Quebec stefan hormuth


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Quebec stefan hormuth

  1. 1. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canada Germany: Through Reform and European Compatibility to Internationalization Stefan Hormuth President Justus Liebig University (Giessen) Vice president for International Affairs (HRK) 19 September 2002(Note: The following document includes text from the National Report on the Bolognaprocess in Germany as provided by KMK; HRK and BMBF, April 2002)State of the German university system The German university system is a federal one. Universities are governed by the lawsof the sixteen different states of the federal republic of Germany, and universities are financedby the different states. This provides for variety in the legal and financial conditions underwhich universities work. However, the federal government provides a general law as aframework under which state laws are developed, and a certain degree of jointly financedtasks, such as major funding for construction and scientific equipment. Also, researchfunding through the German science foundation is jointly financed. During the last few years, German universities have been in a process of tremendouschange. Most state laws have fundamentally changed the governing structures of universitiesas well as the relationship between university and state. Whereas before, universities wereclosely regulated by the state, most states now grant their universities a much higher degree ofautonomy in decisions regarding personnel, planning and finances. Before, curricula anddegrees awarded by German universities had to be approved by the state, now a system ofaccreditation is being established, which I will elaborate below. The internal governingstructures of universities have been streamlined to allow for faster decision-makingprocedures that before were subject to processes involving various committees representingthe different groups of the university: faculty, staff and students alike. By many this process,however, is also criticized as reducing the democratic decision-making and the involvementof the university as a whole. Many states have introduced Boards of Trustees, and havetransferred to them powers that before were placed with the state. Both within the university,and in the relationship between state and university, output oriented systems of moneyallocation consider the number of students served as well as success in teaching and researchas a basis for financing. 1
  2. 2. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canada In a similar way, the new federal framework law establishes new career paths forprofessors and new ways of remuneration. Whereas before, the career path to a professorshipwent through the so-called “habilitation”, an additional degree about six years past thedissertation, and usually offered a permanent position only at an age well beyond forty years,the introduction of the new position of “Junior professor”, somewhat comparable to that of anAssistant Professor, is supposed to allow for earlier independence and responsibility inteaching and research. Currently, the salary for German university professors is mainlydetermined by their level of appointment as associate or full professor and is within theselevels only a function of years since the appointment. This was sometimes consideredironically the “ultimate academic freedom”. In the future, salaries of professors in Germany,too, will be performance-based.Degree structure While most of these changes may, from the outside, be considered to be long overduefor a competitive university system, one of the internationally most visible changes occurscurrently in the structure of degrees awarded. In Germany, and in some neighboringcountries, the first degree awarded is still the Diploma or integrated Master’s degree, agraduate degree taking a minimum of five years at the university level. Within this degreestructure, graduation with an undergraduate degree at the Bachelor level is not possible.Degrees below the Diploma or Master level are not awarded by universities, but only by“Fachhochschulen” (comparable to polytechnics) or “Universities of Applied Science”, asthey are now called somewhat euphemistically. As a result, German graduates are welltrained, but universities suffer from a relatively high level of dropout rates and graduates areon the average older than their peers in other countries. In addition, the German degreestructure is internationally not compatible, making it difficult for foreign students to enter aGerman degree program, and for German students to get credit at foreign institutions for workequivalent to a Bachelor’s degree. In order to change this, a major change in the degreestructure is underway to introduce internationally compatible Bachelor’s and Masters’degrees. This process, however, cannot be seen anymore strictly from a national, German,perspective, but I have to change to the European level. This change comes about because of the so-called Bologna declaration, a declarationsigned by European ministers of higher education in Bologna in 1999.The Bologna Process 2
  3. 3. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canada On 19 June 1999, 29 European Ministers in charge of higher education signed inBologna the Declaration on establishing the European Area of higher education by 2010 andpromoting the European System of higher education worldwide. The Ministers affirmed in theBologna Declaration their intention to: • adopt a system of easily readable and comparable degrees • adopt a system with two main cycles (undergraduate/graduate) • establish a system of credits (such as ECTS) • promote mobility by overcoming obstacles • promote European co-operation in quality assurance • promote European dimensions in higher educationConvinced that the establishment of the European area of higher education requires constantsupport, supervision and adaptation to the continuously evolving needs, the Ministers decidedto meet again two years later in Prague in order to assess the progress achieved and the newsteps to be taken.Two years after signing the Bologna Declaration, the Ministers in charge of higher educationof - by now - 33 European countries met on 19 May 2001 in Prague to follow up the BolognaProcess and to set directions and priorities for the coming years.In the Prague Communiqué the Ministers • reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives of the Bologna Declaration • appreciated the active involvement of the European University Association (EUA) and the National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB) • took note of the constructive assistance of the European Commission • made comments on the further process with regard to the different objectives of the Bologna Declaration • emphasized as important elements of the European Higher Education Area: • lifelong learning • involvement of students • enhancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the European Higher Education Area to other parts of the world (including the aspect of transnational education)The Ministers decided that the next follow-up meeting for the Bologna process should takeplace in 2003 in Berlin to review progress and to set directions and priorities for the nextstages of the process to the European Higher Education Area. Currently, the German 3
  4. 4. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec CanadaMinistry of Education and Research, The German Rectors’ Conference, and the GermanAcademic Exchange Service are preparing for the Berlin conference. These goals, to be completed by the end of this decade, have earned widespreadsupport in most European states. A Europe-wide debate has been going on since 1999,involving governments, university organizations on the European level – mainly the newlyfounded European University Association – and on the national level, as well as studentorganizations. These debates have yielded a strong consensus on the main goals:- mobility- employability- compatibility- the importance on life-long learning- attractiveness/competitiveness of European universities worldwideMajor changes are presently being undertaken in European university education:- the introduction of a European Credit transfer system (ECTS), to allow for easy transfer of credits within Europe- the introduction of a Diploma Supplement, containing information about the curricula, degree structure and actual work done- the introduction of degrees equivalent to Bachelor and Masters degrees (also mostly called this way) in many different countries- the introduction of structures for quality assurance and accreditationGlobalization The Europe-wide process resulting from the Bologna declaration is by no meansrestricted in its effects to Europe. Rather, the process is also meant and actually results in theopening of European higher education to the whole world. Comparable degree structures,clear information as provided by ECTS and the diploma supplement, and universally acceptedand accredited standards for higher education allow for the promotion of the attractiveness ofEuropean higher education outside of Europe.The situation in Germany The objectives of the Bologna Declaration correspond to the goals which the FederalGovernment and the Länder developed in recent years for modernizing higher education inGermany and enhancing the countrys international attractiveness. 4
  5. 5. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canada In Germany, the Federal Government and the Länder pointed out that the introductionof the new graduation system with Bachelors and Masters degrees must be accompanied bymeasures which promote acceptance of these degrees by industry and society and open up tograduates new opportunities on the labor market. In addition the Länder and the universities inGermany make joint efforts to develop the traditional degree system courses further so thatthey fit in more easily with international structures. Relevant provisions have been included in all higher education acts of the Länder.This corresponds to the objective of the Bologna Declaration that a system based on two maincycles, namely undergraduate and graduate studies, should be adopted. The Framework Actfor Higher Education (HRG) stipulates in accordance with the Bologna Declaration that thestandard period of undergraduate study shall be between three and four years. In the 2002 summer semester, 544 Bachelor courses and 367 Master courses havebeen offered by higher education institutions in Germany. According to official statistics, atotal of 18,945 students were enrolled on the new study courses in the 2000/2001 wintersemester, 12,409 of them in Bachelor courses and 6,536 in Master courses. This is still arather modest number but we have to bear in mind that many new course offerings have notyet been fully developed. 11,734 students of the total of 18,945 were in their first semester inthe course on which they were enrolled. It is to be expected that the dynamic development inthe area of Bachelor and Master courses will continue and that the number of students in thesestudy programs will markedly increase in the coming years. The international orientation of the introduction of the new graduation system wassupported by specific programs. Under these funding programs, support is currently providedfor about 100 internationally oriented study courses in Germany. In January 2000, the German Science Council issued a recommendation concerningthe introduction of a new study and degree structure (Bachelor/Master) in Germany. The newdegrees are also given much attention in the recent recommendations of the Science Councilconcerning the development of universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen). TheScience Council recommends that the new graduation system should be introduced atFachhochschulen in a consistent approach. The Standing Conference of State Ministers of Higher Education (KMK) advocatedthat the European Credit Transfer System should serve as a model for the credit system to beintroduced in Germany. A survey conducted by the DAAD in December 2000 revealed that,in the academic year 2000/2001, a total of 185 German institutions of higher education,including 93 Fachhochschulen, were introducing or applying ECTS in some 1,340 areas - not 5
  6. 6. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canadaonly to Bachelor/Bakkalaureus and Master/Magister courses but also to traditional studycourses. With a view to strengthening the international dimension, legal conditions (includingwork permits) to be fulfilled by foreigners wishing to study and do research in Germany wereimproved in 1998 already. The many and diverse efforts made by the Federal Government,the Länder and the institutions of higher education have already resulted in substantialimprovements for foreign students and researchers at numerous higher education institutions. No tuition fees are charged in Germany for studies leading to a degree qualifying for aprofession; this may even be a second degree earned in a two-cycle program. This principlealso applies to foreign students. The individual states and the institutions of higher educationare making great efforts to improve social and subject-related support for foreign students atGerman universities. An inter-institutional system of quality assurance is emerging in the Federal Republicof Germany, supplementing quality management by individual institutions. Transnationalinitiatives and collaborations of universities and evaluation centers have been established orwill shortly start work to ensure transnational evaluation In connection with the introductionof the new graduation system, the KMK and the HRK established an accreditation systemincluding a national German Accreditation Council for the launch of the newBachelor/Bakkalaureus and Master/Magister courses. The aim of accreditation is to ensureminimum standards with regard to study contents and to assess the professional relevance ofthe degrees awarded. The accreditation procedure is mainly implemented by different regionalagencies and agencies focusing on specific fields. The European dimension with regard to curriculum development, cooperation betweeninstitutions, mobility schemes and integrated programs of study, training and research is takeninto account by German universities in numerous ways. Cooperation between German andforeign institutions of higher education within the framework of contractually agreedpartnerships is gaining increasing importance. In addition to traditional forms of universitycooperation, increasingly complex networks of cooperation between institutions in severalcountries are emerging; some of these networks are of a regional nature or have developedfrom a special scientific focus of the institutions participating.From Prague to Berlin The follow-up conference to Bologna, that took place in Prague in Prague in May2001, expanded the number of participants in the process, specified the goals and developed 6
  7. 7. Globalisation: What Issues are at Stake for Universities? Université Laval, Québec Canadaworking structures which enable further progress to be made with the process. The aim is toestablish a European Higher Education Area. The Berlin Conference will be a milestone onthis way. The Bologna process is characterized by open working structures which enable a greatvariety of ideas and people to be included in the process. Only if we succeed in keeping thisprocess open and avoiding firmly established forms of organization with restrictive rules andregulations can the Bologna process be effective. The European Higher Education Area willdevelop from a common basic understanding of training structures in Europe. It is based onthe common views of participants, on mutual trust and on tolerance towards the diversitywhich is characteristic of Europe rather than on laws, regulations and procedures. The objectives of the Bologna process can be achieved only if comparable qualitystandards apply to higher education throughout Europe. Developing a reliable qualityassurance system is therefore necessary for promoting mobility within Europe and forenhancing the attractiveness of European higher education institutions to non-Europeans. Thisdoes, of course, not mean harmonizing higher education in Europe and introducingstandardized curricula for all universities in Europe. This would be incompatible withEuropean traditions and would call into question the diversity, which is one of Europes assetsin the higher education sector. The goal is not to harmonize systems but to ensureequivalence. As I stated at the outset, changes in the German university system are at the same timepart of a grander Europe-wide reform which in turn should open European universitiesworldwide. Therefore, I invite you to follow the further development of the European HigherEducation Area and recommend the official website which has been created for the BerlinConference under 7