If you are thinking about applying to the University of Kent, here are some things to consider. These are just my notes from orientation week.
The Brussels School of International Studies was founded in 1998 as a school of the University of Kent. Despite the geographical distance, BSIS is an integral part of the University of Kent. It was tricky at first, but I was explained quite a few times that BSIS will not be issuing my degree, the University of Kent will.
Accreditation: UK QAA, NVAO. I don’t know what that means but we have also gone through Belgian accreditation. Purely so that we can be recognized in Belgium and by the Belgium State. Making it a lot easier for student loans and visa applications. No GRE required.
By the end of Week 1 we needed to make our choices for modules. Standard full time students could do it online. But part time and/or Extended students need to submit it on paper. During the whole first week you can attend all the classes you want and choose the ones you wanna take. Classes aren’t capped. Meaning there is no way you can’t make it to that class you need.
Right away students must select 6 taught modules, 3 of which will be taught in September and 3 in January terms (we can change the January modules later if necessary). The greater accuracy on our decisions give us greater chances of the course staying on the schedule in January. If we declare an interest early on, the school can cut classes that didn’t have enough students signed up.
Scale of 0-100 for grades, if we have a mark on the 60s we are on a good mark, that is merit. 70-100 is distinction. Above 80 is not gonna happen, that is publishable quality.
Only the following rounded marks will be regarded as borderline:
49 Borderline Pass | 59 Borderline Merit |68 or 69 Borderline Distinction
Distinction (70% or higher) | Merit class (60-69%) | Pass (50-59%)
Internal 1 | Internal 2 | External
There will be 2 people grading our papers. Then, they have an academic dialogue and give us a 3rd and final grade agreed upon. If they failed to decide, it goes to a third external examiner. It could be a professor from a different university within the UK system. This is to give an oversight of our markings.
If we fail a paper or exam, we can resubmit it twice, but our grades will be capped at 50%. If we fail the dissertation we can resubmit it once. I hope it doesn’t come to this
What does that secondary specialization looks like on our degree?
MA in Political Strategy and Communication with International Relations (for example). Since then I have changed my specialization quite a few times. I thought about Political Economy, but it was too hard. I thought about Development, but it was too vague. Then I stumbled up International Migration, and I loved it.
There will be over 120 students starting in September for their MA and LLM. And 30 new students in January. 67 PH new PHD students in September, adding to the 30 already around. I chose this boutique school after doing my undergrad in a University that had over 50 thousand students.
International conflict and security is the biggest program. Student wise the biggest group are the Americans, second biggest is from Turkey, then Germany, UK, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Netherlands, France, Slovenia. 2/3 are from outside EU. 1/3 EU.
They have reformed and revised their programs recently. Now we are able to do a program with a second specialization, which is what I chose to do. For example, I will be receiving an MA in Political Strategy and Communication with International Migration. It’s optional, and it’s not something hard to do.
EU external relations is starting this year replacing their Public Policy program. There will also be new professors on board. We also have new premises, they are a lot nicer. It’s double the space. And we are the first generation to benefit from this space. It is the entire second floor of Espace Rolin, right in front of the VUB university.
We are shifting to an electronic library siste this year. And we are all gonna have access to the Canterbury library, where we can ask for certain E-books and read online articles from other libraries.
The University has 7 campus (3 in the UK, plus Athens, Rome, Paris and Brussels). Our degrees are accredited under the British system, and some under the Belgian, flemish system.
Papers are due the 15th of January. Best of luck.