The Journey of the Bologna Process
The Bologna Declaration was issued in 1999 to ensure Europe established a better university education system. The main goal was to strengthen the continent’s social, technological, cultural, and intellectual dimensions (Dodds & Katz, 2009). The action plan envisioned by Bologna was to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA). In 2007, it was observed that the countries had managed to establish “an EHEA based on institutional autonomy, equal opportunities, academic freedom, and the democratic principle that continue to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness and attractiveness” (Dodds & Katz, 2009, p. 8). Although most of the targeted goals had not been achieved by 2007, many European countries had implemented a wide range of reforms to improve their higher education systems.
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Throughout the years, the “language of Bologna has remained nonbinding thus making it possible for several institutions to improve their programs” (Dodds & Katz, 2009, p. 9). As a result, the declaration has continued to recognize and address most of the problems encountered by many universities in the European Union (EU). Many institutions appear to be aligned with the strategic goals of the Bologna Process (Dodds & Katz, 2009). The article also explains why the European Students’ Union (ESU) voiced its “dissatisfaction with the lack of progress of most attributes of the Bologna” (Dodds & Katz, 2009, p. 9). However, the process continues to make it possible for many nations to outline their academic goals.
The leaders behind the Bologna Process have outlined new objectives that can be achieved within the next 10 years. Some of these goals include the creation of an education system characterized by comparable and readable degrees. The process also seeks to improve the concept of quality assurance. The stocktaking process associated with the declaration has promoted “collaborative peer-reported self-evaluation” (Dodds & Katz, 2009, p. 12).
Experts argue that the process will eventually increase the mobility of graduates, students, and staff thus promoting personal development (Dodds & Katz, 2009). New ideas such as lifelong learning, a simple framework for qualification based on the EHEA, and a three-cycle degree system are also promoted under the Bologna Process. It is therefore agreed that the establishment of the EHEA is making more European universities globally competitive.
The Bologna Process: Serving the Academic Needs of Pan-European Nations
The Bologna Process has become a powerful tool for institutional change in Europe. Many institutional leaders are focusing on the promises and objectives of the Bologna to empower their stakeholders. The concept of student and staff mobility is expected to give every institution a global reputation. Such internal and external changes will encourage more institutions to modernize their degree programs (Dodds & Katz, 2009). The concept of mobility will make it easier for learners to achieve their academic goals.
The process will address the ever-changing needs of many societies and students. For instance, the change in pedagogy focuses on student-centered principles to ensure the right academic content is delivered to different learners. For instance, the University of Porto has identified new practices in an attempt to improve their excellence in research (Dodds & Katz, 2009). As well, more individuals in Europe need new skills that can make them more competitive.
The inclusion of IT skills in different programs is something that will continue to support the economic needs of many countries. The program is also promoting new learning and teaching practices. The decision to employ IT specialists will ensure more universities empower their learners. The EU is also known to operate a single market. The harmonization of education will ensure more individuals become competitive. The approach will make it possible for the countries to achieve their economic goals.
Experts also believe that higher education can play a significant role in supporting the cultural, economic, and social development of different societies (Dodds & Katz, 2009). The practice will also address various social and economic problems affecting the targeted societies. The Bologna Process is, therefore, serving the academic needs of every pan-European nation.
Supporting Academic Initiatives in the United States
The Bologna Process can support academic initiatives in the United States. To begin with, most of the American universities can embrace new reforms to improve their competitiveness. The process can ensure the learning process is student-centered. More universities will focus on the academic goals of their students. Such institutions will also cooperate in an attempt to improve the quality of education offered to different students (Terry, 2007).
The Bologna Process can also be copied in the U.S. in an attempt to promote mobility and quality assurance. This concept will encourage more learners and educators to embrace the power of research. The strategy has the potential to reduce “barriers facing many learners and facilitate the exchange process” (11).
The country can also use the model to formulate a new American dimension for its universities. The new approach will ensure the learning process focuses on the needs of the learners. Having a common academic agenda will make it possible for more universities to have comparable degrees. The strategy will measure student progress and empower them to achieve their academic goals (Terry, 2007). The process will also encourage such universities to harmonize their degree programs. As well, the proposed American dimension should be similar to the one employed in Europe. This strategy will make the learners and educators more competitive in the global market.
Augmenting the Bologna Process
The Bologna Process has been embraced by many professionals because it has the potential to transform the quality of education in Europe. The process has led to numerous gains within the past ten years. New ideas can also be used to improve the competitiveness and flexibility of every university in Europe. The first idea is aligning every degree structure with the continent’s economic needs. Every degree program can be designed to address the major economic issues affecting the continent (Dodds & Katz, 2009). This strategy will increase the employment outlook of every learner.
The second idea should focus on the best strategies to implement the Bologna Process from a global perspective. Each academic program should be similar to the degree programs offered in different parts of the word. This strategy will ensure more learners become successful professionals in the ever-changing world (Terry, 2007). The third idea should focus on the concept of student placement. This goal can be achieved by collaborating with different industrial players to support the goals of many learners. This approach will make it possible for more professionals to achieve their potentials. The practice will also make it possible for many industries to support the continent’s economic objectives.
Dodds, T., & Katz, R. (2009). The Bologna Process and the Transformation of European Higher Education. Educause Center for Applied Research, 5(1), 1-22. Web.
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Terry, L. (2007). The Bologna Process and its Implications for U.S. Legal Education. Journal of Legal Education, 57(2), 237-252. Web.