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Vignette 1 (Inter)disciplinary Dublin descriptors? Implementation of the Bologna Process in a Dutch University

Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities

ISBN: 978-0-85724-371-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-372-0

Publication date: 8 November 2010


The framework of the Bologna Process, the bachelor's–master's degree structure, was introduced into the Netherlands in 2002. At the moment many other countries in Europe have adopted this structure, or are in the process of restructuring their higher education system in that direction. The so-called Dublin descriptors have been developed to provide a general statement of qualifications that students should have acquired at the end of each cycle. These descriptors can be seen as criteria in terms of competence levels regarding the following aspects: acquiring knowledge and understanding, applying knowledge and understanding, making informed judgements and choices, communicating knowledge and understanding, and capacities to continue learning. It can be argued that these competences are interdisciplinary in nature. For instance, a university graduate has to be able to collaborate and communicate in multi- or interdisciplinary teams. However, many of these competences will be acquired in disciplinary settings, and faculty will not easily recognise the general terms in which the descriptors are formulated. This raises questions about the interchangeability of the competences between disciplines. In this chapter we will argue that some of the Dublin descriptors can be seen as an attempt to make it clear that there is a common interdisciplinary language in certain fields of attributes, whereas there will be a strong component of disciplinarity in the programmes. An example in the field of research and enquiry competences will be elaborated for two distinctive programmes: in natural sciences and in social sciences.


Jansen, E. and Goedhart, M. (2010), "Vignette 1 (Inter)disciplinary Dublin descriptors? Implementation of the Bologna Process in a Dutch University", Davies, M., Devlin, M. and Tight, M. (Ed.) Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 115-131.



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