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Bologna and the Aberdeen Curriculum Review Presentation to the Curriculum Review Steering Group, 26 June 2008 Graeme Roberts Senior Associate, Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Bologna and the Aberdeen Curriculum Review Presentation to the Curriculum Review Steering Group, 26 June 2008 Graeme Roberts Senior Associate, Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bologna and the Aberdeen Curriculum Review Presentation to the Curriculum Review Steering Group, 26 June 2008 Graeme Roberts Senior Associate, Higher Education Academy

2 The UK and the Bologna reforms Key reforms were part of the shake-up of UK HE in the 1990s, especially after the Dearing Report (1997) UK already had a three-cycle system First-cycle qualifications recognised by UK employers Effective internal and external QA systems that comply with Standards and Guidelines for QA in the EHEA (Bergen, 2005) Paradigm shift to student-centred learning Employability and transferable skills embedded in the curriculum Use of learning outcomes, subject benchmarks and level descriptors to ensure transparency and comparability Development of national qualifications frameworks Promotion of lifelong learning and the social dimension through widening access and participation schemes

3 Scotland and the Bologna reforms In addition, in the case of Scotland National credit system compatible with European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) High level of student involvement in quality assurance In the 2007 Bologna Stocktaking Exercise, the Scottish “scorecard” was found deficient in only two areas: Level of international participation in QA system (addressed in revised ELIR) Automatic issue of European Diploma Supplement to every student on graduation (meant to have been implemented in 2005)

4 First Report of the Curriculum Commission All degree awards in the framework for provision to be compliant with the requirements of Bologna (n.9) Would it be necessary for students on the enhanced three year programme to take courses at level four “to ensure full Bologna compliance”? (n.11) New one year taught masters that is closely linked to the honours programme “would provide a fully Bologna compliant programme of study to masters level” (n.14)

5 What is meant by “Bologna compliant”? Degree programmes can be said to do so: If they conform to the relevant national qualifications framework for HE and If this framework has been verified as compatible with the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, adopted in 2005 as a common reference point and source of guidance Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (part of SCQF) was so verified in October 2006: so if Aberdeen’s new qualifications conform to this they are “Bologna compliant”

6 The real issue Not compliance with national or supra-national framework but how readily Aberdeen’s new qualifications will be understood, recognised and valued by employers and other HEIs Have major UK and international employers said that the proposed reforms will enhance Aberdeen graduates’ prospects in the global jobs market?

7 Increasing understanding and recognition Use European Diploma Supplement to clarify what is distinctive about new programmes: e.g. Aberdeen Graduate Attributes and setting of disciplinary study in a “broader context of knowledge and approaches” so as to enhance student’s “preparation for work, personal development and citizenship” Become much more active in European partnership programmes and networks: too late to join Tuning Project (to identify points of reference for generic and subject-specific competences of first and second cycle graduates in various subject areas)

8 Erasmus Mundus scheme Aims to improve quality of European HE and promote intercultural understanding with third countries Funds high quality integrated masters programmes offered by consortia of at least three HEIs from at least three European countries that require students to study in at least two HEIs and lead to the award of a joint or double degree Annual grant of 15,000 euros to each consortium 824,000 euros a year for 5 years for scholarships for c.20 graduate students and 3 academics from third countries Additional funding for partnerships with third country HEIs and to support mobility of European students and staff

9 Erasmus Mundus and Aberdeen Next year 103 programmes with 2000 students and 450 teaching staff from outside Europe will benefit Nearly 40% of programmes involve UK HEIs: Edinburgh, Heriot- Watt (3), Queen Margaret, St Andrews (2) and Strathclyde Next phase (2009-2013) has total budget of 950 million euros: it will include joint doctoral programmes, increased scholarships for European students and greater structural cooperation with third country HEIs If one purpose of the Curriculum Review is to develop “a high quality, distinctive and attractive educational experience for… postgraduate students…which takes account of developing international approaches” – it’s worth including Erasmus Mundus in your plans.

10 Mobility Re-affirmed by 2007 ministerial summit as “one of the core elements of the Bologna Process” and put at top of its list of priorities for national action up to 2009 Ministers pledged to consider ways of providing further incentives, including encouraging a significant increase in the number of joint programmes and urging HEIs to take more responsibility for more equitably balanced staff and student mobility

11 ERASMUS scheme While Scotland performs well relative to the rest of the UK, the number of outgoing students is less than half the number of incoming students and is 40% down on the peak year of 1994-95 73% of outgoing students come from Edinburgh (22%), Strathclyde (16%), Glasgow (14%), Heriot Watt (11%) and Aberdeen (10%) and study languages, business and law

12 Scotland’s International Lifelong Learning Strategy (March 2007) Not listed as one of the publications on government educational policy considered by Curriculum Review Aims to position Scotland as “a world leader in international post-school education” and calls for the development of “a mindset in which an international outlook is embedded as a core value” “We need to ensure that there is an international dimension to all our college and university courses, and also that domestic students are encouraged to gain experience of living and working or studying overseas. Both of these will help to foster global citizenship in our students at all levels.”

13 Scotland’s International Lifelong Learning Strategy (March 2007) In June 2007 the new Scottish Government called for “actions aimed at increasing the numbers of students on programmes of study abroad and also to encourage strategic links between our colleges and universities and those in other countries” First Report largely ignores this important international dimension

14 Why promote student mobility? Enhance their knowledge and understanding of their discipline by exposing them to a different system of learning and teaching Foster their awareness of the international dimension of knowledge Give them access to techniques, equipment, technologies, expertise and resources other than those that are available at their home institution Improve their competence in a second language Provide an effective context for the development of their capacities for critical reflection and self-directed learning Encourage them to become more resourceful, adaptable and self-confident Develop their awareness of and respect for cultural diversity Prepare them to work successfully in novel situations and to adapt their practice to take account of different social and cultural circumstances

15 Why promote student mobility at Aberdeen? These aims map very well on to the key qualities in the Statement of Aberdeen Graduate Attributes: e.g. independence and flexibility of mind personal development intellectual curiosity openness to new ideas effective communication in different contexts self-directed study awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity Putting transnational student mobility at the heart of Aberdeen’s curricular reforms would also ensure “a challenge for the best students“ and would “set their disciplinary study within a broader context of knowledge and approaches” by allowing them to experience how their disciplines work in other countries.

16 An employer’s view "More than anything, the kind of people we will need are ones who can solve problems, who can deal with change, who can cope in a world where – from year to year, even month to month – the rule book is ripped up and a whole new set of rules comes into play. Of course, that ability, whether you want to call it resilience or something else, lies partly in personalities. But, perhaps more so, it’s dependent on having the capacity to question and to learn, not simply to do. I don’t hire someone because they have a business or a technical degree. Quite the opposite – I don’t care what they’ve studied, so long as they can think, question, communicate, imagine. In case the penny hasn’t dropped, the qualities I’ve been describing are exactly those qualities someone might develop if they’ve studied abroad, if they’ve been mobile.“ Susan Rice, CEO of Lloyds TSB Scotland, October 2006

17 Working paper on Bologna after 2020 “As a matter of ‘Bologna policy‘ all students should…be encouraged to take a number of credits outside their disciplines and thus develop intercultural competence. Study programmes and processes should help students to develop knowledge, skills and habits of mind to be able to reflect on their own beliefs and the choices they make; they should be aware and critical of their own assumptions and beliefs and engage open-mindedly with different cultural forms and historical moments.” Bologna Follow-Up Group, March 2008

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