Recognition and Mobility in the Bologna Process

Today and tomorrow, the anniversary of the Bologna Process is celebrated. Actually...it is celebrated by most and protested against by some. A consortium of CHEPS, INCHER and ECOTEC was given the task to prepare an independent assessment of the Bologna process. The study was conducted together with experts from the University of Bath, the Bayerisches Staatsinstitut für Hochschulforschung and Nuffic (i.c. myself)). Below is the presentation by Don Westerheijden (CHEPS) of the part I've been working on: recognition and mobility.

European Innovation Scoreboard

Recently, the eighth edition of the European Innovation Scoreboard was published. The European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) has been published annually since 2001 to track and benchmark the relative innovation performance of EU Member States.

Creating a Higher Education Common Space in Southeast Asia?

I've asked the question before whether ASEAN was becoming like the EU. I agreed with former ASEAN Secretary General Severino who answered that it is "most likely not. At least not exactly". Now we can ask another question: is the ASEAN starting its own Bologna process? It appears to be doing so... The Australian reports on a meeting in Bangkok last week: Arguing the case for an extensive overhaul of co-operation and compatibility involving 6500 higher education institutions and 12 million students in 10 widely differing nations is no easy task; and it's…Read more …

German students and the European Court of Justice

German students are stretching the scope of European rules in national higher education systems. The last few years have shown a steady increase of German students in its neighboring countries. The number of German students in German speaking countries like Austria and Switzerland have increased. However, the most important destination for foreign students is the Netherlands with almost 14,000 students in 2006 and at least 16,750 in 2007 (pdf), making it also the largest group of international students in the Netherlands. I recently wrote about a German student, Jacqueline Förster, who claimed Dutch…Read more …

European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Go!

Excellence needs flagships! That is why Europe must have a strong European Institute of Technology, bringing together the best brains and companies and disseminating the results throughout Europe. That is how José Manuel Durão Barosso introduced the European Institute of Technology about two and a half years ago. Today was the inaugural meeting of the first Governing Board of the EIT. The Board's 18 high-level members, coming from the worlds of business, higher education and research all have a track record in top-level innovation and are fully independent in their decision-making. The Board…Read more …

Classifying European Institutions for Higher Education

I'm on my way back to The Hague, returning from the EAIR conference in Copenhagen. Although lots of interesting new studies and findings have been presented there (some of them I'll discuss in later posts), I actually want to talk about a conference I visited last July in Berlin. This conference (Transparency in Diversity – Towards a European Classification of Higher Education Institutions) presented the results from the second stage of the project Classifying European Institutions for Higher Education, a project that might turn out to have a major impact on European higher…Read more …

Weird Science: the genetic map of Europe

Correlation between Genetic and Geographic Structure in Europe by Lao, Oscar et al. (2008) Full Text Available in Current Biology; See also this article in the IHT Maybe not that weird, but definitely interesting. Biologists from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and others have constructed a genetic map of Europe. They investigated genotype data from 2,514 individuals belonging to 23 different subpopulations, widely spread over Europe. Although they found only a low level of genetic differentiation between subpopulations, the existing differences were characterized by a strong continent-wide correlation between geographic and genetic distance.…Read more …

The Business School Business in Europe, Asia and the US

The Financial Times featured an interesting article from business guru Charles Baden Fuller. Professor at the Cass Business School of the City University, London. He observes a decrease in the gap between management research between the US and other regions like Europe and Asia. Although he acknowledges the supremacy of the US in the field, he says that the US share of management research will fall below 50 percent the next few years: Research output in management is still concentrated: less than 3 per cent of the world's universities produce more than 70…Read more …

On the non discrimination principle (…and its limits?)

Last week, at Global HigherEd, Peter Jones reported on a forthcoming European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling in the case of Jacqueline Förster v IB-Groep. This is one of a range of recent cases handled by the ECJ that might have substantial effects for higher education policies throughout Europe. In a forthcoming paper for the European Journal of Education I identified the ECJ as one of the main actors in the institutionalisation of the European Higher Education Area. In earlier posts in this blog I discussed recent cases on the German medicine students…Read more …

Is Academic Freedom as Precious as it is Believed to Be?

This weeks' edition of University World News has a special on academic freedom. Most of the European coverage in this edition is based on a recent article in the journal Higher Education Policy: Academic Freedom in Europe: A Preliminary Comparative Analysis by Terence Karran. The outcomes of the article raise interesting questions. Not just on the different levels of academic freedom in different countries, but also about the nature of academic freedom and its value. On the basis of comparative data from 23 states within the European Union, the article concludes that academic…Read more …

The Lisbon Effect

Is it the great food with the wonderful local wines? Is it the amazing scenery? Is it the people? Why is Portugal, and Lisbon in particular, such a good place to come to an agreement? At least, that's what you're bound to conclude if you consider the amount of recent international documents named "The Lisbon ..." Having just spent a week in Portugal (Aveiro) to teach a course on Globalisation and the Knowledge Society for an Erasmus Mundus programme in Higher Education, I conclude it must be a combination of them. The great…Read more …

HOW to reform Europe’s universities?

Going through my daily news intake, my eyes fell on this alarming headline in Businessweek: Europe Falls Short in Higher Education. Going through the article, it seemed like the same old story (more of this and this). Nonetheless,  I decided to have a look at the source of the article. It was based on a policy brief (Why reform  Europe’s universities?) issued by Breugel, a European think tank devoted to international economics. The report presented some interesting data and analysis of the determinants of research performance (interesting despite the fact that much of…Read more …

America and the Bologna Process

The European process of harmonisation of degree structures is also causing discussions on the other side of the Atlantic. The participating countries have implemented (or are implementing) a three tier degree structure (Bachelor, Master, PhD). In most countries, the undergraduate phase will take three years. In my opinion, one reason for this rather short duration, is the fact that many countries - like the Netherlands - saw their previous 4 year degrees (doctorandus, licentiaat, magister and what have you) as equivalent to a Master's degree. And because governments did not want Bologna to…Read more …

Bologna in London

The Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Bologna Process - a bi-annual event where the progress of the Bologna Process is monitored and new actions are decided upon - took place in London last week. This basically means a bombardment of papers, reports and speeches about what's been going on and what needs to be done, coming from everyone that is somehow related to higher education. All this has culminated in the London Communique (pdf). I haven't had the time to go through all the documents yet, but the Communique does'nt seem to hold…Read more …

Thou Shalt Compete

The Economist gives a short review of the Bologna process and explains how it will inevitably increase competition in Europe. But for 'Old Europe' (as the Economist likes to call it) this requires more than just some structural changes:"The more hidebound European universities must be wondering what on earth they have started. Self-interest has prodded them to think about students as customers: both wealthy foreign ones, and bright locals tempted to finish their studies overseas. Governments have realised they could save money if their universities made students study a bit more briskly, gaining…Read more …