European Higher Education Policy and the Social Dimension: A Comparative Study of the Bologna Process

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The European Higher Education Area

Amazon Global Store US International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions. Manufacturer warranty may not apply Learn more about Amazon Global Store. Product details Hardcover: pages Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; ed. Review "This summary allows the reader to look at the access policies in higher education policy from a historical and broader socio-economic context to understand economic, political, social and individual drivers behind the expansion process.

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Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. While in there were , students in Poland, in the figure peaked to reach 1,, with the s baby boom generation turning 19—24 years of age , only to fall down to 1,, in Stan, uwarunkowania i perspektywy Polish higher education: Current state, conditions, prospects , Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, , pp.

Renegotiating the traditional social contract , Principia. Pisma koncepcyjne z filozofii i socjologii teoretycznej vol. Kostkiewicz et al. It would seem that under the circumstances there is a need to develop a mechanism which would secure the quality of education and enable its diversification to meet the expectations of students. The Bologna Process is an attempt to face the current problems, systematise the changes in European third-level education and put European universities on a new course. In the European context, the need for change stems from the position of European institutions of higher education in comparison with their counterparts in the United States and Asia.

Indeed, global rankings and statistics of patents granted reveal that European educational and research performance is relatively low.

“Bologna Digital” – Reinforcing the European Higher Education Area with Digital Solutions

Implementation of a common strategy aims to improve the competitiveness of European higher education on the global educational market and create a competitive, knowledge-based European economy. This is to be achieved by increased mobility of European Union citizens, particularly students and academics, exchange of experiences, ideas, know-how, and by building a common European identity.

Discussion on the future of European higher education has continued for a few decades and involved most European countries. The process of modernisation was launched as a result of an increasing awareness of the need for change in the absence of adequate reforms. Although the idea of university had been born and developed in Europe, recent comparative studies reveal that the American model is more effective. In order to bridge the gap, Europe decided to take joint action aiming to promote and improve third-level education, and the Polish educational system was included in the scheme.

A comprehensive approach to investigating the social dimension in Eur…

According to common rules for the conduct of European Union policies, EU directives, once agreed, lay down certain end results, and national authorities have to adapt their laws to achieve them, but are free to decide how to do so. Strengthening the position of Poland in Europe is one of the major goals of Polish foreign policy and the international standing of the country depends on the gradual assimilation of European rules applicable also to higher education. Adjustment of Polish reforms to European standards is to secure a stable development of the system of education and research. Consequently, Poland cannot afford to ignore the objectives of the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Strategy, as this would result not only in the lack of funding from the EU, but also, more importantly, in a lowered standing among European and global educational institutions.

The main stages of change In , the rectors of universities from EU member states and associated countries signed the Magna Charta Universitatum in Bologna. Magna Charta Universitatum emphasised the role of the university as a guardian of values and stressed the 11 M. Minkiewicz eds.

Also, what was recognised as one of the main concerns of the university was the responsibility for the preservation and development of the European humanist tradition. In order to understand the changes taking place in European higher education, it is worth introducing and explaining the origins of the Bologna Declaration and the ensuing set of reforms of higher education referred to as the Bologna process. An important point of departure for considering changes taking place in higher education was the Bologna Declaration, signed by the ministers responsible for higher education from twenty-nine countries on 19 June At that stage, the final form in which the institutions of higher educations were to operate at the level of associated countries was not specified and the idea was to be developed with each subsequent meeting at the ministerial level to include additional goals.

The current shape of the legislation takes into account the objectives of the process, but the guidelines for its implementation are set at the ministry level and reflect the objectives of Polish educational policy. In later documents, subsequent reforms in higher education came to be referred to as the Bologna Process. In the Bologna Declaration, the ministers committed their countries to introduce changes in their educational systems with a view to attaining the following objectives: the adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees; the adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles undergraduate and graduate ; the establishment of a European system of credits based on the student workload required to achieve the course outcomes ECTS as a means of accumulation and transfer of credits; promotion of staff and student mobility; cooperation in quality assurance; promotion of a European dimension in higher education.


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Once this aim was accomplished, the agenda of the process has been broadened to include such goals as the current development of National Qualifications Frameworks compatible with the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area FQ-EHEA as a means to increase mobility. The number of countries is steadily increasing, from twenty-nine in to forty-six in , and so is the number of tasks.

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In this context, it was considered important that the two-cycle study system should be modified to include the doctoral level as the third cycle. It also stressed the social dimension of the Bologna Process, involving access to studies for students from socially disadvantaged groups and removing obstacles to student and staff mobility. Another issue addressed was the need to create databases in order to efficiently monitor progress made in the areas of mobility, social dimension and employability, as well as to provide a basis for stocktaking and benchmarking including classification and ranking of institutions of higher education.

The report reveals that the European systems of higher education have transformed as set out in the principles of the Bologna Process.

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In view of the fact that some countries still do not recognise the degree of bachelor as a professional qualification, it is suggested that further action should be taken to transform the traditional system towards a system based on learning outcomes. Furthermore, the systems of quality assurance still require greater involvement on the part of students, academic staff and employers. It is worth noting that despite the development of the European Quality Assurance Register, many countries still do not allow their higher education institutions to be evaluated by agencies from outside their country.

Another point of evaluation of the Bologna Process considers the implementation of lifelong learning. Although most countries have recognized this idea as one of their priorities and modified their study offer accordingly, the level of implementation is considerably different, owing to such factors as the level of financing available for the purpose. However, the evaluation of the current figures is not yet possible at this stage.

They include such elements as the introduction of flexible learning pathways, learning in the work environment and recognition of non-formal education and informal learning, which are a part of the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning EQF-LLL , mostly related to the field of vocational training. Another strategic task is to adjust the educational sector to the needs of the labour market.

A significant number of countries have not yet taken all the steps to modernize their system of vocational training in accordance with the new guidelines. In Poland, work on the development of validation schemes is at a preparatory stage. Although current legal regulations already give higher education institutions an opportunity to recognise learning outcomes achieved outside of formal education, this practice has been limited to only few isolated cases.

According to some specialists, the role of the European Commission has grown so considerably that the Bologna Process has become subordinated to the Lisbon Strategy, particularly to the measures adopted to ensure economic growth and increasing employment. Marciniak ed. Ever since the Bologna Declaration, there has been an increasing interest of other countries in the process, resulting in an expanding impact of the initiative.

Some of its meetings can be attended not only by ministers of the European Higher Education Area member states but also by representatives of the European Commission, delegations of states which are outside the EHEA and several international organisations involved in the field of higher education. The third such forum was organised in conjunction with the ministerial meeting in Bucharest Indeed, the country introduced the diploma supplement, a three-cycle system of studies, the ECTS credit system, established the State Accreditation Commission and promoted mobility e.

It has to be noted that since the early s the implementation of the mobility postulates of the Bologna Declaration has been facilitated by such international programmes as Jean Monnet, Tempus, Socrates, Erasmus and Leonardo. In addition, basing on the experience of the Tempus and Socrates programmes, Polish institutions of higher education introduced study programmes with English as the language of instruction. The Erasmus programme has proved that student mobility and changes in the curriculum and organisation of studies which are induced by such practice are not only possible but can also be successfully accommodated in the educational system.

Thus, the continuity of education in conjunction with mobility is no longer a problem today and brings considerable benefits to the individual participants of the programme.

While those ranked higher include Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Czech Republic and Latvia, the countries below the average are Italy and Spain. In , the act was substantially amended to fully comply with the Bologna requirements. Further changes introduced in included an important distinction between academic and practice-oriented study profiles, with the latter focused on professional skills, acquired largely in the workplace.

Also, the new provisions facilitate validation of learning outcomes achieved outside formal education, and enable diversification of research funding and commercialisation of research outcomes. In another development, institutions of higher education are no longer required to monitor the professional career of their graduates, and the task will be performed by a ministerial body. Apart from this, the Polish framework is well-suited for the situation of higher education in the country and reflects the needs of higher education stakeholders in Poland.

Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe

In this context, the idea of introducing two profiles of study programmes academic and practice-oriented has been particularly appreciated. So have been extensive social consultations in the course of development and implementation of the NQF for Higher Education in Poland. In this way, the process seeks to harmonise higher education activity rather than foster uniformity. The protection of the rich diversity of European education has been paramount 41 Z. The implementation of the Bologna Process has had its problems and raised some doubts.

Sceptical about the reforms, the academic community has been particularly concerned about introducing a link between the higher education and the labour market, reducing the role of academic institutions to training workforce.