The current issue of International Higher Education Quarterly, published by the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, includes a piece by Jane Knight, professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, on the ins and outs of joint-, double-, and combined-degree programs. Dr. Knight raises a number of important questions about these types of programs:
For many academics and policymakers, double- and joint degree programs are welcomed as a natural extension of exchange and mobility. For others, they are perceived as a troublesome development leading to double counting of academic work and the thin edge of academic fraud. A broad range of reactions exist because of the diversity of these program models, the involvement of different types of institutions, the uncertainty related to quality assurance and qualifications, and the ethics used in designing the academic workload or new competencies required for the granting of a joint, double, multiple, or combined degree.