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"MAGISTER" OR "MASTERS DEGREE" - ARE THEY THE SAME?


landora - | 199
3 Feb 2010 #31
The second one says "85-90% in all subjects with the relevant subjects taken at the higher (extended) level". An A grade at A level is only 80%!

No one expects to be treated fairly by foreign universities... it is obvious they will look down on Polish qualifications!
I looked through the material demanded for A-levels and it's more or less the same as our matura.

Four years is enough to get a Magister (several people in my ex-girlfriend's uni class did it, including her). And one year is enough to get an MSc after doing your BSc.

At which uni??

No a Magister is somewhere between a BSc and an MSc.

I did 3 years of "licencjat", wrote my dissertation, had to defend it, afterwards 2 years for "magister", again - dissertation and defending it. So how is my "magister" not equal? I assure you it is! I looked into the MSc material (field similar to mine) at one of the English unis - and to be honest, it was laughably easy!

I just hate this attitude of "our MSc is better..because it's called differently!". Bollocks!
z_darius 14 | 3,968
3 Feb 2010 #32
So i'm a bit confused and would like some explanation. Im not starting this thread to criticise the education system in Polska just for the sake of criticising but im actually looking for answers that would help in deciding our kids' education.

There is no simple answer to your question as various factors decide about the so called "usability" of academic degrees. I don't have any direct personal experience in the UK job market or academia, but a few of my friennds were successful in both - a "magister" who got a cushy job with the Home Office, or another one who was accepted to a PhD prgram at Oxford. Generally academic circles (as opposed to the industry) are more open minded and do not assume anything negative before they ask and confirm their possible doubts.

I have some solid personal experience in the US (Ivy League) and Canada. Here are a few ad hoc cases I am closely familiar with:

- A Polish "magister" accepted to a PhD program in American Lit at Vanderbilt.
- A Polish "magister" accepted to a PhD program in English Lit At Fordham.
- A couple of Polish "magisters" offered positions of Associate Profs at various Canadian Universities, including Waterloo math department (one of the best in North America.

- A Polish "magister" offered a job with Agriculture Canada (ministry of agriculture) in a senior capacity.
- Three Polish doctors practicing locally where I live (Canada)

But also...

- A Polish "magister" trying to get into a college (below university level) was required to complete grade 12 of Canadian High School.
- Natives Poles with medical degrees had to go through many years of study, test and trial before finally getting their papers in the US, although when I still lived in Poland I met two Americans who studied medicine there. Both are practicing in California with great success and without even a fraction of the hassle experienced by Poles with the same qualifications.

Bottom line - your mileage may vary and will depend on those who decide whether your children get hired or not, on your children's qualification (mediocrity works only in countries where it has been attained), and as with anything, a lot will depend of sheer luck.

As for the extramural studies and 50 hours of study... what??? 50 hours is nothing. Perhaps in a secondary school.

But then, there are two different levels of study. One is for those who indeed get to the bottom of things, so to speak, and are really consumed by the subjects of their interest. And there are studies for those who have already achieved a degree pf professional success and now they merely formalize most of what they already know in practice and work towards getting credentials. I met a a guy just like that here in Canada. 20 years of experience in the field (electronics) so his studies was pretty much a walk in the park. He completed a 4 year curriculum in 18 months.

There are also no rules about the duration of graduate degree studies. A lot depends on the subject of the thesis. If one studies (as an example) social trends of some sort then good luck seeing them trends in any meaningful way in one year. If someone has a mountain of material to go through for the purpose of a thesis then even 200 hours a week won't help. It is possible to get Master's in a year and without research of any kind, but that often is rather learning than studying. Kinda, sorta a high school with thicker text books to be read by the sudents.

Extramural studies are pretty much the name of the game in most developed countries these days, as life and realities changed in the last few decades. Those already employed supplement their education with various course in community colleges and guess what! In terms of career goals this often counts more than a PhD who graduated 20 years ago and didn't take any course since. Education is not a one time deal anymore. The world is moving on and very fast.

I don't know much detail about your children so it's hard to tell how much time they have before decisions are made. If they are in their infant years then such detailed plans may be a little premature. In, say, 15 or 20 years things may change quite drastically and the question might (just might) be whether Poland recognizes Isalmic education dominant in UK universities ;-)
OP al111 13 | 89
3 Feb 2010 #33
What i really wanted also was to hear from people who think that a polish magister say in INŻYNIER is more theoretical than practical considering what my colleague told me about his studies.I dont know how its done in the Polish Universities but engineering to me is more practical than theoretical.

TO z_darius

Considering the improvements we have seen in some of the Polish Universities and the cost of studies, yes we are actually thinking of having our kids studying here but of cause that will depend on what they are going to be studying. I cant have my child studying to be an engineer through books and not having the paractical work experience after 5years. I would never forgive myself for that. I'm not a very intelligent block but im a very practical and sensible person.

Is there anyone who holds a MAGISTER in Inżynier who can give us his or her experience?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,908
3 Feb 2010 #34
Is there anyone who holds a MAGISTER in Inżynier who can give us his or her experience?

You need to bear in mind that the Inzynier title is used for people apart from what we would consider engineers - which complicates things even further. I dare say the real engineering degrees are practical - but it's not so certain when it comes to other subjects.

The system really is a mess here - why the 3/2 system wasn't introduced in one go is entirely beyond me.
jwojcie 2 | 763
3 Feb 2010 #35
Is there anyone who holds a MAGISTER in Inżynier who can give us his or her experience?

Well, I'm the lucky man ;-) But it is IT, different animal that most of other engineering. But I know quite a few engineers from different fields. I can tell you two things:

1. some of them had some practice during studies, some mandatory, some not
2. the most important thing you need to understand about Magister inż. or only inż. in Poland is, that in most of engieering fields (except IT and maybe some others) title is not enough to get good position. It is because number of reasons:

a) most of engineering is higly regulated
b) organized in profession corporations
c) higly formalized
which means, that for example if someone is Magister Inż. in construction, specializing in land buildings, then before he/she could even dream about making even a small design in their name, he/she has to gain few years of experience in real life usually as a helper of experienced engineer who has all entitlements and most importantly all stamps. Those experience should be also properly documented.

It usually takes additional several years for construction engineers, electricians and number of others to get from "naked" postgraduate to engineer with all stamps. And that is if they are lucky and stubborn enough.

To sum it up for you, yes "naked" postgraduate engineer in Poland is usually quite unexperienced, but before one is allowed to do anything on their own, they need several years of practice under experienced engineer supervision. Quite similary as physicians or lawyers (but in the same time different and regualted but different law).
szkotja2007 27 | 1,499
3 Feb 2010 #36
I have lessons on this and I don't go too deep

If you could explain briefly and simply please.....

A Scottish basic Ba is 360 CAT points, Ba ( Hons ) 480 etc etc how does this transfer to Pl ?
Are they part of ETCS ? Whats the relation between CAT points and ETCS ?

I realise that the answers are on the internety somewhere but its confusing !
delphiandomine 83 | 17,908
3 Feb 2010 #37
A Scottish basic Ba is 360 CAT points, Ba ( Hons ) 480 etc etc how does this transfer to Pl ?
Are they part of ETCS ? Whats the relation between CAT points and ETCS ?

Half them to get the ECTS points - 15 CAT points are 7.5 ECTS points.

In theory, they're transferable. In reality? Not really. 7.5ECTS points from 4th year uni in Scotland will be worth something and can be measured in difficulty, but 7.5ECTS points from a Polish uni might be from an absolute doddle of a subject. In fact, it seems quite common for lecturers to give harder work in the 1st year than in the final year!
szkotja2007 27 | 1,499
3 Feb 2010 #38
Thanks delph -
I have become a bit scunnered with further education.
Education is such big business in Scotland, a lot of the courses ( products ) being churned out with little support or direction from the Uni.

S'ppose its the same throughout Eu now.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #39
Not long ago I heard about someone who had an MA from (I think) Edinburgh who was turned town for an English teaching job in Saudi, because they couldn't get their heads round the idea of an MA being a first degree.

What I find awkward is that convention says that when you write your degrees after your name, you don't put your first degree if you have a second. BUT, as I have a post-grad MA as well as an UG MA, I have to put both or folk think I only have one.
szkotja2007 27 | 1,499
3 Feb 2010 #40
post-grad MA as well as an UG MA

Did the under grad contribute towards the post grad ?

I would detail it on my CV but to list all professional qualifications would run to a fair amount of letters after your name.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
3 Feb 2010 #41
I cant have my child studying to be an engineer through books and not having the paractical work experience after 5years.

What I find awkward is that convention says that when you write your degrees after your name, you don't put your first degree if you have a second. BUT, as I have a post-grad MA as well as an UG MA, I have to put both or folk think I only have one.

What's even ore awkward is that academic degrees are sometimes skipped altogether while professional certifications are used instead.
For instance:
P.Eng. or MCSE (but no B.Sc.).
In the former case B.Sc. is implied but in the latter it isn't.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #42
yeah, at the moment I'm MA MA MSc (only got the last one so people didn't think I was some large, black female singer).

Did the under grad contribute towards the post grad ?

No. The system is a possible 3 years MA (ordinary) or an honours (decided after the 2nd year) in 4.

After this it seems things like M.Phils are 2 years.

I did my MA (postgrad) in Belfast and then the MSc in Edinburgh (as one year of a PhD course).

The Belfast MA was a 'conversion' into anthropology.
frd 7 | 1,399
3 Feb 2010 #43
P.Eng. or MCSE (but no B.Sc.).

That's true, many higher level Cisco, Microsoft or Sun certificates are valued above titles..
OP al111 13 | 89
3 Feb 2010 #44
which means, that for example if someone is Magister Inż. in construction, specializing in land buildings, then before he/she could even dream about making even a small design in their name, he/she has to gain few years of experience in real life usually as a helper of experienced engineer who has all entitlements and most importantly all stamps

In high school (secondary school) i was doing practical Subjects like Metalwork, Woodwork and Technical and Engineering drawing. In each subject we had projects to be done every semester and once every year we went on trips to different companies so as to familiarise ourselves with the practical work itself.Put it simply i knew what a calliper was and also how to use a Lathe by the time i was 15. I could even draw the three elevations of an object and do a simple plan of a house.I'm not bragging and neither do i have anything against the Polish Engineers. But if my child is to go to Uni and Graduate with a Magister in say Construction Engineering after 5years and not be able to interpret the plan of a building then its not worth the 5years. I know as an engineer u will need a few more years to be able to work alone or to attain the licence just like a practising licence in say Medicine or Law but without these basics makes u wonder what the hell they are teaching kids in those Universities.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
3 Feb 2010 #45
Put it simply i knew what a calliper was and also how to use a Lathe by the time i was 15. I could even draw the three elevations of an object and do a simple plan of a house.I'm not bragging and neither do i have anything against the Polish Engineers. But if my child is to go to Uni and Graduate with a Magister in say Construction Engineering after 5years and not be able to interpret the plan of a building then its not worth the 5years.

Honestly, I would not expect an engineer with a master's degree to operate a lathe for a living, unless he or she designs lathes. As for the blue print interpretations, rest assured there will be no issues at all. In fact there will be no issues with creating them either.

The practical part will still apply. A lot of professionals operate under various forms of authorizations of some guilds and it takes some time to get the experience and such.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
3 Feb 2010 #46
Interesting thing. While reading this thread, I was asked by a student applying for a PhD abroad to look over his application. I was surprised that he didn't know that he had to propose a subject for his doctoral study and write out a study proposal, research outline etc.

He said that in Poland the doctoral candidate is often given a subject by a professor. Is this correct?
jwojcie 2 | 763
3 Feb 2010 #47
In high school (secondary school) i was doing practical Subjects like Metalwork, Woodwork and Technical and Engineering drawing.

It was the case in Polish high schools too. There was in Poland a type of highschool called "technikum", which was basically highschool designed to produce technicians and engeeners from some of them. After recent education reform they changed names but I think still do exists as a type of secondary education designed to give practise education.

As fas as university education is concerned I suppose you don't think that construction engineering student will work as a welder during practise? Maybe it wouldn't hurt, but as far as I know they have rather practices like two weeks geodesy measurement camp in vacation, things like material durability assesments in campus labs. They do see real building sites rather as an observers during organized university trips.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
3 Feb 2010 #48
He said that in Poland the doctoral candidate is often given a subject by a professor. Is this correct?

There is no rule. Ultimately it is up to the student, but sometimes the students will work under the supervision of professors known for their specific fields of study. In such cases it's a matter of interpretation. Did the prof make the student select the topic?

If I am interested in writing a PhD on the side effects of ventolin on long term users then I certainly won't ask a prof specializing in Russian poetry to see me through the process. If I do, then I may have to write about Russian poets on ventolin.
landora - | 199
3 Feb 2010 #49
Interesting thing. While reading this thread, I was asked by a student applying for a PhD abroad to look over his application. I was surprised that he didn't know that he had to propose a subject for his doctoral study and write out a study proposal, research outline etc.

He said that in Poland the doctoral candidate is often given a subject by a professor. Is this correct?

At my uni a candidate had to prepare his subject, research outline etc. and present it at the entry exam. He would be given points for his masters results and for the value of the proposed research.
jwojcie 2 | 763
4 Feb 2010 #50
But if my child is to go to Uni and Graduate with a Magister in say Construction Engineering after 5years and not be able to interpret the plan of a building then its not worth the 5years.

Actually they used to teach such things :-) Btw. I've check those practice requirements, and currently on many majors training period in some company is in obligatory program of studies.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
4 Feb 2010 #51
Did the prof make the student select the topic?

No, he was applying to a uni outside Poland and was surprised when I told them what they wanted from an applying student.

In UK, you would approach the uni and make a suggestion about what you wanted to study. The uni would then decide whether they a) thought it was a viable project, b) whether they had anyone who could supervise you.

Example: I applied to three universities to do research about wrestling in the Balkans. One university wanted me (from a sports-sociology angle), the second said they had nobdy who felt able to supervise it (even though they had a south-east european study department) and the third said yes from an anthropology dept. While they didn't have a specialist on sport or macedonia, they did have specialists on turkey and islamic culture.

Problem started when i then changed my study to Polish theatre and they had nobody with a clue about Poland...
z_darius 14 | 3,968
6 Feb 2010 #52
In UK, you would approach the uni and make a suggestion about what you wanted to study. The uni would then decide whether they a) thought it was a viable project, b) whether they had anyone who could supervise you.

In my experience that was the approach in Poland, but some profs did have lists of suggested topics. That would be also true in the US and Canada. Those topics coincided with the particular areas of professors' expertise and research. Some students do not care for anything but the paper so they would pick a suggested topic. Sometimes a suggested topic was exactly what some of the students would have proposed anyway.

In rare cases there was no escaping prof's suggestions. Such profs treated students' work pretty much for their own personal academic research.

I studied in two of Poand's universities and each time I proposed the topic of my thesis. Even that in itself was not just a simple proposal and acceptance. After the topic has been proposed, depending on how close it was to the professor's area of interest, it took a while to research the viability of the thesis.

In conclusion, if the Polish student who presented the situation as that of students relying exclusively professors in the selection of their topics did not tell you the whole truth.
Trevek 26 | 1,702
6 Feb 2010 #53
In conclusion, if the Polish student who presented the situation as that of students relying exclusively professors in the selection of their topics did not tell you the whole truth.

Probably wasn't aware of how it worked. Hasn't got his masters yet. Could be a shock going to another uni then!
troy
9 May 2010 #54
Let me put it this way. I have three masters degrees (from US, Sweden and south africa) and the MBA is from sweden and it is a Magister degree. in the uk you need your qualification checked by the UK NARIC (naric.org.uk) and I had all my masters degrees evaluated by them. the statement of comparability for all three reads "comparable to british masters degree standards"
Seanus 15 | 19,706
11 May 2010 #55
I don't think I could work for one of those establishments which streamlines qualifications. They have too linear a way of looking at things and my mind just doesn't work in that way. Some stuff I did in my undergrad was harder than in my postgrad. Some secondary school material was very tough too. A general equivalence is needed but not such a close analysis.
Bogdan
9 Jun 2010 #56
Their work isn't: their qualification is. The idea that an extra-mural magister should be done in the same time period as a full-time one is very damaging to Polish higher education. Nearly as damaging as the proliferation of private universities where he who pays graduates.

This is a good one... So.... people with Harvard or Stanford degrees should go back and ask for their money back, because their titles are worthless? That's funny!

BTW, magister means exactly master degree. It is just in a different languages. I can assure you that ONLY European government useless bureaucracy will try to go into minutia of "magister" vs "Masters degree" differences..

Private businesses and majority of reputable universities have a VERY good idea of a true value of degrees. Private businesses care for people that can think, AND deliver. You can have a dozen of degrees and be fired in a heartbeat for lack of performance. From the pictures published by British media, it seems that British Universities excel only in teaching kids how to drink booze. [flame off]... just kidding...

BTW, I will take Pepsi challenge to put a good Matura graduate against anyone who finishes High School in UK. Let's not get overboard with the childish "we are better then you are...." nonsense.
Harry
9 Jun 2010 #57
This is a good one... So.... people with Harvard or Stanford degrees should go back and ask for their money back, because their titles are worthless? That's funny!

Ever taught in a Polish private university? If you had, you'd know that in some of them there is pressure to allow students to progress despite their achievements.

BTW, I will take Pepsi challenge to put a good Matura graduate against anyone who finishes High School in UK.

I remember leading the matura committee in the Polish private highschool I once taught in. I was the only member of the three-man committee who could speak English. Care to reassess your faith in the Polish education system?
frd 7 | 1,399
9 Jun 2010 #58
BTW, I will take Pepsi challenge to put a good Matura graduate against anyone who finishes High School in UK. Let's not get overboard with the childish "we are better then you are...." nonsense.

The old or the new matura?

Ever taught in a Polish private university? If you had, you'd know that in some of them there is pressure to allow students to progress despite their achievements.

The problem is that magister is not equal to another magister..
Harry
9 Jun 2010 #59
The problem is that magister is not equal to another magister..

Precisely. Some magisters are the same as an MA. Some aren't even worth a level 4 NVQ.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,908
9 Jun 2010 #60
BTW, I will take Pepsi challenge to put a good Matura graduate against anyone who finishes High School in UK.

Sure - you'll find that the Polish Matura is in some ways weaker, some ways stronger.


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