4.Joint Degrees

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  • 1. Joint degrees in Europe Bologna Promoters’ Presentation Material (to be adapted as needed)
  • 2.
    • Development of Joint Degrees over the past 20 years
    • Additional stimulus with Erasmus Mundus
    • Recognition issues
    • Features of Joint Programmes
    • Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes
    • Funding of Joint Programmes
    • Social Dimension of Joint Programmes
    • Prospects for Joint Programmes
    Content of the Presentation 3
  • 3.
    • Joint programmes have been promoted for over 20 years in Europe, but with Bologna process, a new energy & enthusiasm has developed
    • For HEIs, joint programmes offer:
    • -> European dimension in action
      • Concrete inter-university cooperation
      • Potential to learn from others
      • Experience of diversity, not just for students but also for staff and institutions
      • -> Value-added for students, institutions, national and European labour markets
    Development of Joint Degrees over past 20 years 3
  • 4.
    • 2003: new Commission programme to promote European higher education and to showcase excellent “European Joint Master programmes”
    • 2004: first set of 20 Erasmus Mundus master programmes established
    • 2007: 80 Erasmus Mundus programmes
    • Diversity of innovative programmes in all disciplines and inter-disciplinary areas
    Additional stimulus with launch of Erasmus Mundus 3
  • 5.
    • With development in numbers of joint programmes since Bologna, legal recognition obstacles have come to light
    • Institutions have adopted interim solutions:
      • Most common: one national degree + joint certificate
      • Also, double degrees & multiple degrees
      • Reliance on labour market recognition of added value
    • Action at European level – Recommendation on recognition of joint degrees (addition to Lisbon Recognition Convention) adopted in June 2004
    • National legislation also changing to accommodate joint degrees, particularly since the launch of Erasmus Mundus…
    Recognition issues 3
  • 6.
    • Larger number of joint programmes in the second cycle than in first and third cycles (Trends V, 2007)
    • Great variety of network and programme structures
    • No single model, & no reason to limit models
    • However, innovative structures and models should not be developed at cost of recognition
    • Many practical difficulties from different national interpretations of the three cycles
    • Lack of information regarding number of programmes, and number of students and academics involved
    Features of Joint Programmes (1) 3
  • 7.
    • Challenges to institutions from very basic issues, eg:
      • Academic calendar
      • Short-term accommodation
      • Clear information
      • Common understanding of admission requirements & procedures
      • Visa requirements
      • Time for curriculum planning and development across institutions
      • Administrative time
      • Language skills
      • Family commitments of (mobile) staff
      • Etc.
    Features of Joint Programmes (2) 3
  • 8.
    • Challenges to internal and external QA:
    • Internal QA :
    • Who is responsible?
      • Often weak anchoring of joint programmes within their institution
    • External QA:
    • Who is responsible?
    • Common practice to satisfy one national system – but is this sufficient?
    Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes 3
  • 9.
    • Costs of joint programmes are higher than for single institution programmes
    • Options to fund programmes?
      • Europe - because hopefully European labour market benefits from such European programmes
      • National governments – as part of national strategy towards European & international development
      • Institutions - as part of their strategic development priorities
      • Students - required to fund additional costs through (higher) fees
    • Legitimate question for funders: Is the potential added value of a joint programme worth the investment?
    Funding of Joint Programmes 3
  • 10.
    • Most joint programmes currently target an élite group of students: need to think seriously about equal opportunities policy within & between countries
    • Institutions in widely differing socio-economic contexts (EU15/27 – Bologna 45) -> difficulties of equal partnership. How to avoid a two-tier Europe of joint degrees?
    • Programmes operate within diverse national funding frameworks – institutional funding / tuition fees / portability of grants & loans
    • Challenge of fair policy and treatment of students
    Social Dimension of Joint Programmes 3
  • 11.
    • Joint programmes are having an impact on institutional learning – practical experience of working with other institutions in other environments
    • Facing problems together brings awareness of issues that need to be addressed to create a European Higher Education Area –> catalyst effect
    • More innovation can be predicted: virtual mobility, distance learning joint programmes, new forms of inter-institutional cooperation, coping with demographic challenges..
    • Other latent effects of working together are likely to be positive: strengthening research networks, inter-institutional cooperation, solidarity, sharing experience on curriculum (reform), etc.
    Prospects for Joint Programmes 3