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Iryna Kushnir

This chapter maps the landscape of previous research into the Bologna Process on the international and national scales. This literature shows that Bologna has…

Abstract

This chapter maps the landscape of previous research into the Bologna Process on the international and national scales. This literature shows that Bologna has internationalised higher education in post-Soviet countries, and the Bologna developments have been acknowledged in the literature to be a case of Europeanisation.

This chapter also points out a few major gaps in that research. One of them is the interconnected development of higher education actors and instruments from the perspective of the idea of layering that brings path-dependence and change in a dialogue. The research about Bologna in the national contexts focuses mainly on a more normative, evaluative side of the debate. Prior research on Bologna in post-Soviet countries and specifically in Ukraine also looks primarily at positive and negative effects of the reform on the country's higher education. There have been difficulties ‘fitting’ Bologna ideas into the established conventions in Ukraine. There have been also challenges with interpreting some action lines, such as the student-centred learning or quality assurance. These studies have mainly investigated the change of higher education policies, overlooking the exploration of the change in the system of higher education actors and their roles in the countries. The studies seem not to have placed enough emphasis on the process of the development of higher education actors and their relationships in Bologna. Neither have they looked in detail into the contribution of these actors to the development of the Bologna instruments.

The Bologna reform in the post-Soviet context, just like Europeanisation there, tends to be seen as the implementation of change which is hindered by some past conventions. In contrast, this study about Bologna in Ukraine rests on the idea of layering that brings path-dependence and change into a dialogue.

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The Bologna Reform in Ukraine
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-114-1

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David Rodríguez-Gómez, Joaquín Gairín, Fabio Dovigo, Kati Clements, Miguel Jerónimo, Lisa Lucas, Elena Marin, Saana Mehtälä, Fernanda Paula Pinheiro, Sue Timmis and Mihaela Stîngu

Higher education (HE) systems in Europe have been identified as an essential element for promoting economic competitiveness since the Bologna Declaration in 1999. The aim…

Abstract

Higher education (HE) systems in Europe have been identified as an essential element for promoting economic competitiveness since the Bologna Declaration in 1999. The aim of the Bologna Process was to expand access to educational opportunities, fostering participation in post-compulsory education by creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Inequalities in training because of geographic, ethnic or social origin, and inequalities in job opportunities, salaries, and incomes are critical dimensions of social development in HE. The development of policies, including those concerning education, that extend access to opportunities is essential to prevent such exclusion becoming permanent. The Access4All project aims to promote the educational and social inclusion of underrepresented groups as well as of non-traditional learners.

In this chapter, the project’s main results are reviewed, with: (1) a brief overview of inclusion policies and practices in European HE; (2) an operational definition of “good practice” and criteria for selecting examples of good practice for inclusion in HE; (3) a self-assessment tool enabling the characterization of institutional capacity for innovation and of inclusion policies and practices; and (4) a model for promoting strategic planning, focusing on inclusion in HE.

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Strategies for Facilitating Inclusive Campuses in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-065-9

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Article

Soraya Garcia-Esteban and Stefan Jahnke

Credit mobility has been acknowledged not only to broaden personal and intellectual horizons but also to have positive effects on the skills development and employability…

Abstract

Purpose

Credit mobility has been acknowledged not only to broaden personal and intellectual horizons but also to have positive effects on the skills development and employability of undergraduate students. Academics, policymakers and organizations representing the labour market have presented a broad number of skills-related explorations proposing different frameworks to help develop students' skills. However, the identification of explicit skills is still a difficult endeavour. This study aims to revise main conceptual skills frameworks applicable in the European higher education area (EHEA), determine the skills relevant in European credit mobility and categorize skills among the examined schemes in order to create a normative model of the skills students should obtain in exchange programmes.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach used to identify related literature was a search in three main databases such as Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar for scientific and relevant articles after 1990 using the following combination of keywords: “skill frameworks” AND “higher education” OR “skill frameworks” AND “mobility exchange programs”. It produced 391 articles but only 32 deal with skill frameworks in European higher education. After the review of these existing literature (summaries, tables and conclusions), we found out that most articles focused on specific skills (transferable, employable, etc.) in the EHEA, but merely 16 academic publications offered a complete depiction of skills frameworks applicable in credit mobility programs. Most current accounts about skills outlines, specifically the ones related to employability, come from grey literature, namely comprehensive records and reports.

Findings

Data seem to confirm that there is scarce agreement on a common taxonomy of skills. However, considering the results, which summarize relevant educational, institutional and occupational perspectives, it can be noticed that there is consensus on the classification of only four skills: ICT, literacy and numeracy, which are considered basic, key or core skills in most researched papers together with problem solving, which is generally regarded as a cognitive skill. The general tendency is that policymakers and academia focus on some particular domains: basic/key, core/global foundation/fundamental skills, transferable, transversal and other skills. Studies analysing the workforce skill requirements have projected mainly cognitive and learning skills, whereas mobility programmes concede relevance to employability, management, career and life skills.

Research limitations/implications

Measuring skills involves limitations as records vary depending on continuous emerging data from institutions, occupations and education. The key frameworks surveyed have provided a representative classification and depiction of the current skills from specific perspectives which are also believed to have their shortcomings. In combination, however, it is believed that the results presented can help provide a theoretical basis for assessing skills in credit mobility and Erasmus programmes within the EHEA. The resulting framework presents a founded basis for skills appraisal which expects to be meaningful for various stakeholders and helps determine how mobility policies can help improve the attainment of skills in the EHEA.

Practical implications

Research has suggested that education systems will have to adapt to the changing needs of the labour markets' reshaping roles to balance technology and human intellect. The workforce seems to realize that cognitive skills such as problem solving, organization and decision-making are needed in today's society; advanced basic learning skills such as numeracy and literacy are essential. Findings appoint to new areas for exploration in skills development in order to prepare European higher education students for current trends in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the fusion between digital, physical and biological spheres.

Social implications

Data seem to confirm that a sole degree does not guarantee success, but the maturity of certain skills and the commitment to lifelong learning. This can be strengthened by taking part in EHEA credit student mobility that has proved to improve not only basic and linguistic skills but also self-development and respect for several aspects such as diversity and (inter)cultural awareness. Taking into account the perceptive and interpersonal abilities mentioned in reports on future skills, it seems that education will need further support for updated teaching practices and assessment of the skills that are expected to have greater demand, namely STEM. Institutions will need to update and promote the teaching of new skills based on a new collective and moral consciousness as recently indicated in OECD's (2018) Global Competence in order to make future citizens understand and act on issues of universal significance in today's interconnected world.

Originality/value

For several decades, government, education and industry have proposed different outlines for what graduates should know and be able to do. Limited academic studies have been found, however, with updated concrete data on which skills should preferably be developed or whether and how students can further improve these skills as part of EHEA credit student mobility. This study has synthesized works and identified domains which featured the importance of generic core, cognitive and employability skills. The revision of skill frameworks has underscored existing literature and reports on future skills which anticipate that, in order to confront the expanding and prevalent role of technology, graduates will need to focus on developing unique human skills such as effective communication and creative innovation, critical thinking and collective ethical values.

Details

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-3896

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Article

Montserrat Garcia‐Alsina, Eva Ortoll and Josep Cobarsí‐Morales

This paper has a twofold aim. Firstly, to give some insight into competitive intelligence practices in a little‐explored area in the field of competitive intelligence: the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper has a twofold aim. Firstly, to give some insight into competitive intelligence practices in a little‐explored area in the field of competitive intelligence: the higher education sector. Secondly, to find out more about the factors influencing competitive intelligence practices, since little research on this subject has been published.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation used a mixed‐methods approach, including face‐to‐face, semi structured interviews with 47 university managers (degree coordinators, deans and vice‐rectors), followed by a semi‐structured questionnaire carried out with 400 degree coordinators and deans and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The interviews informed the questionnaire design.

Findings

The survey confirms the proposed framework's usefulness for analysing the enabler and inhibitor factors in an organisation for promoting efficient competitive intelligence practice and also gives some insight into which factors enable or inhibit the efficacy of competitive intelligence practices in Spanish universities.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on degree design adapted to the EHEA. A larger study designed to focus on other management areas in universities would provide a fuller picture of factors influencing competitive intelligence practices.

Practical implications

The findings indicate the areas where universities could plan actions to optimise intelligence activities, make the most of them and stand out from the rest.

Originality/value

This paper sets out a framework to describe factors related to intelligence function and cycle. In addition, the study reveals which indicators act as enablers or inhibitors for competitive intelligence practices and takes account of some of the particular features of the higher education sector.

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Article

M. Isabel Sanchez-Hernandez, Dolores Gallardo-Vazquez and Beatriz Corchuelo Martinez-Azua

The purpose of this paper is to determine the students’ opinion on their proficiency in one or more foreign languages, and the importance they attribute to their foreign…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the students’ opinion on their proficiency in one or more foreign languages, and the importance they attribute to their foreign language competence because the adaptation to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) implies the promotion of the mobility of teachers and students.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative and quantitative approach conducted at the University of Extremadura in Spain. The method used was to triangulate the data resulting from three quite different procedures: promoting the participating students’ awareness of the issue through a seminar on the importance of mastering other languages and their relevance for graduate employability; inquiring into the students’ impressions when receiving an English class with a focus group; and a questionnaire on their opinions about the importance of proficiency in foreign languages.

Findings

The findings highlight how teaching in English in European universities could bring real opportunities for the development of the EHEA. Furthermore, the development of foreign languages competences have to be a priority line of innovation in higher education in order to build a more meaningful relationship between education institutions and the European project.

Research limitations/implications

The study is a first attempt to analyse the need to teach in English in European higher education institutions. Results are not completely generalizable because the study has been conducted in one university, in the field of social sciences in the branch of Economics and Business, and it has been examined only the views of students.

Originality/value

The paper draws attention to the need for, and suggestions on how higher education institutions can be more aware to the needs of developing studentś English competences when designing programmes in the EHEA.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article

Montserrat Díaz‐Méndez and Evert Gummesson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate value co‐creation in assessing higher education (HE) teaching quality by acknowledging the influence of all interacting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate value co‐creation in assessing higher education (HE) teaching quality by acknowledging the influence of all interacting parties: teachers, students and general university service. The paper questions the appropriateness of student satisfaction surveys for assessing lecturer performance.

Design/methodology/approach

By introducing co‐creation and interaction between several stakeholders the paper deals with a complex problem which is best addressed through multiple approaches. The paper uses a literature review of HE quality together with empirical case study research of one university based on data from documents, student surveys and interviews with lecturers. The data are interpreted in the light of the recent theory of service (S‐D) logic and many‐to‐many marketing.

Findings

The paper highlights the complexity of HE service and recommends that EHEA assumes a co‐creation perspective. Resources are provided by lecturers, students and university service which require an interactive approach through which the parties integrate these resources. The information asymmetry between lecturers and students invalidates student satisfaction surveys as an instrument to assess teaching quality. The complexity of HE teaching cannot be boiled down to a single number that forms the ground for comparison between lecturers.

Originality/value

The paper offers a more valid perspective on HE quality by applying the concepts of value co‐creation and resource integration. It shows that the current one‐sided student evaluation of teachers is inadequate.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Abstract

Details

Democrats, Authoritarians and the Bologna Process
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-466-0

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Book part

Iryna Kushnir

This is the introductory chapter of the book. This chapter explains the background and relevance of the topic of the book – the process of a national higher education…

Abstract

This is the introductory chapter of the book. This chapter explains the background and relevance of the topic of the book – the process of a national higher education reform in the post-Soviet space such as Ukraine until passing the Law about Higher Education in 2014, and the ways in which this story can inform our understanding of some aspects of the Europeanisation in the post-Soviet context. The Bologna reform is, arguably, one of the expressions of Europeanisation in post-Soviet countries that belong to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The Bologna Process is an international policy project for the standardisation of higher education structures in the European Higher Education Area. It comprised 29 European countries at the start of the Bologna Process in 1999, and it started incorporating more states later, a lot of which were not part of the EU. Beside the overarching goal to create the EHEA, a number of concrete objectives, called the action lines, were identified, such as the adoption of a common system of credits and cycles of study process, the development of an easily readable diploma supplement issued to graduates, the promotion of student and faculty mobility and the assurance of higher education quality.

This chapter also presents methodological considerations associated with designing the research presented in this book, such as conducting interviews and identifying policy documents – and how thematic analysis was applied to these two types of data. The case of Ukraine is characterised as instrumental because, beside the contribution it makes to how we see the Bologna reform in Ukraine itself, this case study is important for understanding wider Europeanisation issues.

Details

The Bologna Reform in Ukraine
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-114-1

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Book part

Lela Iosava

In this chapter, the author attempts to sketch the phenomenon of internationalization as manifested in the literature on academic mobility. Internationalization is…

Abstract

In this chapter, the author attempts to sketch the phenomenon of internationalization as manifested in the literature on academic mobility. Internationalization is commonly seen as a process contributing to the quality in higher education while academic mobility is often regarded as the most critical dimension of this process. By providing a review of the literature on internationalization and mobility, the chapter highlights rationales for inbound and outbound mobility for higher education systems and institutions in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). It further portrays how Georgia – a small country in the Caucasus and a member of EHEA responds to the global phenomenon employing several reforms, support schemes, and institutional initiatives. Lastly, reflecting on current trends and policies, the author attempts to map the prospects for internationalization of Georgian higher education. This chapter offers a promising area for comparative and international research on internationalization and contributes to the literature on academic mobility in Europe.

Details

Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2018
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-416-8

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Book part

Àngels Fitó-Bertran and María-Jesús Martínez-Argüelles

‘Education for employability’ has been the mantra of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) since its inception. To attain that, the 28 participating countries agreed…

Abstract

‘Education for employability’ has been the mantra of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) since its inception. To attain that, the 28 participating countries agreed to implement reforms aimed at bridging higher education (HE) curricula and learning strategies and the labour market demands. Indeed, the global financial crisis and the euro area crisis and the surge in youth unemployment they led to have reconfirmed the validity of this policy imperative. Clearly, several challenges beset the transition from content- to competence-based HE. By elaborating on the case of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) this chapter, identifies and discusses them critically. Recommendations relevant for HE leadership conclude the discussion.

Details

Management and Administration of Higher Education Institutions at Times of Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-628-1

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