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Bologna from the grassroots

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1 Bologna from the grassroots
HERODOT: A European thematic network supporting Geographers (and those in related disciplines) Karl Donert, National Teaching Fellow HERODOT Project coordinator President, EUROGEO

2 Bologna Tasks create a framework within which a common higher education agenda could be set (Teichler, 1999) HEIs given the mission of meeting the target to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010 Teichler, U. (1999), Internationalisation as a Challenge for Higher Education in Europe Tertiary Education and Management, 5(1): 5-22

3 Bologna Structure Top down: European Bologna - Meeting of Ministers
National Bologna - National experts and agencies University Bologna Departmental/Faculty Bologna Course Bologna Individual Bologna

4 What are Thematic Networks?
deal with: forward-looking, strategic reflection on scientific, educational and institutional issues mapping and enhancing higher education analysing and responding to change (eg Bologna) facilitate international cooperation and collaboration build synergy between teaching and research with a pronounced European dimension

5 WHY HERODOT? Herodotus – storyteller, commentaries about the world
map recreating his understanding of the world why things happen? causation the first Geographer?

6 HERODOT Mission promote Geography (for higher education)
support professional development of academic staff in changing environments focus for research and publications on teaching and learning an active network for other initiatives enabling academic links around the world

7 HERODOT Activities expert meetings and conferences
workshops, seminars, events trans-European research forum for debate and discussion promote good practice advise on professional development connect many types of organisation – associations, NGOs, publishers, software developers, businesses, Ministries, employers, agencies, students etc.

8 April 2007 159 member organisations
24 outside Europe 39 countries August member organisations 54 outside Europe 55 countries

9 HERODOT Thematic Areas
European priorities Needs Analysis of members

10 Network research Pan-European research State of Geography 2005
TUNING Geography 2006 Implementing Bologna 2009 Comparative analyses between countries Action Research - different themes eg Culture and Diversity, Sustainable development, GIS, elearning, teacher education

11 TUNING Geography (2003-2006) HERODOT asked to “TUNE” Geography
‘TUNING Educational Structures in Europe’ – a project undertaken by universities, for universities. Universities’ response to the challenge of the Bologna Declaration. The project motto is “Tuning of educational structures and programmes on the basis of diversity and autonomy” HERODOT asked to “TUNE” Geography

12 TUNING Objectives implement two/three cycles
identify common reference points from discipline and generic perspectives develop professional profiles from comparable and compatible learning outcomes facilitate employability by promoting transparency develop a common language understood by all involved (higher education, employers, professional bodies, students)

13 TUNING Methodology survey of graduates, employers and academics
considers importance of generic and subject-specific competences evaluation of how well higher education institutions develop them undertaken to: develop academic and professional profiles for a degree programme and identify important learning outcomes

14 Subject-specific competences

15 TUNING sample Geography 453 231 301 985 Subject Graduates Employers
Academics Total Business 921 153 1227 Geography 453 231 301 985 Geology 656 138 145 939 History 800 149 221 1170 Mathematics 662 122 906 Physics 635 85 121 841 Education Sciences 897 201 134 1232 Chemistry 612 96 102 810

16 How has this been used? identify strengths, what to keep in Bologna courses spot weaknesses and gaps in courses help in planning new courses and curriculum establish benchmarks and milestones – students must, should, could do create professional profile of what Geography graduates can do Initiate Quality Assurance Understand Quality enhancement needs

17 Geography TUNING Conclusions
4 issues and network responses Becoming competitive Promoting European Geography worldwide Educating about European issues Books, curriculum materials, guidance Employability Employability profile, work with European student association, NGOs, Careers Curriculum and Quality issues Workshops, benchmark statements

18 Bologna research (2009): rationale
Despite rhetoric – Bologna more challenging than expected primarily due to: challenges related to engaging the academic community dissemination of information EU enlargement the lack of support (money, guidance)

19 Bologna research: rationale
National overviews of political situation EURYDICE = network for gathering, monitoring, processing and circulating reliable and readily comparable information on education systems European Ministries = national level responsibility for higher education and reporting lies in each of the Member States No research on the impact and influence of Bologna on academics across Europe

20 Research goal, method Goal
to report on the impact and influence of Bologna reforms on an Departments/Faculties and individuals Method a short questionnaire on the nine goals of Bologna and the development of a European Higher Education Area (Jan-July 2009) administered to Departments /Faculties via the HERODOT network


22 What does Bologna mean to academics?
Comparability Share – collaboration – common needs – learn from one another Recognise Diversity – focus on excellence Building a Community of Practice – promote quality Professionalisation of academic staff Increased Competition Global forces Mobility

23 What is the European Higher Education Area?
confusion, uncertainty and ignorance many difficulties and some threats Perceived as: unity - through the use of terms like “homogenisation”, “compatibility” and “commonality” much confusion concerning the relative importance of diversity versus homogeneity free movement and internationalisation sharing know-how “European associations and academic networks in Geography are central to moving from the theory of Bologna to the awareness and implementation of it.”

24 Research Conclusions results confirm King (2006), misunderstandings and controversy built walls rather than bridges to change Bologna has: raised too many challenges and marginalised certain stakeholder groups Gonzales and Wagenar (2003) suggested disciplinary frameworks offer a powerful approach greater professionalisation in higher education essential, where practitioners can work together King, C. (2006), The Bologna Process: Bridge or Fortress? A Review of the Debate from a North American Perspective, Vancouver, Institute of European Studies, University of British Columbia,

25 Network Responses Form a professional organisation for members – EUROGEO ( Create valuable products in response to needs Respond to international issues 2008 International Year of Planet Earth UN Decade for sustainable development 2014 International Year of Culture and Civilisation International Charter for Geography Education Widen networking further – funding - support Seek sustainability through sponsorship and support

26 Competitiveness agenda
Viviane Reding, laid the basis for “making the EU a prominent figure in the world education market”, arguing that “…national governments alone cannot meet the challenges of globalisation, new technologies and the single market” (Reding, 2003: 2) Reding, V. (2003), We need to implement wholeheartedly the Bologna process, Paper presented at the Berlin Conference on Higher Education, Berlin, Germany, 18 September 2003,

27 Bologna Structures Bologna Structure
Bologna Structures (adapted from: The Bologna Process from a Norwegian Perspective, available from:

28 European governance system
Bologna resulted in: complex system of European governance powerful political community evolved supranational level agencies, NGOs partnership with EC and national Ministries networks and professional associations participate, engage in and have influence on the process

29 Self-regulated governance process
self-regulative governance applied in circumstances where the EU cannot legislate Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC), the instrument to build a coherent, comprehensive strategy in education and training OMC supports Member States in developing their own policies regarding higher education, in line with EU objectives

30 Bologna and networking: some conclusions
Like minded people– similar interests- Community Widely dispersed initiatives, sharing a common infrastructure (Kemp, 1998) essential for the adoption of innovation and implementation of change (Murgio et al., 2002) Networking critical to improve quality (EC, 2003) Establish visions for the future (HERODOT, 2008) Kemp, K.K. (1998), What's missing? What do we need?. Murgio LA et al. (2002), Satellite Technology as part of high school syllabus – an innovative educational proposal. – In: ISPRS Commission Brazil, EC (2003), The Bologna Process – Next Stop. Berlin 2003, : HERODOT (2008), Draft Manifesto: Future Prospects in Geography,

31 HERODOT phase 3 (2010-2013) Broader remit – Spatial Sciences
Seeking members now - Themes: European Issues and Identities Spatial Citizenship Quality dimensions Postgraduate education Interested?

32 Romano Prodi “What we now need to build is a union of hearts and minds, underpinned by a strong shared sentiment of a common destiny — a sense of common European citizenship” Prodi, R. (1999), Speech by the President-designate of the European Commission to the European Parliament, Brussels, 14 September 1999,

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