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Bridging the divide between university and college brings benefits to both sides. 

Earlier this month, Queen’s and St. Lawrence announced a joint degree program in biotechnology that will be offered next September. It will allow students from either school to take courses from the other, bringing together a highly theoretical university education and a practical, hands-on college program. 

This program is largely a win-win scenario for students and the University.

For students, the benefits of receiving theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience makes them both better prepared and more employable. It also provides a fast track into the workforce, while saving money that would have been spent on extra schooling. 

By sharing resources, St. Lawrence and Queen’s both lower their costs to offer a highly-specialized program that would otherwise require investing in costly equipment, space and teaching staff. 

At the same time, let’s not get too carried away with outsourcing our education. 

While there are several programs that could benefit from this model, we should be cautious when offering experimental degrees, as they may not be recognized by employers. This may not be a concern for a niche field like biotechnology, but, in some fields an employer may shy away from an unfamiliar qualification. 

Nor should universities allow cost-saving methods to impact the quality of education students are paying for. 

That being said, with university budget cuts and increased competition in the job market, the prestige of a university degree combined with employable skills of a college education is the best of both worlds. 

Journal Editorial Board 

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