The Bologna Process:
what does it really mean for the
universities?
EAIE Annual Conference 2004
Torino
16 September 2004
Dr. Sybille Reichert, ETH Zürich
1. The Bologna Process: from instruments to
strategies?
2. Aims of the Bologna Process
3. Toward comparable structures and beyond
4. Autonomy and Quality Assurance
5. Lifelong learning
6. Bologna and the UK: Conclusions
2
1. The Bologna Process: from
instruments to strategies?
3
Bologna Process:
from intergovernmental commitments to
institutional realities
• originally intergovernmental
• but the idea of creating a „European Higher Education
Area“ will only become a reality if Higher Education
Institutions subscribe to the aims, implement the
operational objectives and fill with meaning what the
Bologna Declaration and the Prague Communiqué sets
out to achieve
• to see what progress has been made we have to look
not only at the national level legislation, policies and
incentives but also at the institutional realisation of the
central objectives: aims of Trends III and IV
• to make sense, „Bologna“ has to be put into the context
of the institutional strategies and developmental goals
4
Bologna and Prague objectives
• common degree structures (Bachelor /Master)
• establishment of transparency instruments: ECTS,
Diploma Supplement
• recognition of foreign degrees and study abroad periods
• promotion of European and/or joint programmes
• promotion of mobility
• cooperation in quality assurance
• promotion of LLL
• social dimension, HE as a public good/ responsibility
• significant role of HEIs and students in this process
• link with European Research Area, doctoral studies
5
From instruments to strategies –
from structural adaptation to curricular reflection
European Higher Education Area
System
attractiveness = visible quality
improvement-oriented QA
compatibility
inside/ outside Europe
Bachelor/Master degrees
with compatible number of credits/
length of study
Graduate
innovative and adaptable,
capacity to continously improve learning
interculturally and linguistically competent
with exp. of other cultural contexts,
comfortable in other Eur. contexts,
European horizon (culture, citizenship)
Instruments
flexible learning paths:
LLL,
modular studies, ECTS
mobility (helped by
transp. recognition procedures, DS, ECTS),
foreign language training,
European dimension in curriculum
6
Bologna: From commitment to reality
It takes concerted action on all levels to make the
European Higher Education Area a reality…
awareness less as one „descends“ into the HE institutions
national
national
commitment legislation
46% of
HEIs:
nat.legisl.
undermines
auton.
decisionmaking
national
incentives/
support
instit.
institutional
communication
leadership/
deliberation
policy
decision
only half have
provided some
funding
75% of HEIs:
clear financial
incentives
needed
little more
than a third
have a Bol.
coordinator
instit.
reality
role of academics?
(less than half
„reasonably aware, 30%
„not very aware“)
students not
included enough at
dep- level
7
stud., admin. less aware
2. Aims of the Bologna Process
8
Which goals are the driving forces of
Bologna?
1. enhancement of academic quality –
reforms go beyond just a formally
changed degree system
2. preparing graduates for the European
labour market – 91% of heads of HEIs
regard employability as important of very
academic quality
important when redesigning curricula
(70% of HEIs track employment of some
or all graduates)
employability attractiveness
– how to make sustainable
employability and academic quality
compatible values is the core
challenge of curricular reform
3. competitiveness/ attractiveness of
national (not European) system of HE
9
2 conflicting agendas in European,
national and institutional policies:
1.
competitiveness agenda (international, global):
–
–
–
–
–
2.
focussed on research and technology transfer
aiming at concentration of excellence, creating critical masses with optimal
conditions
tough competition for funds: winners and losers
entailing selectivity to optimise potential of assembling the winners in these
competitions
internationally oriented
social agenda (LLL, access etc.), often with a more regional focus
–
–
–
–
consensus: Higher Education is a public good and a public responsibility
(continuing role for state support)
needs for enhanced support structures for students (and academics) : social
conditions of studies and mobility, incl. tuition fees, portable grants but also
transferable pension rights for mobile academics
the issue of addressing solidarity not only within but also between countries
(Graz process)
regarding the related GATS discussion, trends 3 data reveal that awareness at
national and institutional level leaves considerable room for improvement)
10
Promote attractiveness where?
Figure 6: Priority Areas of European HEI (2003)
100
RC (35)
Min (35)
HEI (760)
90
80
Percent
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
EU
Eastern
Eur.
US/Can
Australia
Arab
World
Asia
Latin Am.
Africa
11
Targeting Europe?
12
Marketing at HEIs
13
Mobility: Imbalances
14
Bologna‘s goals: what could they mean for a
given European university‘s profile?
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
What are the primary values which act as driving forces? e.g. flexible access,
pushing frontiers of science (selective/competitive research)
Are there different components with different sets of values?
Which community do I primarily serve?
Which communities do I want to target in addition?
Where and according to which criteria do I recruit my students, teachers,
reserachers, partners?
Which qualities, skills, competences, attitudes do I want to promote in my
students, professors, scientific and adminsitrative staff?
Which reference points do I want to use in the development of my offer (teaching
curricula: qualification frameworks, learning outcomes according to disciplines,
programmes, research: emphases and their effect on teaching)? How do I
promote institutional thinking (beyond identification with disciplines) to allow for a
will to coordinate thoughts and efforts? How and when do I include my partners
in these sensitive already difficult deliberations?
How do I define success and progress in these processes? Which targets do I
set and how do I defend these to the outside world (politicians, industrial
partners)?
15
Diversification of institutional profiles
In spite of the diversification of functions of HEI
(including, in addition to research and teaching, flexible
access and LLL, technology transfer, dialogue with
public, fostering interest in S&T), the multiple calls for an
elite in the midst of an increasingly flexible HE system
ready to encounter 30-50% of any given age group,the
European HE landscape remains relatively homogeneous.
• There are unexploited opportunities for institutional
positioning which
 presuppose autonomy, non-mainstreaming funding
mechanisms – common fight of HEIs and HE nat. admin.
 could be greatly enhanced by positioning oneself with
European partners on an international stage (strategic
networking at European level is still underdeveloped, incl.
joint degrees)
16
3. Toward comparable
structures and beyond
17
Ba/Ma systems according to Ministries
18
Implementation of ECTS at HEIs
19
Recognition
20
4. Autonomy and Quality
Assurance
21
Quality and Autonomy
• legislative changes in many Bologna signatory
countries but 46% of HEI rectors find that
national legislation still undermines autonomous
decision-making
• autonomy = state intervention
but also influence of other stakeholders
• renegotiate system of outside influences rather
than realise the dream of self-regulation
22
Quality external (aggregate index of QA in
teaching, research, other)
23
Quality Assurance: future challenges
• establishing improvement-oriented QA without
disproportionate costs and administrative burden
• creating transparency, exchange of good practice but
also enough common criteria to allow for mutual
recognition of each others‘ principles and procedures
without undermining its positive forces of competition
(why and where should we protect diversity, where is
mainstreaming helpful)
• build up coherent internal quality assurance which
makes synergetic use of external QA procedures and
reduces their extent in the long term
24
Trends IV Objectives
Trends I – IV : gradual shift in emphasis
• Trends I, II: analysis of structures at national level
• Trends III: European comparison of progress on the Bologna
Action Lines including the views of institutions for the first
time: problems and issues at institutional level
• Trends IV: analysis of institutional responses/ progress/
priorities -- a ‘stocktaking report’ from the sector, with an
institutional approach, half way to 2010, looking ahead to
2007 & beyond
• taking account of:
– the European & the national context,
– concentrating on the 3 Bologna mid-term priorities & research
25
Methodology:
• Site Visits at the centre of the 2004/2005 exercise (+/60 visits)
–
–
–
–
–
Universities & other HEIs (where relevant)
For majority of 40 Bologna countries
Interviews with multiple institutional players
By teams of 2 persons (1 internat., 1 from national RC)
Same structure and questions for all visits Using other occasions
for interviews as well
• National level data: Setting the scene of changes
since Trends III (concentrating on mid-term priorities
+research), through questionnaire to be filled in by
national RCs (Oct 2004)
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The Bologna Process
• is more worthwhile as a trigger for reforms if dealt with holistically,
i.e. by putting its action lines into the context of its larger goals.
 In order to make Bologna reforms innovative and sustainable
they have to be integrated into other core functions and
development processes of HEIs.
• should be dealt with systemically, i.e. in its implications for other
aspects of higher education such as research and management.
 The Bologna reforms should not be pushed forward at the
expense of other urgent innovations and reforms at HEIs. They
have to be reflected in the funding and funding mechanisms.
• will only lead to success if addressed in its ambivalent dimensions
(competitiveness and social agenda).
• will only lead to success if, given the complexity of the systems, the
European-level interpretations and frameworks for reforms should
be reference points and triggers for improvement-oriented
reflections and reforms rather than prescriptions, additional
regulation.
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Trends III