Latin America forges Bologna-style links at home and in Europe
The three-year, €3.5 million (£3.1 million) project, known as Alfa Puentes (Alpha Bridges), will see 23 umbrella organisations from across Europe and Latin America working together both to improve integration within Latin America and to improve links and mutual understanding between universities in the two continents.
One of those organisations is the Association of the Montevideo Group of Universities, most of whose member universities come from Argentina and Brazil. Its executive secretary, Álvaro Maglia, said greater integration of Latin American universities was necessary to enhance academic cooperation and to promote "a political project of regional citizenship".
Nicolás Patrici, executive secretary of the University of Barcelona-based Observatory of European Union-Latin American Relations, which will act as an intermediary between the eight European and 15 Latin American participants in the project, said that integration would drive up educational standards and create a "better space" for economic development in the region.
Dr Maglia said his organisation was one of the fruits of 20 years of "vigorous development" of integration in the south of the continent. He added that there was already a formal process of higher education integration within the Mercosur common market, founded in 1991 and currently composed of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, with a number of associate member nations in the region.
Mr Patrici, who is Argentinian, noted that the Andean region also had some experience of commercial integration via the Andean Community of Nations, set up in 1969 and currently comprising Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. But he said governments' hopes that higher education could drive further regional harmonisation and development largely remained unfulfilled - due, in part, to the vast differences between Latin American countries' levels of development.
"Brazil and Argentina are better integrated than Brazil and Peru, even though Peru is also a neighbour of Brazil," Mr Patrici noted.
He said one of the key engines of European integration had been the development of a strong network of national university associations. But he said the capacity of such bodies in Latin America - and the level of political attention they received - remained very patchy. Hence, one of the major focuses of the Alfa Puentes project would be to boost the capacity of such associations.
Michael Gaebel, head of the higher education policy unit at the European University Association, which will lead the European element of the project, said strong university associations were a natural outgrowth of the increasing independence of universities from governments.
"Associations in Europe used to be just rectors' clubs," he said. "They were on a budget basically decided in their ministry. If they wanted more money they went there individually and talked to officials. Now they have more of a policy role.
"Governments have realised they can no longer think out in a ministry what is good for the higher education sector. Now they have to consult it, and associations are one of the key partners in that process."
Recognising that integration across the entire Latin American continent is currently unrealistic, the main thrust of Alfa Puentes will be to support one major project selected by associations in each of Latin America's three major sub-regions.
The Andean Community will work on a common quality assurance regime, the Mercosur region will develop a strategy for greater internationalisation and mobility, and Central America and Mexico will try to establish a qualifications framework. But Mr Gaebel noted that all three projects were closely interrelated. "You can't think of having mobility and mutual recognition if you are not quality assured," he noted.
The project will also fund a major continent-wide survey of how universities are currently tackling such issues, and sub-regions will be expected to lend a hand with one another's projects, particularly where they have relevant experience of their own. For this reason, Dr Maglia expected that each sub-region would feel the benefit of the initiatives in many areas, in addition to the immediate issue it was working on.
Mr Gaebel's colleague Elizabeth Colucci, a programme manager at the EUA's higher education policy unit, said she hoped the project would also be a learning exercise for the six European university associations that the EUA had invited to participate.
"The Latin American universities are looking at regional convergence through a different lens and at a different point in time.
"The factors that contribute to their interest might be different for them and their solutions might be relevant to Europe, too," she said. She admitted that previous high-level rhetoric about creating a common higher education "space" between Europe and Latin America had not been translated into specific policy objectives.
"The space has never been defined apart from joint projects and exchanges," she said.
"That is where we took it up: we want to focus on the actors involved and creating tangible objectives."
Unusually for a largely EU-funded project, management of Alfa Puentes will be decentralised, with each Latin American sub-region, plus Europe, deciding how it wants to spend its portion of the funding. Mr Patrici admitted that loosening its control was a risk for the EU. "But the only way to build capacity is build capacity, not to pay a cheque," he said.
"The idea is to have stronger Latin American university associations and that has to be done by the Latin Americans."
He added that while the national associations of Spain and Portugal already had strong links with Latin America, the involvement of others - such as those from France, Germany and Poland - offered an opportunity for universities in those countries to forge stronger links with a "mirror continent" whose higher education system had been consciously modelled on the Spanish, French and German systems.
An added incentive for Europe, Mr Patrici said, was the possibility of gaining greater access to the Latin American student market. He said populous Mexico offered the potential for particularly rich pickings given the decline in Mexican students choosing to study in the US over the past decade. All involved in the project stressed that even the specific sub-regional projects agreed upon would be very difficult to complete within the three-year funding period, and a Bologna-style process of full regional integration remained a very distant prospect.
But they also emphasised that the aim of the project was not to impose a European solution on Latin America. Europe's role, according to Mr Patrici, would be to share its ex-perience and act as "an example and a capacity builder" in the planned series of conferences and networking events. Mr Gaebel added that Europe could not offer a perfect solution to integration even if it wanted to - because it did not have one.
"People thought, for instance, that once we had (common) recognition (of degrees) in place there would be no barrier to mobility.
"But we have become more humble and realistic and we understand there is no systems solution to all problems," he said. This was because integration also required a "cultural change" among students, academics, managers and governors, he said.
"This explains some of the disappointment with the Bologna process in some quarters.
"Integration requires a system that has to be constantly maintained and developed and adjusted.
"But there is no doubt it can help you to be more international and to improve quality."
EUCEN 43rd European Conference - Universities’ Engagement in and with Society. The ULLL contribution
The 43rd EUCEN European Conference will be held at the University of Graz, Austria, from Wed 09 to Fri 11 May 2012. The motto of the conference will be “Universities’ Engagement in and with Society. The ULLL contribution”. Within the wider European Policy context of Lifelong Learning and "The European Year for Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity" in 2012, this conference will examine the contribution of the universities, through their lifelong learning opportunities, to the development of society.
The four strands will be focusing on:
• ULLL initiating/accompanying innovation and development in regional businesses, NGOs and the public sector
• Community learning: concepts, practice, outreach work
• ULLL providing new learning opportunities for individual wellbeing, civic engagement and second careers in later life (intergenerational learning; productivity…)
• Supporting the individual learner (Who are our learners today and tomorrow? Work-life-education balance – what works? New teaching and learning methods, the role of new social media; part-time provision; workplace learning; quality assurance)
See also EUCEN 42nd Conference Bridging the gaps between learning pathways: the role of universities,
EUCEN 41st Conference Education as a right - LLL for all,
EUCEN 40th Conference From Rhetoric to Reality,
39th EUCEN Conference Lifelong Learning for the New Decade,
38th EUCEN Conference Quality and Innovation in Lifelong Learning - meeting the individual demands,
37th EUCEN European Conference Recommendations for universities,
36th EUCEN Conference University Lifelong Learning: Synergy between partners,
Founding Meeting: UCE Collaboration & Development- England 4-5 May 1991 - Bristol
Promoting Active Citizenship in Europe- Scotland 5-8 June 2008 - Edinburgh
The University as an International and Regional Actor- Germany 29 November- 1 December 2007 - Hannover
ULLL & the Bologna Process: From Bologna to London...- Slovenia 15-17 March 2007 - Ljubljana
32nd EUCEN Symposium/4º Project Forum. France 16-18 November 2006 - Paris
Universities as a driver for regional development - Poland 18-20 May 2006 - Gdynia
30th EUCEN Symposium - 3rd EUCEN Project Forum- Italy 17-19 November 2005 - Rome
From Bologna to Bergen and Beyond- Norway 28-30 April 2005 - Bergen
28th EUCEN Symposium - 2nd EUCEN Project Forum- Lithuania 4-6 November 2004 - Kaunas
4th Annual Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy
3rd GHEF: Reflecting on the Past, Designing Sustainable Futures
Background and Rationale
GHEF2011 marks the third session of the global higher education forum which is held every two years since 2007. It is an appropriate time to reflect on the outcomes of the previous forums which were held in 2007 and 2009 – what were the critical issues identified, decisions taken and actions implemented as a result of the discussions? GHEF2011 will be a forum to revisit the issues, developments and challenges in Higher Education since GHEF2007 and GHEF2009 and to deliberate on the futures of higher education.
GHEF2007 discussed the relevance of higher education in preparing and training the workforce for sustainable development in an increasingly globalised world. GHEF2009 was held at a time when the world had to weather the global economic downturn. It was a perfect time to deliberate on the situation faced by higher education during the recession and to come up with plans for the future of higher education. Now that many of the economies seem to have recovered from the crisis, there would have been important lessons learnt and experiences gained. Indeed, this is an opportunity for reflection as we move towards the future. GHEF2011 is set to retrospectively and prospectively gauge the impact and relevance of the issues raised in the previous forums in relation to more recent developments and challenges in Higher Education for higher education futures.
The Higher education sector was not unaffected when the global recession hit. There were varying responses from governments. Some higher education institutions enjoyed more funding, while others were left struggling hard with minimal financial support. Universities had to turn to other means for survival. As a result, concepts such as innovation and entrepreneurship begin to lead university activities with efforts stretching beyond those of teaching and research to include initiating collaboration with industry and community. In order to attract the industry, universities had to develop profit-making projects. Whether such endeavour interferes with teaching is a crucial question which remains largely unanswered. However, it is certain that these activities are gaining increasing attention, not only for profit purposes but in particular for the pursuit of branding and world ranking status. In fact, in some contexts, efforts have been scaled up and money poured in to build a facade of grandeur so much so that the higher education sector has come to embrace dominant characteristics of corporate capitalism. Considering that universities are leaders of the public good committed towards inclusive policies for access and equity, such a relentless chase at a cost to the welfare of many has to be questioned.
While sustainable futures promotes the well-being and provision of basic necessities for greater good of the majority, the lure and mesmerism of image, ranking and reputation exhibited in conspicuous spending in the higher education sector is detrimental to producing future leaders committed towards the public good as advocates of sustainable development would argue for. The question which we might want to investigate is whether universities necessarily have to be overly image conscious, striving at huge costs to be ranked as ‘top’ instead of meeting a greater need for the welfare of the many that is, prioritising to produce good leaders, employable workers and humble citizens, as part of an inclusive sustainable perspective in Higher Education. Looking at past experience when internationalisation of higher education was not as dominant as of now and when world university ranking did not serve as the primary table of comparison for institutions attempting to improve their status, limited resources could be more consequentially, channelled into meeting the needs of the many than to ostentatiously cultivate the exterior image of university which benefits a privileged few. At GHEF 2011, we wish to contemplate the extent to which we can afford to indulge in extravagant image building of our institutions at great costs to the well-being of the greater majority who need basic and quality education, sustainable employment and inclusive participation in the community. GHEF 2011 would explore the issue and challenge of sustainable development especially at a time of very limited resources and when fragile earth is precariously balanced with enormous risks to the survival of nature and humanity.
Because of the transformational, change centered and forward thinking nature of this initiative, GHEF organiszers have entered into a collaborative partnership with the World Future Studies Federation (WFSF) to hold a joint conference on this theme. WFSF is a global network of practicing futurists - researchers, teachers, scholars, policy analysts, activists and others from approximately 60 countries. Founded in 1973, WFSF is an interdisciplinary forum dedicated to stimulating awareness of the urgent need for long-term thinking in governments, policy-making and educational institutions, to resolve problems at local, national, regional and global levels. WFSF has held a World Conference approximately every two years since its inception.
In the area of global higher education futures, WFSF has a long established history. As a scholarly global community, many of whose members are university faculty, the WFSF has always had a keen interest in learning and educational futures. The WFSF also has a long-standing commitment to truly global futures; to understandings, which embrace unity in diversity rather than those that are homogenising or hegemonic. WFSF has held a World Conference approximately every two years since its inception. This year, WFSF’s 21st World Conference will be held jointly with GHEF 2011.
The Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the World Future Studies Federation (WFSF) and our partners and sponsors are keen to explore these critical issues and challenges under the model of ‘one conference, one theme’ for GHEF2011 and WFSF 21/11.
Universitary reform, Latinamerican universities and reform
Temas: La universalización de la Educación Superior y Renovación de la Enseñanza, Contribución de las universidades al desarrollo integral de la Región, Cogobierno como modelo de gestión y gobierno universitario.
Cogobierno como modelo de gestión y gobierno universitario
Cogobierno y autonomía son dos principios definitorios de la reforma universitaria latinoamericana. Casi un siglo ha pasado desde los sucesos de la Reforma Córdoba y han sido diversos los caminos que las universidades de la región han recorrido.
Las universidades latinoamericanas no han sido ajenas a los diferentes climas políticos sociales y culturales de los países, en estos, el cogobierno y la autonomía han evolucionado, asumiendo diferentes formas y generando gran diversidad de experiencias. Para que estos principios sigan vigentes como modelo de gestión universitaria, es imprescindible repensarlos creativamente a la luz de los cambios que han ocurrido en la sociedad. Se trata de aprender de lo ocurrido y sugerir su actualización, teniendo en cuenta los desafíos futuros que tienen los países y las Universidades.
La universalización de la Educación Superior y Renovación de la Enseñanza
Multiplicar el acceso efectivo a la enseñanza avanzada es una meta definitoria de la Reforma Universitaria. Así como la defensa de la educación superior como un bien público fue una bandera de las universidades latinoamericanas en las décadas pasadas (Conferencia UNESCO 1998 y 2003), la idea de generalización de la enseñanza es una bandera propositiva para el futuro. Ello exige ampliar cuantitativamente la oferta educativa y mejorarla cualitativamente. Se trata de conocer y discutir sobre de que forma las universidades de la región y los sistemas educativos de los países, piensan y encara en la práctica este asunto.
La renovación de la enseñanza trata de dar cuenta de actividades que desde la enseñanza, la investigación y la extensión, promuevan acciones que propicien transformaciones a partir de nuevos formatos de enseñanza aprendizaje, de manera que más estudiantes puedan avanzar en sus estudios con mejores resultados, atendiendo problemas como la desvinculación, la diversificación de la oferta de grado y postgrado, la flexibilidad de trayectorias curriculares, la coordinación con el conjunto del sistema terciario público, el acceso a sectores de población menos favorecidos, la mejora de la formación docente, y el aggiornamiento de la currícula de estudio a las nuevas realidades.
Contribución de las universidades al desarrollo integral de la Región
Las universidades pueden contribuir de manera diversa, al desarrollo integral de nuestros países. La Universidad pública, debe asumir compromisos y profundizar la contribución del mejoramiento de las condiciones de vida a través del desarrollo socio-económico, ambiental, cultural e integral de las personas. Para ello cuenta con capacidades académicas que propician la interacción con los Estados, las organizaciones sociales, el sector privado y el conjunto de la sociedad de forma de buscar caminos de desarrollo sostenible. Se procurará conocer las mejores experiencias de colaboración de las Universidades con la sociedad en su conjunto, pensando posibles caminos de coordinación para el desarrollo nacional y regional.
The 1st Global Convention of UNESCO Chairs in Higher Education
Organized by the University of Zagreb UNESCO Chair for Governance and Management of Higher Education group (Matko Barišić, Pavel Gregorić, Ksenija Grubišić, Helena Jasna Mencer, Marko Rogošić, Hrvoje Šikić and Ksenija Turković), with generous assistance of Aleksa Bjeliš, Rector of the University of Zagreb and with sponsorship of the UNESCO Education Sector's Section for Higher Education in Paris, France.
UNESCO Education Sector’s Section for Higher Education and the UNESCO Chair in Governance and Management of Higher Education of the University of Zagreb are joint organizers of the 1st Global Convention of UNESCO Chairs in Higher Education. The Convention will take place in the beautiful coastal town of Dubrovnik, from 14 to 15 October 2011.
The participants will arrive on Thursday 13 October. They will be accommodated in two different three-star hotels in Dubrovnik, both close to the Postgraduate Center of the University of Zagreb where the Convention will take place.
The first day of the convention will be devoted to the question of diversification of universities on global, regional and national levels. We have invited prominent speakers for this session, including NN1 and NN2. You are invited to take active part in the panels and discussions.
On the second day of the convention, every UNESCO Chair will give a presentation of no more than 5 minutes, summarizing the past, present and future activities of the Chair. This should provide with a level of acquaintance sufficient for exploring the possibilities of joint projects on different levels in the discussions. There will be six short presentation in each of the four sessions.
After the presentations, discussions and a joint dinner, in two morning sessions of the third day, the Chairs will have an opportunity to present and discuss ideas for future joint projects and activities.
Interview with Sjur Bergan
In this interview, Sjur Bergan of the Council of Europe, brings forward a discussion about the need of rethinking higher education in Europe through a broader view which goes beyond the labor market; he also brings forward both the advantages as well as the limitations of the current higher education system.
I would divide that question into two parts: first the part about public responsibility and then the part about social responsibility. Public responsibility for higher education is one of the foundations of the EHEA. The ministers said, in Berlin in 2001 and in Prague in 2003, that this is one of the foundations. But now, why have they said it twice? Why do they state the obvious? Or because it is feared that one of the characteristics of higher education in Europe is really in danger? I believe that the latter is the case. Therefore, we need to see how this public responsibility can be translated in a relatively complex age.
At the Council of Europe, we have done a project on this topic and identified four variants. We say that the public authorities have sole responsibility for everything having to do with the framework: legislation on grading systems, quality assurance and so on. This responsibility is held by the public authorities alone. However, I also believe that the public authorities have a larger, overriding responsibility to ensure equal access to opportunities in higher education. Then there are other areas in which the public authorities have an important, but not exclusive, responsibility: funding, production, etc.
So there are public universities, there are private universities as well, there is private funding in many countries-but always within a framework established by the public authorities.
Perhaps we could argue a bit about the details, but this, I think, is the key to public responsibility for higher education.
The social responsibility of institutions, I think, has more to do with attitudes, and within attitudes, perhaps systems. It also depends on how we assess publicly owned companies and other institutions that fund higher education and the criteria they apply. We must establish criteria that also value the activities of institutions, subsidies, etc., to increase access and so on. For example, in France today there is a debate over increasing access to the grandes écoles for students from disadvantaged sectors that traditionally have not entered these schools. Institutions also work with local communities. Here in Europe, for example, I think we have much to learn from the United States, where this is much more common. In the definition of objectives, we need to look beyond the purely economic questions that are currently at the centre of the debate in Europe. For me, higher education obviously performs the function of preparing students for the labour market, but it also helps to prepare them for citizenship-for living as citizens in a democratic society-and to develop them as people.
How can the collective consciousness, democratic processes and the citizenry be reinforced by higher education in Europe?
I believe that a hallmark of higher education in Europe is the role played by students. I do not know of anywhere else in the world where students play the same role in the governance of institutions and education systems. So first of all, students should be encouraged to participate fully in institutional life. Here in Europe, we have the European Students’ Union, which plays a very important role. We also have the national unions corresponding to each institution. The problem is that only a minority of students are active in student organisations. We need to encourage students to participate more. Institutional leaders and ministers need to state clearly that the mission of higher education is important, and this importance should also be taken into account when it comes to funding. Without funding, there can be no importance.
What structural changes are needed to foster the relationship between higher education institutions and societies?
The Bologna Process, which is underway now, has focused on structural changes. We have changed the education system into a three-cycle system throughout almost all of Europe. There is now greater emphasis on quality assurance. What is sometimes lacking is a discussion of why: Why are we doing this? I am convinced that these reforms are necessary, but I think there hasn’t been enough discussion of the relationship between structures, structural reforms and the goals of higher education-in other words, preparation for the labour market but also the democratic mission. One example would be when we talk about learning outcomes, which are a key part of the grading framework. This is another tool that can be used to strengthen students’ capacity for citizenship. I think it’s a rather important tool, or instrument, in this regard.
How can we change from a competitive model of higher education to a cooperative one?
First of all, I don’t think we have to choose between a competitive and a cooperative model. Both aspects are present, as they always have been. It is true that rankings are ultimately a competition for funding, the outcome of which usually depends on the public authorities. Yes, there is an element of competition. But at the same time, there are many interuniversity cooperation projects in which knowledge is shared. I think this whole debate over rankings is dangerous. However, if you measure only research results—and research results in certain disciplines, such as the natural sciences, are relatively easy to measure-this can indeed serve as a tool that enhances competition, at least as far as cooperation is concerned. I think it depends very much on how we define quality. We want to guarantee quality, but exactly what sort of quality? I believe that Europe needs institutions that excel in research in all areas, not just natural science and economics but also in the social sciences, the humanities and linguistics. But we also need institutions that excel in teaching and have a teaching-oriented environment. If we create a quality system and we create rankings, then this is also one aspect. We also need institutions that play an important role in the local community. We also need institutions that provide opportunities to people who otherwise might not reach higher education. The problem is that, under the current system, greater value is placed on one activity than on another. I think we need to reach a situation in which excellence is evaluated: excellence in research, excellence in teaching, excellence in community service and so on. I believe that everyone who teaches in higher education should have personal experience in research. Still, I think it is a legitimate alternative for a person to say, “I have this research base, but in my career I do not strive to be a world-class senior researcher. Instead, I want to teach, to stimulate my students’ curiosity, to transmit knowledge. I can’t do this without being up to speed on research, but my main mission is to work with my local community.” All this has to be valued. If we only value research careers, we’re not going to make it.
The problem is that we need to have several goals at once. I don’t mean to say that preparation for the job market isn’t important, or that research isn’t important—both are essential. But other things are important, as well. And we need a broader vision than what we have right now.
Sjur Bergan is Head of the Department of Higher Education and History Teaching at the Council of Europe (Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education Directorate General IV - Education, Culture and Cultural Heritage, Youth and Sport). He joined the Council of Europe in 1991 and has since been involved in most of the Council’s higher education activities, among other functions as secretary to the Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR) and Council of Europe representative on the Bologna Follow Up Group and Board. Sjur Bergan was also a member of the Bologna working groups on qualifications frameworks and on the Bologna Process in the global context. He is responsible for the Council’s activities on recognition and mobility, including the establishment of a joint programme with UNESCO in this area and Co-Secretary of the ENIC Network. Before joining the Council of Europe, Sjur Bergan worked in the administration of the University of Oslo from 1983 until 1991. Sjur Bergan is the editor of Recognition Issues in the Bologna Process (2003), with Luc Weber of The Public Responsibility for Higher Education and Research (2005) and, with Nuria Sanz, of The Heritage of European Universities (2002).
*This is not an exact transcript of the interview done with Sjur Bergan, but rather a version that complements such an interview.
Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Global Context
NEW YORK and BERLIN, September 12, 2011—A new study finds that universities around the world are collaborating across borders to better prepare their students to work with colleagues and customers in other countries. The new report, Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Global Context, released today by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Freie Universität Berlin finds that a growing number of universities around the world are developing joint and double degree programs, and that nearly two thirds of the institutions responding reported that they launched these new degree programs in the past decade. The study finds that a development that largely started in Europe in the 1990s has now become an increasingly important global trend, with 95% of the nearly 250 respondents in 28 countries saying they want to develop more joint and double degree programs.
The study, based on a survey conducted in Spring 2011, assesses the current landscape of joint and double degree programs and identifies the challenges, opportunities, motivations and impact of developing such programs. The report presents findings from a global perspective, as well as country-specific trends for the six countries with the highest number of institutions responding to the survey: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the U.S.
“While joint and double degree programs can be complex to implement, they represent the emergence of a new and deeper partnership model, in which universities develop a better understanding of each other’s curriculum and institutional expertise,” according to Daniel Obst, who co-authored the report and leads IIE’s Center for International Partnerships in Higher Education. “Although many institutions worldwide are developing these joint and double degree programs at the Master’s level, in the United States we are seeing more institutions offering collaborative degrees at the undergraduate level, often as part of their efforts to attract international students,” Mr. Obst said.
With more than 3 million students enrolled in higher education outside of their own countries each year, enhancing student mobility has become a top priority for countries around the world, stimulating a global conversation about best practices, trends and future plans. Traditional study abroad programs or direct enrollment in foreign institutions remain by far the predominant option for students wishing to have an international experience. However, the growth in joint and double degree programs indicate that higher education institutions are increasingly seeking ways to firmly embed these international experiences in their curricula and deepen the academic experience for students and faculty at home and abroad. The highly structured degree programs, while complex to launch, often mitigate potential challenges related to study abroad, such as credit transfer problems or the possibility of prolonged time to graduation.
“Higher education institutions interested in collaborative degree partnerships are well-advised to develop a comprehensive strategy for establishing joint and double degree programs that addresses often cited problems with program sustainability, student recruitment and funding,” stressed co-author Matthias Kuder of Freie Universität Berlin. “The claim that such programs are part and parcel of an institution’s internationalization efforts is quickly made but, in fact, many institutions lack clear rules and procedures for program development and have no specific marketing or recruitment measures in place,” said Mr. Kuder.
This study builds on a 2009 policy study by IIE and the Freie Universität Berlin, funded by the EU-U.S. Atlantis Program of the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and the European Commission. While the earlier survey focused exclusively on transatlantic joint and double degree programs, the new study expands the scope of the research and aims to assess the global landscape of collaborative degree programs. The 2009 project resulted in a survey report, Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Transatlantic Context, and a book, Joint and Double Degree Programs: An Emerging Model for Transatlantic Exchange, which features practical recommendations for developing and delivering collaborative degree programs between U.S. and European universities.
Major findings of Joint and Double Degree Programs in the Global Context report include:
- Double degrees are much more common than joint degrees. 84% of the respondents offer double degrees, while 33% offer joint degrees, under which students get one degree certificate signed by all participating institutions.
- Among all joint or double degree programs reported, the majority were at the master’s level; however, the majority of programs reported by Australian institutions are at the doctoral level, and the majority of programs reported by U.S. institutions are at the undergraduate level.
- The five countries most frequently cited as the home country for current partner institutions are: France, China, Germany, Spain, and the United States. However, India was in the top five countries noted as being of interest for future collaborative degree programs.
- The most popular academic discipline among the collaborative degree programs noted in this study is Business and Management, followed by Engineering.
- Joint and double degree programs tend to be a relatively new mode of academic collaboration. The majority of responding institutions indicated that they set up their first joint or double degree programs between 2001 and 2009. While institutions in Europe generally launched their first programs earlier (1991-2000), institutions in Australia, the UK and the U.S. were most likely to have developed their programs more recently.
- Nearly all survey participants report that joint and double degree programs are part of their institution’s internationalization strategy. However, only about half have a clear institutional policy on program development and less than half have developed particular methods for the marketing of these programs.
- A large majority (95%) of responding institutions plan to continue to develop more joint and double degree programs.
- The top motivations for developing joint or double degree programs are to broaden educational offerings, strengthen research collaboration, advance internationalization, and raise international visibility/prestige. Increasing revenue was major motivating factor only for respondents from the U.S. and the UK.
- The top challenges for developing joint or double degree programs are securing adequate funding and ensuring sustainability. Language issues tend to not be a challenge for most institutions, with the exception of U.S. respondents.
- According to survey respondents, the potential for double-counting of credits appears to be one of the least important challenges. Furthermore, 66 percent of the responding institutions indicated that they have measures in place to regulate the double counting of credits.
International Cooperation: Integration of Educational Areas
Udmurt State University is pleased to publish a Second Call for Papers for the II International Conference “International Cooperation: Integration of Educational Areas” to be held on 17—19 November 2011, in honor of its 80th anniversary.
The conference aims to increase effectiveness of international cooperation in the sciences and education, and to summarize the experiences of teachers and students in institutions of higher education within academic mobility programs during the transition to a multi-tier education system.
The Organising and Program Committees welcome contributions on the following topics:
Russian and international experiences with multi-tiered systems of higher education;
Innovative technologies as a factor of the improvement of quality education;
Cross-cultural communication in modern information and academic areas;
Challenges of training international students;
Language education as a means of developing cross-cultural contacts;
Practical aspects of academic mobility for students and instructors;
Integration of research and education: the institutionalization of innovative ideas and projects at a university.
The event should be of interest to institutional leaders, university researchers, professors, student unions and representatives of other bodies involved in educational policy. In-person and virtual participations in the conference are possible.
The conference languages are Russian and English. To register, please, download the registration form below, fill it in and send it to the Organizing Committee at email@example.com. Registration deadline is prolonged until July 11, 2011.
The registration will be confirmed by an email. Please wait for your confirmation before making any further arrangements. However, please note that your registration will be completed and considered final only when your payment has been received by the host university.
ESNSurvey 2011 "Exchange, Employment and Added Value"
Every year, ESN launches a survey that explores the current issues connected to academic and non-academic mobility. This is one of the biggest and most successful projects of ESN - in the last years more than 40.000 students responded to our online surveys. Many associations - student, teacher, academic, European, as well as various institutions collaborated with us in the project.
Through the gathered opinions of students, ESN gets a better insight in to the issues and is able to represent the students' real needs. ESN passes the results to the main stakeholders in higher education and mobility programmes: European Commission, National Agencies of Erasmus Programme, higher education institutions and all associations concerned with the topic. We believe that our work fosters mobility and improves the quality of exchange for young people in Europe and beyond.
Aim of the ESNSurvey 2011
ESNSurvey 2011 "Exchange, Employment and Added Value". The financial crisis and the resulting troubles for the Euro have put European labour market mobility more than ever in the focus of attention. A high degree of flexibility and mobility is the best remedy to overcome the structural differences making the functioning and governing of the Eurozone as challenging as it is today. One of the most promising approaches to promote labour mobility is to increase student mobility.
The mobile students of today will be the mobile labour market participants of tomorrow, or so the idea goes. We want to provide further evidence and insight into that line of arguing with our 2011 edition of the ESN Survey. In addition, we have shorter parts exploring the impact of student mobility on the environment, satisfaction with student organisations and their impact on volunteering.
For ESN sections
Participate with your ESN section in the ESNSurvey project and help us reach as many students as possible by forwarding our e-mail about the ESNSurvey (available upon request at firstname.lastname@example.org) to your ESN members, exchange students and regular students at your university. With your help, we will make a real difference and contribute to the improvement of student mobility. Answering the survey takes less than 15 minutes, and you have the opportunity to win 1 out of 3 iPods.
After closure of the ESNSurvey, we can provide - upon request - your section with the survey results coming exclusively from the exchange students of your city or country. The results could be presented to your university. You can also request a free printed booklet with the complete survey results for your section.
If you want to join this ESN project, the only thing to do is to forward our e-mail (available upon request at email@example.com) to your present exchange students and, if possible, to publish information about the ESNSurvey on your university website.
All the students who fully complete the questionnaire and answer two additional questions will have a chance to win a special ESNSurvey prize.
After closure of the ESNSurvey (end of September), we can provide each university – upon request – the survey results coming exclusively from their students. In this way, the ESNSurvey can offer a different point of view on the work of the university towards their students. Positive results can eventually be used as a good promotion of the university.
For National Agencies and educational associations
If your organisation or National Agency wants to become a supporter of the ESNSurvey project, we would kindly ask you to:
express your willingness to participate in the project at firstname.lastname@example.org
forward the email about ESNSurvey 2011 to your members and to all students you are in contact with
publish the information about the ESNSurvey project on your website and in your newsletter if you have one
To thank you for the support, we will publish your logo on the ESN website in the section of ESNSurvey Partners as well as mention your organisation in the printed booklet with the report on the ESNSurvey results. Additionally, you will receive a free copy of the printed booklet.