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Education & Language - Higher Education | The Sudoku Effect: Universities in the Vicious Circle of Bureaucracy

The Sudoku Effect: Universities in the Vicious Circle of Bureaucracy

Kühl, Stefan

2014, XIII, 92 p.

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  • Presents a critical evaluation of the introduction of ECTS credit points
  • Shows how a seemingly small change can lead to a ‘vicious circle of bureaucracy’
  • Explores how increasing bureaucratic rules necessarily lead to transgressions in practice

This book shows that the introduction of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) of credit points as a new accounting unit at universities has led to increased bureaucracy and the schoolmaster-style regimentation of Bachelor’s and Master’s courses. It explains how, due to the pressure of having to plan every single working hour of studying in advance, a ‘Sudoku Effect’ is created by the necessity to combine courses, exams and modules in such a way that the points ‘add up’. An unintentional side effect of the introduction of the ECTS, the Sudoku Effect has led to more classroom style teaching, an inflation of exams and fewer choices available to students. It has resulted in such complex and contradictory guidelines for the planning of the curriculum that the values attributed to the higher education reform can often only be realised if the rules for Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes are ignored, or at least stretched, in practice. The book describes how the reaction to this situation is the continuous further refinement of the complicated rules rather than their abolishment.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Bachelor's and Master's courses - ECTS credit system - bureaucracy in universities - classroom style teaching - reform of Bachelor degree programmes - the Bologna Reform

Related subjects » Education & Language - Higher Education

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