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Journalism in higher education - UK vs Europe

2 min, 49 sec read
13:00 PM | 3 August 2015
by Evelyn Keryova
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According to the education league table, the UK has the second best education system among European countries and sixth in the global table. In fact, many Europeans come here to study at a higher level and many are seeing the importance in practical learning in their courses.

To come here from overseas and study courses requiring at least intermediate level of English language is not easy. However, we are now able to see more students from Europe studying journalism than ever before.

"Universities are providing international students with a great experience full of practical learning."

Universities are providing international students with a great experience full of practical learning. City University London for example, has a Master´s degree in International Journalism who promote non-British applicants to study at higher level.

Journalism is a highly entertaining and popular field as there is potential to grow general knowledge and personal development. But that seems to be true only in the UK where practice is more important than the theory. Students can train their minds with current affairs, rather than the history of journalism itself.

Doc. PhDr. Svetlana Hlavcakova, is a programme leader of journalism at Comenius University in Slovakia and she explained that they are trying to combine theory with practice. However, they still have many modules are theory only as the students, “should know the history of journalism,” because they have to know, “how the individual media has been created and what personalities have been working there.” In some modules there seems to be a high emphasis on theory over practice.

"Students can train their minds with current affairs, rather than the history of journalism itself."

As a student of journalism at Middlesex University I have to say that this is not a case in London. The university and the course, focuses on the practical side and does not require knowledge of the history of journalism itself. They place great emphasis on general knowledge, current affairs and they require students to know what is happening around the world. They expect journalism students to understand the important cases and media events from the past but they are not testing this in any means. Practice seems to be more important but the main discussion arises whether this is the case for every student in UK.

Both students in Europe and London think that practical knowledge is very important because students are able to think critically.

"To experience the nature of journalism they are able to learn far more than just reading books full of history and theory."

Laura Kovacsova is originally from Slovakia and while studying media studies and journalism at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, she had "lots of theoretical modules" and even though she realises she has to know something about the theory,“ practice is definitely more important,” for her. This is similar for many other students, both in Europe and the UK.

Even though it depends on the student’s preferences and the lecturer’s views, journalism is very practical subject. The students are required to write articles and to be able to demonstrate their arguments and opinions. Even though professor Hlavackova's preferences are balanced, she thinks that “if the students will not try practice, it will be harder for them at the start of their careers.” This is the main reason why practical learning seems to have a huge emphasis within journalism.

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