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Bologna & Reforming the European University

 


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According to the European Union Website, Europe has around 4,000 higher education institutions, with over 17 million students and 1.5 million staff. “Some European universities are amongst the best in the world, but overall potential is not used to the full. "

One of the main problems of Europe is also one of the main problems of any large organization: what do we centralize and what is better done at a local level?

So far everything is done at the local (read country or national) level and one of the problems is that one university degree in one local environment (Spain) is not equally acknowledged at another local area (for example in Holland). Someone with a university degree in radiology cannot switch jobs between the Netherlands and Spain if not previously this academic study is “homologized. " The homologation is a process where the certificate of one institute is compared with another and authorized as being of equal weight. This process takes time and is costly for graduates and builds a virtual barrier between the member states. The homologation is one way to offer transparency. It will destroy these barriers and will make free mobility between the states possible.

The Bologna Process aims to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010, in which students can choose from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses and benefit from smooth recognition procedures. The Bologna Declaration . . . has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents. Reform was needed then and reform is still needed today if Europe is to match the performance of the best performing systems in the world, notably the United States and Asia. The three priorities of the Bologna process are: Introduction of the three cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), quality assurance and recognition of qualifications and periods of study. (1)

How this homologation is done exactly is not easy to find on the European Union Websites, but the process of attributing points to academic courses is one element of this. The other element is that the local authorities (universities) can issue a Europe wide academic certificate for those students who have followed the new policy.

Who could ever be opposing this?

A possible next question could be, how much more of these processes are there (ongoing) in the Union? A search for “Homologation" matches 319299 document on the Europe. eu site. . . But is for large companies the head office should become too big.

(1) - http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/educ/bologna/bologna_en.html

© 2009 Hans Bool

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