The big news in the UK this week is that the education system is to be changed with the introduction of the English Baccalaureate. This will replace the existing GCSE exam from 2017. But what is a Baccalaureate? Although Deskarati readers all over the world will probably already know of this, to most non-academics in the UK the term is unknown. So here is a short lesson, sit down at the back and take note.
Baccalaureate has an interesting etymology, which is not fully understood. One theory is that it is a reference to the laurel wreaths given to victors, with the “bacca” being a variation of the Latin word for berry. But the Online Etymology Dictionary suggests it may simply be a “relatinisation” of the word bachelor, used in the academic sense. The OED traces “bachelor” from the Medieval Latin “baccalaris” via the Old French “bacheler”.
So that’s totally clear then! - Deskarati -