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The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process ExpandO - Making Peer Learning on Access and Success Work The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process Brian.

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Presentation on theme: "The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process ExpandO - Making Peer Learning on Access and Success Work The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process Brian."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process ExpandO - Making Peer Learning on Access and Success Work The Social Dimension in the Bologna Process Brian Power Co-Chair of the BFUG Working Group on the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning 12 November 2013 - Ghent 1

2 Overview  The Bologna Process  The Social Dimension – what do we mean?  What do we want to achieve?  How do we go about achieving it?  Peer Learning in the Bologna Process

3 The Bologna Process  Intergovernmental Process  47 participating countries, European Commission and representatives of higher education institutions, students, staff, employers and quality assurance agencies  Purpose of the Bologna Process:  Improve international transparency of programmes and the recognition of qualifications  Convergence towards a common framework of qualifications and cycles of study  Greater mobility of students and teachers  In brief, a European Higher Education Area 3

4 Bologna Structures  Every second year, Ministers meet to measure progress and agree priorities for action  The main follow-up structure is the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG)  Oversees the Bologna Process between the ministerial meetings  Meets at least once every six months  Supported by the Bologna Secretariat  Sets up working groups to deal with specific topics in more detail 4

5 The Social Dimension  Berlin (2003), Ministers acknowledged that the need to increase competitiveness must be balanced with the objective of improving the social characteristics of the European Higher Education Area  One of the aims of the EHEA must be to strengthen social cohesion and reduce social and gender inequalities both at national and at European level  London (2007), Ministers agreed on a definition of the social dimension: “…that the student body entering, participating in and completing higher education at all levels should reflect the diversity of our populations… ” 5

6 Challenges  Centre for Social Policy Studies of the University of Antwerp in 2009  2012 BFUG implementation report  Collecting and comparing more detailed national level data on the social dimension presents real challenges  Social dimension understood differently from one country to another  National level policies not linked to the Bologna commitment  Measurement and monitoring of target groups are not consistent across national boundaries 6

7 Key questions  How do we ensure a coherent approach to ensuring equity of access across in our higher education systems?  How do we support those working in the area of access in addressing this important policy objective?  How do we ensure that what we learn and what demonstrably works is reflected in national and international policy and practice? 7

8 Key objectives  Critical both in economic and social terms to secure more equitable access to, participation in and completion of higher education  Strong interdependence of social and economic objectives  Europe’s economic recovery is increasingly dependent on its capacity to develop the skills of all its citizens  There are too many capable individuals who do not participate in higher education for social, cultural or economic reasons  Measures to ensure equitable access, participation and completion 8

9 Who is under- represented?  Critical to identify, measure and monitor participation of underrepresented groups  Underrepresented groups in higher education  Lower socio-economic groups  Students with disabilities  Mature students  National context is important  Ethnic minorities  Migrants  Rural isolation 9

10 What approaches?  General Policy Approaches  Financial supports  Flexible pathways  RPL  Student-centred teaching and learning for a more diverse student population  Guidance and counselling  Student services  Targeted Policy Approaches  Enhanced financial supports for target groups  Alternative admission systems  Targeted teaching and learning assistance  Tailored guidance and counselling services  Outreach services to specific groups and communities 10

11 How do we move the agenda forward?  Political commitment through ministerial agreement  In the EU Council of Education Ministers  In the Bologna ministerial meetings  Adoption of specific objectives and strategies at national level  Institutional commitment to access and success  Measuring, monitoring and analysis of impact  Peer learning  Sharing of experience and “what works”  Analysing and contextualising  National and international

12 EU Council Conclusions  Irish Presidency of the EU 2013 – May Council of Education Ministers  Council conclusions on the social dimension of higher education  Political commitment to:  Adopt national objectives which are aimed at increasing the access, participation and completion rates of under-represented and disadvantaged groups in higher education, with a view to progressing towards the Bologna Process goal  Systematic collection of relevant comparable data to enhance the evidence base for policy development and to enable the effective monitoring of national objectives on access, participation and completion  Commission actions  Pursue work on the social dimension through peer learning, engagement in the Open Method of Coordination and working within the Bologna Process

13 Bucharest Communiqué  “Widening access to higher education is a precondition for societal progress and economic development. We agree to adopt national measures for widening overall access to quality higher education.”  “Strengthen policies of widening overall access and raising completion rates, including measures targeting the increased participation of underrepresented groups”  “Develop a system of voluntary peer learning and reviewing by 2013 in countries which request it and initiate a pilot project to promote peer learning on the social dimension of higher education” 13

14 SD&LLL WG  Working Group on the Social Dimension and LLL  Two meetings per year – Chairs and sub-groups ongoing  Objectives and work plan  Thematic Strands:  Access initiatives, guidelines for national access plans  Teaching and Learning  Student supports and services  Lifelong Learning and Employability  Social Dimension & LLL Strategy for the EHEA  Development of the pilot project on peer learning for the social dimension - PL4SD 14

15 PL4SD  Peer Learning for the Social Dimension – or “PL4SD”  Three-year project to 2015 funded by the EU Commission  Provide research and analysis to support the development of social dimension policies in the EHEA  Structure information on national and institutional policies and initiatives and collect and analyse relevant reports and research  Database of comparative information  Both peer learning and peer review  Three country reviews to be completed by end-2014  Outcomes for individual countries and for EHEA 15

16 ExpandO experience  ExpandO will provide extremely valuable lessons  Important synergies – both social dimension and peer learning  Peer learning as a method:  the challenges and how these were overcome  difficulties that could not be overcome  lessons to be drawn on approach to peer learning in the social dimension  Comparative analysis of six systems examining policies, regulations and measures taken to improve access and success  National action plans  Recommendations on best practice in funding, monitoring, quality assessment and networking 16

17 Peer learning for peer learning?  Greater development of peer learning in both EU OMC and Bologna Process  Move away from simple exchanges of best practice  Greater emphasis on key data analysis to demonstrate impact  National, regional or institutional contexts may be critical to success of individual measures  Peer learning and peer review  ExpandO has been a pathfinder initiative, both in terms of peer learning and the social dimension  Enormously valuable well of experience from which to draw  Enduring legacy of learning and ongoing cooperation

18 Thank you Brian Power Head of Student Support and Equity of Access to Higher Education Department of Education and Skills Ireland 18

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