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UoA to No Longer Seek Accreditation for Computer Science Degrees

Incoming First Years Left in the Dark About Change

By Clive Davies

Photo by Clément Hélardot via Unsplash

The University of Aberdeen will no longer seek accreditation by the British Computer Society for its Computing Science degrees, beginning this academic year.

Multiple first year students tell The Gaudie that they were not made aware of this change until after they had accepted their offers at Aberdeen.

Accreditation refers to a process by which a program, department or school within a university is recognised by an external body to meet educational standards set by that body relevant to their field or discipline.

Accreditation typically involves a rigorous evaluation process and can provide students with a sense of assurance regarding the quality of the education they will receive, as well as helping employers to trust the quality and relevance of the degree earned by a graduate.

“I was annoyed how they told everyone that the degrees wouldn’t be accredited after I already bought accommodation,” one student said, adding that this information was not conveyed until after they had rejected places at other universities.

When asked if knowing about this change beforehand would have changed their choice of university, the student answered: “Most likely -- I turned down Northumbria and Newcastle to go here.”

In response to whether they were concerned about their degree holding less value in the eyes of employers as a result of the change, the first year said: “Yeah, [but] not as much as I was originally, I’ve come to realise that because of Aberdeen's prestige it’s probably not going to come up.”

This echoes the University’s official standpoint on the issue, expressed by an official spokesperson: “BCS accreditation is not a prerequisite for employers, or for further study, therefore we foresee no impact on students’ career prospects arising from this decision which is in common with many other leading UK universities.

“The University has a strong track record in producing outstanding computing science graduates and our strong links with industry, including support for work placement opportunities, means our graduates will continue to leave the University with their employability prospects significantly enhanced.

“While we are unaware of any widespread concern from incoming computing science students, we have informed them of the change and offered the opportunity to liaise with the Head of Department over any concerns they may have”.

Another incoming first year student corroborated that they were not made aware of this change until well after accepting their offer, stating: “When I submitted my application to study Computing Science at Aberdeen University, my program still held accreditation from the British Computer Society.

“However, after accepting an unconditional offer at the end of the previous year, I received notification in July that this program would no longer be accredited starting this year.

“I didn't have many alternatives, as rejecting this offer would likely have required me to go through the clearing process.

“In any case, I don't believe this will significantly impact my decision, as I don't consider accreditation to be of great importance in the industry, nor do I think it will affect my job prospects.

“Nevertheless, I would have appreciated having this information when I initially applied to study at Aberdeen.”

In what will come as a blow to proud UoA students, RGU’s website suggests their Computer Science degrees will remain accredited by the British Computer Society.


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