The Bologna Process And European Higher Education Identity in the 21
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The Bologna Process And European Higher Education Identity in the 21 st century? El proceso Bolonia: hacia una identidad europea de la educación superior en el Siglo XXI?. Jussi Välimaa University of Jyväskylä, Finlandia. Themes of the Presentation. What is the Bologna Process?

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The Bologna Process And European Higher Education Identity in the 21st century? El proceso Bolonia: hacia una identidad europea de la educación superior en el Siglo XXI?

Jussi Välimaa

University of Jyväskylä, Finlandia


Themes of the presentation
Themes of the Presentation in the 21

What is the Bologna Process?

What is a European identity?

How these two are related?



A european higher education
A European Higher Education? in the 21

  • Around 4,000 HEIs, almost 19 million students & 1.5 million staff members (2009)

  • Different social dynamics of HE systems: 1) Napoleonic (France); 2) Continental/ Humboldtian (German speaking & Nordic countries); 3) Anglo (UK & Ireland); 4) Southern Universities (Italy, Spain, Portugal) + binary systems (A,D,FIN,N, NL, PT, IR) +federal & nation state-based; small (Malta) & big (D,F,UK) HE systems

    => Diversity more than unity


Historical background to the bp
Historical Background to the BP in the 21

  • Magna Charta Universitatum (1988)

    -a unified vision for European universities divided into Socialist and Western blocks

    -aimed to define a common cultural ground for European universities

    -declared by European university rectors


Sorbonne declaration 1998
Sorbonne Declaration (1998) in the 21

’Joint declaration on the harmonization of the architecture of the European higher education systems’

Ministers of Education (France, Germany, Italy, UK) declared that Europe was not only about economy but is also ’built upon the intellectual, cultural, social and techical dimensions of our continent’

Other European countries (31) wanted to join this declaration


The bologna declaration 1999
The Bologna Declaration (1999) in the 21

The motives to join to the declaration: real reform needs => unwillingness to stay outside an important European process

A political declaration: …all its words were analyzed in great detail to avoid excessive embarrasment to any country … such a document is both remarkable and vague … each party having surely its own intentions in its country (Then Portuguese Minister of Education (Amaral & Veiga 2009, 135))

European Commission (EC) was left outside


Contents 1
Contents (1) in the 21

  • The main objective: to construct the European Area of Higher Education & to promote it worldwide. Objectives:

  • Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees (diploma supplement)

  • Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles

  • The establishment of a system of credits (the ECTS system)

  • The promotion of mobility


Contents 2
Contents (2) in the 21

5) The promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance => ‘a system of accreditation, certification or comparable procedures’ (Bergen 2003), => Standards & Guidelines in EHEA (2005) =>Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (London 2007)

6) The promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education

+lifelong learning (Prague 2001), the social dimension (Bergen & London), third tier (Bergen)


Bologna process as a process
Bologna Process as a Process in the 21

31 => 46 signatory countries (2010) + one additional member (EC), 8 consultative members (students, business, universities; university staff excluded!) Council of Europe

Secretariat & Follow-up group

Bi-annual meetings: political forum for discussing the process & its objectives

Follow-up reports: Trends reports (by EUA), Stocktaking reports (national ministries of education), Bologna with Student Eyes (ESU). Problem: academic reliability?


Bologna at present 1
Bologna at Present (1) in the 21

Policy dialogue and cooperation partnership as new forms of communication and cooperation with USA, Latin American and Asia-Pacific countries.

The mains aims are: 1) to promote and enhance European higher education and its world-wide attractiveness and competitiveness, 2) to intensify policy dialogue, 3) to strengthen cooperation based on partnership, and 4) to further the recognition of qualifications …


Bologna at present 2
Bologna at Present (2) in the 21

Bologna action lines: Qualifications Framework /Three Cycle System; Mobility; Quality Assurance, Employability; EHEAin the global context; Joint Degrees; Recognition; Social Dimension; Lifelong Learning; Stocktaking and Bologna Beyond 2010

http://www.ond.vlaanderen.be/hogeronderwijs/bologna/


The impacts of the bp 1
The Impacts of the BP? (1) in the 21

Politically the BP has been a success story: popularity; spread of 3-cycle structure; implementation of DS; ECTS helping student mobility ; European quality assurance systems; expanding continentally & globally

Solved practical problems at HEIs; Qualifications framework

Not coordinted or led by EU or EC, but come close to EU objectives & is supported financially by EC.

Nation States are unwilling to give away their sovereignty in education


The impacts of the bp 2
The Impacts of the BP? (2) in the 21

National interpretations: each nation-state has used the BP for its own purposes

‘the reforms of national curricular systems were largely determined by the heritage of national higher education systems and the internal dynamics of their political processes’ (Witte 2009)

Opened new competitive horizons: without the deepening of the European perspectives in European universities the processes of globalization would have been slower


Identity and culture
Identity and Culture? in the 21

Post-modern Identity is fluid (Bauman)

Identity is a process of interaction with significant others: traditions (academic & national), professional groups (colleagues), friends & family …

Identity (& culture) may have many layers

Culture: “webs of significance where people simultaneously create and exist within culture” (Tierney & Rhoads 1993) – we are both the members and re-creators of our cultures


Bologna process european he identity 1
Bologna Process & European HE Identity? (1) in the 21

Pragmatic approach: what has happened with & in the interactions between academics, students, policy makers?

BP has intensified European cooperation & networking between HEIs European Universities Association (EUA), (European Rectors’ conference + Association of European Universities)

BP is one of the policy tools used by EC to reform European higher education


Bologna process european he identity 2
Bologna Process & European HE Identity? (2) in the 21

  • Student mobility: one of the traditional EC instruments to create European identity is Erasmus program (1987) related to DS, ECTS, QA, mobility, European dimension in HE

    -1987-2008: 1 866 000 mobile students (4,2% of all European students) –numbers increasing, in 2008/09, 198 600 students

    -average student: 22 years old, female (62%), stays 6,2 months abroad


Student mobility
Student Mobility in the 21

According to empirical studies: students’ experiences are normally positive in terms of personal growth & comparative perspectives opened to one’s culture & HE system.

Most popular countries: Spain, France, Germany, UK

Most outgoing students: Germany, France, Spain, Italy; when compared with number of graduates: Greece, Italy, Hungary, Finland, Sweden.

Erasmus Mundus offered to global students


Staff mobility
Staff Mobility in the 21

Erasmus program for university teachers (1997)

Year 2007/2008: more than 190 000 teachers participated (about 2% of academic staff)

Most active countries in outgoing teachers: Czech Republic, Finland, Liechtenstein

Mobility programmes major supporter of temporary student & staff mobility

Motivated by the aim to create European identity, not to make money (cf. USA, UK, Australia)


Policy academic cooperation
Policy & Academic Cooperation in the 21

The follow-up structures of BP provide a European forum to discuss Higher Education as a European level phenomenon

Institutional cooperation & departmental level international cooperation serves practical research & teaching needs

Cooperation on Qualifications framework bring unity to European HE

Nature of changes/reforms interactive rather than hierarchical (see Bleiklie et al. 2000)



The relationship between bp european he identity
The Relationship between BP & European HE Identity? and Vienna

BP has broadened cooperation & interaction between HEIs & academics in Europe => increased European understanding in EHEA

Student mobility is broadening young Europeans perspectives on Europe

Academic identities influenced by increased European cooperation in research and teaching

BP as policy forum to discuss the development of Europe as a social entity


European dimension in identity
European dimension and Vienna in identity?

BP is not the only factor influencing European identity of higher education

European Research Area & research bids (like FP7) have increased cooperation between academics (partnerships)

Knowledge economy pressures to create innovations: reformed European universities as crucial actors –EU2020 Strategy

European academic networks intensified & growing more influential : peer power!


Discussion conclusion
Discussion/Conclusion and Vienna

Identity may have many layers: European, national, academic, gender, ethnicity …

European cooperation has increased on all levels of higher education

Cultural change is process which can not be managed, but it can initiated & influenced … European layer of higher education identities is supported & strengthening (?)

But, where are European public intellectuals?


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