Beware of ministers bearing gifts labelled ’made in Bologna’

THE | 28 October 2010 | By Hannah Fearn
Thursday 4 November 2010
by  antonin
2 Votes

Process served as ’Trojan Horse’ for wider reforms, rectors hear. Hannah Fearn reports from Palermo

Governments have used the Bologna Process as a "Trojan Horse" to force through controversial reforms of their higher education systems, university rectors from across Europe heard.

Speaking at the European University Association conference in Palermo, Sicily, last week, Alex Usher, president of the Canadian consultancy Higher Education Strategy Associates, warned university leaders that unless they "stop talking about Bologna and find some new things to discuss" they risk undermining local and regional policy.

Declaring the European Higher Education Area a success, Mr Usher said rectors should "just declare victory and go home" to encourage greater diversity between institutions and countries taking part in the Bologna Process.

Sybille Reichert, director of Reichert Consulting for Higher Education, in Switzerland, agreed that "under the heading of Bologna, all sorts of other reforms on autonomy and governance (have been implemented)".

The resulting wave of reform across Europe led to widespread student protests over Bologna, despite a lack of understanding of its common goals.

The opening ceremony of the EUA conference was disrupted as Sicilian students demonstrated outside the venue, protesting against massive cuts to the Italian education budget that had led to an immediate increase in student tuition fees, alongside a host of other reforms.

Taking the floor of the conference, a spokesman for the group of protesters said they were part of a movement that stood "against this government and what they are doing to public universities in Italy. They are proposing reforms that amount to a patriarchy within universities to give more power to the rectors and less power to the representatives for students and researchers."

Mr Usher said governments and university principals had become so obsessed with the Bologna Process that key local higher education policy decisions had been overlooked, resulting in even greater homogenisation of the European academy.

"This pan-Europe policy is creating policy at a local level, and that can’t be a good thing. Just because a policy doesn’t have a European dimension, it doesn’t mean it isn’t important," he said.

He argued that Europe should be a "lab for new ideas. Now more than ever we need governments and institutions to experiment and be bold. We need to compare notes about what works and what does not."

Jean-Marc Rapp, president of the EUA, said it was "no surprise" that students objected to Bologna because of the way regional governments had portrayed it to the public.

"In many cases, the governments that were implementing Bologna did realise that their country...needed to reform their system so it would be more efficient. They said to the public: ’Bologna is there, we need to reform.’ People would understand that Bologna demands that reform, which wasn’t the case," he said.

By Hannah Fearn

hannah.fearn tsleducation.com.

Participation: Growing but not widening?

The Europe-wide push to widen participation in higher education may serve only to perpetuate social inequalities, according to an Irish university president.

The warning comes as the European Commission reiterated its commitment to ensuring that 40 per cent of young Europeans obtain a university-level qualification by 2020. The average participation rate in Europe currently stands at 31 per cent, with rates in some countries as low as 15 per cent.

Speaking at the European University Association conference, Androulla Vassiliou, Europe’s commissioner for education, encouraged every country to step up efforts to widen access.

"Our main competitors are ahead of Europe in putting many more of their young people through university. Even those countries that are already achieving above this target figure must do more," she said.

But Tom Collins, president of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, said widening participation risked simply "turning inherited disadvantage into achieved disadvantage", a move he described as "dangerous".

Ireland has achieved a participation rate of 74 per cent, but analysis shows that while almost all young people whose parents are in higher professional roles now go to university, less than a third of those from semi-skilled or unskilled backgrounds do.

"I’m not sure that the issue of equality can best be addressed in higher education," he said.

"Increasingly, those of us who are involved in policymaking make that argument because it has managed to get resources into higher education...(but) it’s potentially disingenuous of higher education to be making arguments for egalitarianism when (some) children, by the age of four, are already largely constrained by their background to underachieve."

Professor Collins also questioned how standards could be maintained with greater participation at a time when universities "have to do a lot more with a lot less".

By Hannah Fearn

hannah.fearn tsleducation.com.


http://www.timeshighereducation.co....


commentaires article

Agenda

<<

2014

 

<<

Juillet

 

Aujourd'hui

LuMaMeJeVeSaDi
30123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
Aucun évènement à venir les 2 prochains mois

News items

Geneviève Fioraso lance à Grenoble ses premières initiatives

mercredi 23 mai 2012

C’est aux terres grenobloises que Geneviève Fioraso, nouvelle ministre de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, a réservé hier [22 mai 2012] sa première sortie officielle en région. Là même où elle a tissé, durant des années, les mailles de l’écosystème innovant grenoblois. (...)

[Extrait] Résoudre la précarité des techniciens de laboratoire

« Malgré le contexte budgétaire difficile, il faut trouver une solution à la situation précaire de certains personnels de techniciens dont l’expertise est indispensable à leur laboratoire. »

Sur le Web : Source : Le Dauphiné

EU: Presidency seeks to expand Erasmus

Tuesday 6 September 2011

UWN | 04 September 2011 | Issue: 187 | Brendan O’Malley

The Polish presidency of the European Union is planning to expand the Erasmus student and staff exchange programme to non-EU countries on its eastern and southern borders.

Barbara Kudrycka, the Polish Minister for Higher Education, said on Tuesday: "We would very much like to see a widening of the Erasmus-scheme to non-EU countries, not only our Eastern neighbors but also for example the ones in the southern neighbourhood. In my view, the best diplomats for countries are students and scientists."

She was speaking at the 22nd European Students’ Convention in the Polish city of Lazy on Tuesday, a four-day event organised by the European Students Union, the umbrella organisation of 45 national unions of students from 38 European countries.

Kudrycka has previously called for all students from Eastern Partnership countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine - to be given the opportunity of studying in EU countries. (...)

La belle perle de Wauquiez

lundi 4 juillet 2011

Wauquiez démarre fort au MESR : la hausse du ticket du CROUS (écrasant le vote du CNESER) et seuls 3 lauréats aux IdEX. Une belle perle au passage lors d’une interview par Philippe Jacquet du Monde :

"Les investissements d’avenir doivent permettre d’aider QUELQUES-UN de nos pôles universitaires à affronter le XXIe siècle et les grandes universités mondiales"

Les autres se débrouilleront seuls ! Plusieurs universités sont déjà dans le rouge malgré la pluie de milliards !

Sur le Web : Lire sur Le Monde

Baroin rabote les opérateurs publics

lundi 13 décembre 2010

Interview de François Baroin, ministre du Budget, par le JDD, 12 décembre 2010

JDD : Le Parlement adoptera cette semaine le budget de l’État pour 2011. Vous devez maintenant mettre en œuvre la rigueur. Quelles seront vos premières décisions ?
Baroin : « Il est très important que l’État commence par montrer l’exemple lui-même. Nous avons engagé la réduction de son train de vie. Je réunis demain les directeurs des 497 opérateurs publics [Pôle emploi, Office national des forêts, Commissariat à l’énergie atomique, musée du Louvre, Météo France…] hors universités, qui doivent pour la première fois en 2011 appliquer les mêmes règles de gestion que l’État. Dès l’an prochain, un départ à la retraite sur deux ne sera pas remplacé. Je propose que leur parc de 17.000 automobiles soit réduit de près de 3.000 véhicules, que leurs achats de fournitures soient progressivement diminués de 10% et que leurs superficies immobilières soient ramenées à 12 m² par agent. Nous leur interdirons par ailleurs de recourir à tout endettement. La rémunération au mérite de leurs dirigeants devra aussi être étendue à toute l’équipe de direction. »

Les laboratoires de recherche "hors universités" devront donc être touchés par la rigueur (CNRS, INSERM, CEA, ...). Ce n’est plus toute l’ESR qui est épargnée par les baisse de budgets mais seulement l’Université.

L’Élysée veut "réduire" les organismes de recherche

jeudi 9 décembre 2010

[Science² |09/12/2010]

Arnold Munnich, le conseiller en sciences de la santé de Nicolas Sarkozy relance l’offensive de l’Élysée contre la recherche publique. Il vient de déclarer,que les organismes de recherche allaient subir « une réduction de leur voilure » et laisser la place aux universités pour conduire la recherche.

Pour ce qui est de réduire la voilure, on sait déjà qu’en 2011 le CNRS va diminuer les dotations aux laboratoires de 11% et sabrer 25 millions d’euros dans les budgets des gros équipements.

(...)

Soutenir par un don