judging if a student is suitable for research is through the final year project - usually a mapping project for geology.  My college actively encouraged and supported an extended project in addition to a full mapping project, and it placed the marking supervisor in an excellent position to judge the student's ability and tenacity to go on to PhD research.

Can I suggest that UK colleges encourage Geology BSc students interested in going onto PhD to undertake an extended project and that the reference supplied by the marking supervisor be the most valued.  It will show commitment from the student and give potential PhD supervisors an important indicator of suitability.  It will also encourage poorer students to consider PhD as they will not have an extra MSc year to fund.

J. Marion


> Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011 20:03:45 +0100
> From: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [GEO-TECTONICS] BSc to PhD?
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> >Dear Colleagues,
>
> I think that Paul Ryan and Cara Burberry have the "right answer"
> between them. We need a mechanism (the Bologna process or something
> like it) to allow and encourage ease of student movement across
> Europe and the globe, recognizing that students have different years
> of experience and expertise/training in different countries. The
> solution is "do not force uniformity of training and degree structure
> but recognize and allow for the differences. The funding authorities
> must loosen up and take this into account.
>
> Best wishes,
> John
>
> >I should add that although Europe is developing tools to assist in
> >the recognition of degrees, this does not
> >take away the right of an individual course director to select
> >students according to the advertised pre-requisites.
> >
> >In that academics are still 'free'.
> >
> >Paul
> >
> >Professor Paul D. Ryan
> >EOS, NUI, Galway, Ireland
> >tel:+353(0)91794599 mob: +353(0)872956190
> >
> >
> >
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Tectonics & structural geology discussion list on behalf of
> >Mary-Caroline Burberry
> >Sent: Fri 8/5/2011 1:14 PM
> >To: [log in to unmask]
> >Subject: Re: BSc to PhD?
> >
> >It seems to me that it's not the official "name" of the degree that
> >is the pre-requisite for a PhD but the amount the student knows and
> >time they have actually spent studying geology.
> >
> >I trained in the British system where we studied next to nothing but
> >geology for the 3 or 4 years of the undergraduate, and am now
> >teaching in the US system where my students have to take a large
> >amount of general education classes and therefore spend around 40%
> >of their time actually studying geology, over a 4-5 year average
> >time in undergrad. After the undergrad degree, my US students have
> >to go on to a Masters pre-PhD so that they can improve their
> >knowledge of (often) core geology. We currently have at least one
> >MSc student here who has never had a structural geology class. I'd
> >be very skeptical indeed of taking on a student as a PhD student
> >with the 50% general education credits that many of my undergrads
> >have, even if the student in question had been in university for
> >years.
> >
> >I don't know how these systems compare to the EU system, having
> >never been a part of it.
> >
> >--
> >Cara Burberry
> >
> ><http://greatamericanphotocontest.com/voter1/index5.aspx?p=2932213&x=.jpg&referid=FB>
> ><<http://greatamericanphotocontest.com/voter1/index5.aspx?p=2932213&x=.jpg&referid=FB>http://www.komennebraska.org/site/TR?px=1196900&pg=personal&fr_id=1030&et=z9nKoQAnMK3tVSV8SjLcaQ..&s_tafId=1720>
> >Donate $13.10 FOR THE CURE!!!
> ><<http://www.komennebraska.org/site/TR?px=1196900&pg=personal&fr_id=1030&et=z9nKoQAnMK3tVSV8SjLcaQ..&s_tafId=1720>http://pages.teamintraining.org/ne/omaha11/cburberqb8>
>
>
> --
> Please note that my email address has changed to:<http://pages.teamintraining.org/ne/omaha11/cburberqb8> [log in to unmask]
>
> Prof. John F. Dewey FRS, M.R.I.A., FAA, Mem. Acad. Eur., Mem.
> US Nat. Acad. Sci., Distinguished Emeritus Professor University of
> California, Emeritus Professor and Supernumerary Fellow, University
> College Oxford.
>
> Sherwood Lodge,
> 93 Bagley Wood Road,
> Kennington,
> Oxford OX1 5NA,
> England, UK
>
> University College,
> High Street,
> Oxford OX1 4BH
>
> Telephone Nos:
> 011 44 (0)1865 735525 (home Oxford)
> 011 44 (0)1865 276792 (University College Oxford)




--


Please note that my email address has changed to: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Prof. John F. Dewey FRS, M.R.I.A., FAA, Mem. Acad. Eur., Mem.
US Nat. Acad. Sci., Distinguished Emeritus Professor University of California, Emeritus Professor and Supernumerary Fellow, University College Oxford.

 Sherwood Lodge,
 93 Bagley Wood Road,
 Kennington,
 Oxford OX1 5NA,
 England, UK

 University College,
 High Street,
 Oxford OX1 4BH

 Telephone Nos:
 011 44 (0)1865 735525 (home Oxford)
 011 44 (0)1865 276792 (University College Oxford)

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