Photograph by Juan Gómez – Photography

The Universities’ Minister, David Willetts, has raised the issue of mutual recognition.

‘I would like to see greater mutual recognition of qualifications so that a student born in Britain can build up credits for a British degree while studying abroad’, he said at a Westminster Education Forum event last week. ‘Not only does this build cultural fluency, [and] the ability to work in differing environments, but it also generates wide networks that form the basis of long term partnerships.’

In pressing for mutual recognition, Willitts is invoking a principle that has its roots in the medieval notion of the university as a studium generale – home to an internationally mobile population of scholars and students who enriched each other through their diverse experience and learning. Until the middle of the nineteenth century this principle was given practical form in Britain in the shape of the system of incorporation: Oxford and Cambridge counted study undertaken in other European universities towards their own degrees.

But in 1861 the English universities curtailed this practice and restricted mutual recognition to Oxford, Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin alone. In doing so they began a territorialisation of scholarship that has been with us ever since… read the rest of this post at