Senior figures from across European higher education are convening in Prague today to further discuss the Bologna process, an ongoing development that could change the face of HE, not just within the UK but across Europe. A new JISC infoNet infoKit is now available, to help clarify the implications and potential of the process, and how it could affect UK individuals and institutions.
What is the Bologna process?
The Bologna process is a voluntary initiative that aims to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and to promote and strengthen this system in the face of global competition. It also concerns current strategic challenges for institutions such as internationalisation and lifelong learning. The process seeks to do this by:
- Removing obstacles to student and academic mobility - within and outside of Europe
- Adopting a three-cycle European HE system - at Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral level - to simplify pan-European comparisons, aided by a European Credit Transfer System and the adoption of a Diploma Supplement
- Improving quality and ensuring HE standards at a European level
New JISC infoNet ‘infoKit’ launched
The user-friendly infoKit is a ‘one-stop shop’ that links to other specialist organisations for advice in areas such as policy (UK HE Europe Unit) and subject-specific information (Higher Education Academy subject centres). It also gathers real life experiences such as case studies on implementing the Diploma Supplement.
Patrick Bellis of JISC infoNet explains, ‘The subject area is vast, and provided a real challenge. The use of tools such as del.ici.ous, content management and tagging may not be cutting edge, but we have used them to create an easily-navigable and extensible resource. The structure of the Bologna infoKit also allows for linking in future development such as those relating to the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) and will integrate with forthcoming materials on managing strategic activity.'
The infoKit has already caught the sector’s attention. Andy Gibbs, Napier University’s Bologna Expert, says: ‘The JISC infoNet Bologna site brings all the relevant material together and presents it in a highly readable, logical and accessible format. I will definitely use it to complement my work as a Bologna Expert.’
Whilst the infoKit is aimed at anyone with an interest in the adoption of the Bologna process, Graeme Roberts of the Higher Education Academy comments on its usefulness to academic colleagues: ‘At a time of growing engagement with the Bologna process, it's very useful to have a resource that is so specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of UK academics.’
The infoKit has been showcased at the HEFCE/Leadership Foundation Conference and will be highlighted at the Association of University Administrators Conference in Exeter from 6 to 8 April 2009.The JISC infoNet infoKit to help navigate the Bologna process
The European University Association Convention in Prague from 18 to 21 March 2009
Bologna coverage from the Times Higher Education online
Bologna coverage from the Guardian online – Question and Answer