11 world-class scientific and technological universities gather for the T.I.M.E. (Top International Managers in Engineering) which took place at Centrale Méditerranée, Marseille on 16-17 February, 2023.
During this AC Meeting, T.I.M.E. Members had the opportunity to confront with interesting thoughts related to the latest international education trends that they currently face in their countries and institutions.
We note a relative disaffection of students for double-degree schemes. They are perceived as being too long (generally 2 years), and students are less and less aligned with institutional logic. They rather have an “open bar” or “buffet” approach, going to pick some courses elsewhere, without necessarily targeting the diploma. We also note that mobility is more and more frequent at the bachelor’s level, while double-degrees in engineering occur mostly at the master’s level. Finally, some of the students, who are like us and our governments, look at the rankings, and perceive quality through a US or UK perspective. Members try to convince them that academic excellence is also located elsewhere and that it is not necessarily indexed on tuition fees.
Nevertheless, the added value of double degree for students can be defended with strong arguments and this is first of all a matter of time: the double degree is not just an exchange of transcripts of records between institutions. There is, for the student, a period before, a period during the curriculum, and after the degree. Double degree is a dual-institutional educational process in which students are not considered as tourists or clients. Finally, in some countries, registration in the local engineer professional associations is greatly facilitated if you get a local degree. We can also mention that double-degree agreements allow colleagues to establish or strengthen academic personal contacts in the partner institution, in particular through the joint supervision of the final year project or master thesis
Finally, we should encourage us to assume excellence, the requirements and ambition of double-degree versus a simple buffet of self-service courses.
Nevertheless, I think that if our institutions believe in the double degree, we must show it, and the fact that we can display scholarships is a signal expected by candidates. Be expensive (reasonably), but be generous. This is the reason why T.I.M.E. Association is willing to cooperate more with companies, starting with l’Oréal. During the AC in Marseile, we started to explore a set of activities such as the possibility of scholarship for T.I.M.E. Double Degrees.