Dr Graham Roberts, Bologna Expert Team


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Dr Graham Roberts, Bologna Expert Team

  1. 1. The Bologna Process “Europe at the Heart of Internationalisation” London, 26 June 2013 Dr Graeme Roberts
  2. 2. Bologna Process • Aims to create a European Higher Education Area in which students, staff and graduates can freely move to study, collaborate and find employment in each others’ countries • Creation of common European reference points and tools to harmonise and modernise national HE systems, structures and processes • UK was an original signatory but Bologna has never been high on the agenda of UK HEIs
  3. 3. UK HE system • Based on three cycles • National qualification frameworks • Quality assurance • Credit system based on student workload and learning outcomes • Degree transcripts • Student-centred learning • Widening access and participation
  4. 4. UK HE system • Shares two key Bologna objectives: – Promoting graduate employability – Encouraging student mobility • But not increasing the competitiveness of European HE at the expense of the UK • Nor promoting “the European dimension” by developing “an awareness of shared values and [of] belonging to a common social and cultural space” – now quietly dropped!
  5. 5. European Activity Survey (2011-12) • Headline – “the results...suggest increased engagement with the European higher education agenda” • Institutional response rate: • 2007 92 • 2009 92 • 2011 70 • “Slight decrease” - 24%!
  6. 6. Diploma Supplement up 19% since 2007?
  7. 7. Diploma Supplement • Key indicator of Bologna engagement/ compliance • DS and ECTS system – two main recognition tools • European Commission awards DS and ECTS Labels for correct use: only three UK HEIs – Bournemouth, Kent and Swansea • Other UK HEIs are waiting for HEAR – “a key feature in differentiating and distinguishing the UK higher education system” – how compatible with DS?
  8. 8. “Continued confidence in the UK one year Masters programme” HEIs I year 2 years 2011 70 294 69 2009 92 351 80 2007 92 323 125
  9. 9. Collaborative programmes • 47 HEIs awarding joint/collaborative degrees in partnership with one or more HEIs – 28% with another UK HEI – 45% with European HEI – 28% with HEI outside Europe • 65% of the rest considering introduction.
  10. 10. Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctoral Programmes • Academically prestigious and handsomely funded • 2009 - 4 out of 13 programmes included UK partners • 2014 – 16 out of 42 programmes
  11. 11. Recognition • At the heart of the Bologna reforms • Improving recognition a key challenge as practices differ within and between HEIs • “Ensuring recognition in practice as well as theory is a sine qua non for the successful functioning of the EHEA” (The European Higher Education Area in 2012)
  12. 12. 2011 European Activity Survey • Responses “indicate widespread acceptance of UK qualifications in Europe” • Increased percentage of HEIs which “were not aware of any difficulties experienced by graduates of UK Bachelor and Masters programmes” • But UK included amongst nearly 30 countries where “some” or “many” students had recognition problems (European Students’ Union, 2009) • Only two thirds of Erasmus students receive full recognition: “Lack of recognition remains a major deterrent to going abroad, for those aiming at academically meaningful mobility” (Erasmus Student Network, 2009)
  13. 13. Leuven goals (2009) 1. Completing the process of structural reform and ensuring that the implementation of these reforms is accompanied by consistent understanding and application of the Bologna tools. 2. Delivering a high quality educational experience, linked to research and lifelong learning, one that promotes graduate employability. 3. Addressing the social dimension by ensuring that the student cohort entering and completing higher education truly reflects the diversity of Europe's populations. 4. Ensuring that at least 20% of those graduating in the EHEA have experienced a study or training period abroad.
  14. 14. Why bother with Bologna? 1. The case for public investment in higher education as part of the solution to Europe’s economic and financial problems through the education of creative, innovative, critically thinking and responsible graduates. 2. Support for the development of the social dimension of higher education and efforts to reduce inequalities and provide adequate student support services. 3. Promotion of student-centred learning, innovative teaching and a supportive learning environment. 4. Promotion of the link between teaching, learning and research. 5. Support for the engagement of students and staff in the governance structures of higher education institutions. 6. Commitment to autonomous and accountable higher education institutions that embrace academic freedom. Bucharest Communiqué 2012
  15. 15. Some questions 1. How actively is your HEI engaging with the European HE agenda? 2. Given the range and number of countries in the EHEA, is there still such a thing as "the European Dimension"? 3. Is the EHEA a threat or an opportunity for UK higher education?