14 avril 2013

School reforms should not come at cost of universities

By Jeannie Rea. “The NTEU applauds increased government investment in education and welcomes the school education reforms. However, this should not come at the cost of public investment in universities and support for higher education students”, said Jeannie Rea, NTEU National President.
“Today’s announcement of a $900 million direct cut to university funding is a further blow to universities who have copped cuts each time the Government has sought to make budget savings. While this government has a demonstrated commitment to expanding opportunities for access to higher education, this is undermined by reneging upon future funding promises,” said Rea.
In announcing today’s university cuts, Minister Craig Emerson reiterated that an estimated 146,000 extra Commonwealth-supported university student places have been made available in 2013 compared with 2007, a 34 per cent increase. “The NTEU strongly supports the increased access to university”, explained Rea, “but we maintain that the base funding per student place remains inadequate. Today’s announcements will put further strain on universities.”
“Universities are already struggling to provide teaching and support to the new generations of students. The NTEU is alarmed that university managements will react with further staff cuts. Not only have universities not employed sufficient staff to match the rise in student numbers, but too many new and replacement appointments are casual or short term. Half of the teaching in universities is now being done by casually employed lecturers and tutors who are paid for teaching hours and do not know if they will be working from one semester to the next.”
“Casually employed academics often provide learning support to their students in their own time. Support services are also inadequately resourced with staff also giving of their own time to assist students. This ‘efficiency dividend’ may translate into further contraction of staffing and services, putting even more strain on staff, which is not sustainable in a world class university system,” said Rea
“The national school improvement program should increase young people and their parent’s expectation that success at school will lead to tertiary education in TAFE or universities,” said Rea. “Maximising the outcomes of this new investment in young people’s schooling should be equalled by investment in tertiary education. Making cuts in one sector of education to fund another is not the answer. Greater public investment in all levels of education should be the priority.”
“The $1.2 billion saving to be made by converting the upfront start-up scholarships currently available to about a quarter of students to additional HECS accumulated debt is also a poor move,” noted Rea. “That so many students were eligible for these hardship scholarships is indicative of the success of the government’s policies to broaden access. I hope that this change does not deter future students.”

Posté par pcassuto à 15:21 - - Permalien [#]


Europe’s Changing Landscape: Languages for the World of Work

Visit the CELAN websiteWolfgang Mackiewicz, coordinator of the CELAN project and president of CEL/ELC, held a keynote speech on languages for the World of Work on the occasion of the Symposium, including an Award ceremony, on Europe’s Changing Landscape in Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen, last October. Download the speech here.
Before all else, I should like to say how pleased and honoured I am to have been invited by the Hedford Foundation to speak at this Symposium. I have to admit, though, that I also feel slightly nervous. Not only is the European Union of today more multifaceted than ever before - our societies and economies have been undergoing rapid and significant changes in recent years – changes directly relevant to language use, individual language profiles, linguistic demands, and the linguistic and cultural fabric of our societies. Before I reflect on some of these changes and on challenges and opportunities resulting from them, allow me to say a few words about my association, the Conseil européen pour les langues/European Language Council – the ELC, as it is commonly known.
The ELC was founded with support from the European Commission in 1997. It is a non-profitmaking association under Belgian law. It has some 160 members in Europe and beyond – mainly higher education institutions and specialist associations. It also admits individuals as associate members. We have six member institutions in Denmark, among them Aarhus Universitet and Copenhagen Business School. Karen M. Lauridsen is our current treasurer.
The ELC aims to promote the study of languages and cultures, including intercultural communication, so as to encourage the multilingual and multicultural development of Europe and internationally. It subscribes to an all-encompassing view of the area of languages in higher education – language teaching and learning in the widest sense, language degree programmes, teacher education, the training of translators and interpreters and of other language professionals, and research related to these subareas. It has two pillars of activity – the preparation and launch of European development, network and research projects, and the development of policies and strategies at institutional, national and European levels. It closely cooperates with four directorates-general of the European Commission, and with the Council of Europe. It has always stayed clear of ideology and politics.
The ELC firmly believes that higher education programmes and provision have to respond to social and professional needs and demands, including the needs of the labour market. We also think that higher education institutions have a role in identifying these needs and demands. Hence we have always sought to engage in dialogue with employers, business representative organisations, employee organisations and the social partners. For example, in one of the three sub-projects of our third Thematic Network Project in Area of Languages and of the subsequent Dissemination Network project, carried out from 2003 to 2007 under the EU’s Socrates Programme, we took a close look at “Languages for enhanced opportunities on the European labour market”. We organised workshops with business people from across Europe, and we conducted Europe-wide surveys among language and non-language graduates, and employers and employer organisations. Among the recommendations that emanated from the project was the following. “Needs analyses and studies should be undertaken on a regular basis in order to obtain robust information about language requirements in the various sectors of the labour market, including the public sector and international non-governmental organisations, and about language-related trends in the employment of university graduates. The information obtained in this way would provide additional reference points for curriculum development and innovation.” I am sure it will not surprise you when I tell you that the sub-project in question was co-ordinated by a colleague from Copenhagen Business School.
The ELC has continued to travel along this road. Its president chairs the Business Platform for Multilingualism created by the European Commission in September 2009 – a direct outcome of the Business Forum for Multilingualism, in which Mr Henning Dyremose had a leading role. The Business Platform launched an EU Network project – CELAN – Network for the promotion of language strategies for employability and competitiveness. And we are currently also involved in a project supported by the Council of Europe’s Centre for Modern Languages in Graz – LINCQ – Languages in corporate quality – the first time the Council of Europe is looking at languages in the labour market.
The Business Platform was originally based on the ambitious social and economic agenda of the Lisbon Strategy. Just to remind you, at the Barcelona Council of March 2002, the heads of state and government underlined the fundamental importance of education and training for a competitive economy, calling for action to improve the mastery of basic skills, “in particular by teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age”, and the “establishment of a linguistic competence indicator in 2003”. As you know, things did not quite work out like this. It took no less than ten years for the first European Survey on Language Competences to become reality – however, neither Denmark nor Germany saw fit to participate in the exercise. One thing is clear, though. We are still far away from the 1+>2 objective. Now the European Commission is seeking to put new life into the formula by linking it to the objectives of Europe 2020 – smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and jobs.
The Business Platform was originally comprised of 21 European stakeholder organisations – twelve intermediary organisations, such as BusinessEurope, Eurochambres, and the European Trade Union Confederation; an EU body; two higher education associations; and six specialist organisations and networks, among them the ELC. The overarching aim of the Platform was to promote multilingualism for competitiveness and employability. The Platform adopted the following mission statement.
Provision to European enterprises and individuals of services and tools to enable them to improve their professional performance through effective language strategies, and to provide the European Commission and Member State governments with pertinent advice. The Platform subscribes to two basic tenets.
(i) Platform deliberations and activities have to be business driven.
(ii) While examples of successful practice are important for awareness raising and selecting/adopting new strategies, one should never forget that in multilingualism for business – as in so many other language-related matters – no one size fits all.
It has to be admitted that the Platform has so far not been a great success. Members tend to have their own specific interests, and many of the umbrella business representative organisations represented on the Platform are at least as far removed from enterprise as many, if not most of our universities. This is why I was grateful that the Commission provided funding for a two-year network project designed to implement part of the Platform’s mission and goals.
For the CELAN Network project, we envisaged a three-step activity plan. Step One: Research into companies’ linguistic and language-related needs. Step Two: Research into language industry products, tools and services that can enable employers and employees to overcome language and language-related needs. Step Three: Development of an on-line interactive language needs analysis tool, allowing business users to identify their language needs and to match these with available resources.
This approach reflects what companies that are considering the possibility of going international have to do. They have to reach a proper understanding of their needs in terms of multilingual and intercultural communication processes; they have to acquire an adequate knowledge of the human and technological resources available that can enable enterprises to meet language and language-related needs; and they have to match their own specific needs with available resources.
In the event, things turned out to be much more complex and challenging than we had anticipated. In Step One, we carried out an EU-wide survey among enterprises and business representative organisations. Apart from the obvious questions regarding size and sector, and languages used in the organization, we asked organisations, among other things,
- whether languages mattered for their operation – in relations with partners, suppliers, customers, the company’s own human resources, and headquarters abroad;
- whether they thought things would change over the next few years;
- whether they had in-house language skills;
- whether command of a foreign language was important in the recruitment of new staff;
- what motivated the use of languages in their business – economic reasons, cultural reasons, or quality reasons;
- whether they had a formal language development policy.
We also asked them how useful specific language services were for their business, and how they rated their awareness of the services offered by the language industry. We also requested them to indicate in what specific business activities they commonly have to perform foreign languages were required – ranging from the preparation of communication material to interacting in teams/with colleagues/with headquarters. Finally, we wanted to know who in a given company needed which language skills – management, technicians etc.
I would need the whole of the afternoon to present the outcomes of the survey to you. We received a total of 543 responses, 157 of which came from business representative organizations. We knew before the launch of the survey that the results would not be representative in quantitative terms. It stood to reason that enterprises that did not regard languages as being relevant to their performance would not bother to respond. Moreover, we were also aware of the fact that in EU-15 a number of similar surveys had been carried out in recent years, as a result of which survey fatigue could be expected. I am all the more grateful that 14% of the respondents were based in Denmark – thank you ever so much for this, Karen.
The full report is available on the CELAN platform. Allow me, therefore, to highlight a few key findings and conclusions.
1) Languages play a fundamental role in European businesses for their development in a globalised world. Multilingualism has become a must for business growth. 90% of respondents stated that language skills are important for their operations – in descending order, in relations with customers (63%), partners, headquarters abroad, suppliers, and human resources (47%).
2) European business relies on the labour market for the supply of human resources with the language skills required. 86% of the responding businesses use the recruitment route for satisfying their foreign language needs.
3) European business understands that in addition to overt economic considerations, there are other reasons for getting multilingual – cultural and quality motivations. It could, however, be argued that culture and quality are becoming key elements in the economic development of businesses.
4) A majority of the responding enterprises still lack a corporate language development policy.
5) Respondents have a good, albeit far from complete overview of the tools and services offered by the language industry and use them as appropriate.
6) Of the 375 companies that responded to the question which languages they needed, a hundred respondents provided an answer with regard to oriental languages. Of these, 35 indicated that these languages were most important to relatively important for them. Unsurprisingly, large companies with a work force of 250+ and a turnover of more than 50 million euro stressed the new need for oriental languages.
Let’s not forget that this survey cannot be regarded as being representative in quantitative terms. However, I do believe that the questions we included in the questionnaire could be a basis for interviews conducted by higher education institutions with employers and employer organizations, and that the responses received provide a solid indication of where our enterprises stand and where they see their future. In all this, we should not forget that SMEs, which are traditionally considered the growth driver of Europe’s economies, used to provide goods and services for their regions or at best for the nation states in which they were based. They first had to or still have to recognize the opportunities offered by the Single Market, and once they had or have done that, they have to come to understand the linguistic and cultural demands of trans-European business activity, and they have to match these demands with appropriate strategies. The CELAN survey also revealed that SMEs are beginning to appreciate the need for oriental languages.
Before I leave CELAN, allow me to mention just two more things. I think I am not overstating things when I say that the CELAN Network has prepared the first ever comprehensive annotated catalogue of business-relevant services, tools, resources, policies and strategies and their current uptake in the business community in Europe. In the age of globalization, an ever increasing number of products and services are offered to a growing number of language communities. In order to cope with this situation, language technology and language technology tools have been and continue to be developed related to
• translation technologies,
• text technologies,
• terminology management systems,
• speech technology and speech technology tools, and
• content management systems.
I am afraid I cannot go into detail here. However, to give you at least some idea of what all this is about, let me just say that translation technologies include machine translation systems, computer-assisted translation tools and systems, localization systems, and translation / localization project / job management systems. Even large international companies do not necessarily use the technologies and tools themselves – indeed, language services, and language service providers have become a booming industry with high growth rates. As a result of globalization, there is a growing demand for
• translation services,
• localization services,
• interpretation services,
• desktop publishing services,
• language teaching and training of various kinds, and
• language industry consultancy services.
I have to admit that I was overwhelmed by these findings – and their economic implications. For example, a language service provider based in Italy has developed a formula according to which localizing a Web site for twenty different markets, including Australia, Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States gives a company access to 80% of the worldwide online sales potential.
When it comes to the uptake of these services, tools, and resources, it should be clear that large-scale industry can afford to develop any kind of language technology tools and language and content resources as well as develop language services internally, or use any kind of language service provider through outsourcing. For example, a major international car manufacturer has installed a language management team for the identification of multilingual and cultural communication processes in the company; the implementation of these processes has, however, been outsourced to a language service provider. Needless to say, SMEs are under stronger financial constraints and subject to fierce competition. Most of them probably do not have the capacity to investigate how they could benefit from state-of-the-art language technology tools and language service providers.
Please do not misunderstand me. Far be it from me to exclude the human factor when it comes to languages for growth and jobs. However, it should also be clear that as a result of the advances I have just described, our graduates may well be confronted with new linguistic, language-related and cultural demands that go beyond the competence in languages of the wider world.
This is why I think consultation and collaboration between higher education and enterprise is more urgently needed than ever before. This is why in late August, we launched a consultation among higher education institutions directly or indirectly involved in the CELAN Network; among other things, we are keen to find out whether, when it comes to language provision, our universities have contacts with the labour market through
- internships of BA students
- regular graduate career tracking
- regular contacts with businesses – including SMEs
– and business representative organisations in the region and whether they have used information obtained in this way for revising their programmes and offerings, for example by introducing languages of the wider world as well as appropriate language technologies and pertinent language resources. Again, the questionnaire can be downloaded from the CELAN Web site; and the survey report will also eventually be published on the Web site. Meanwhile, allow me to say this. We need new forms of collaboration and consultation between higher education and enterprise. More about this in a minute.
There are three more issues that I would like to mention briefly. The Economist Intelligence Unit has recently published a report entitled “Competing across borders. How cultural and communication barriers affect business”. The paper draws on two main sources – a global survey of 572 executives conducted earlier this year, and a series of in-depth interviews with independent experts and senior executives from a number of major international companies.
Allow me a quote a key sentence. “The survey findings reveal a corporate world that has at least recognized a new reality in which the right products and services must also be allied with the necessary cultural sensitivity and communication skills in order for companies to succeed in markets away from home …. Many organisations have yet to adopt measures that will turn this realization into practice.” Here are some of the key messages emanating from the survey.
• Effective cross-border communication and collaboration are becoming critical to the financial success of companies.
• Most companies understand the cost of not improving the cross-border communication skills of their employees, yet many are not doing enough to address the challenge.
• Organisations with international ambitions increasingly expect prospective employees to be fluent in key foreign languages. Mandarin is considered the second-most important foreign language, but just 8% say their workers will need to be fluent in it.
• Misunderstandings rooted in cultural differences present the greatest obstacle to productive cross-border collaboration.
• The impact of good cross-border collaboration on a company’s financial performance is now widely recognized.
• About one quarter of the companies surveyed said that at least half their employees regularly need to speak in a foreign language.
I do hope that you have found my message convincing – there is no one size that fits all. Every company has to find out what the linguistic and cultural demands resulting from its business strategy are, and every company has to develop and implement the linguistic and cultural strategies required for the implementation of its business strategy.
I happen to believe that this has fundamental implications for higher education programmes and provision as well as for consultation and collaboration between higher education and enterprise – and it has wider implications for language learning and assessment.
(i) Universities have to intensify their contacts with business, for example, contacts with enterprises in the region. In this way, they can get a clearer idea of the linguistic and cultural demands linked to trans-European and international business activities – in terms of languages, and language and cultural sill and competences, including the use of language technology. If Mandarin Chinese is the order of the day, then – needless to say - we have to offer courses in Chinese language and culture.
(ii) Since a large number of enterprises seem to be unaware of the potential of the language industry, universities should regard it as their responsibility to obtain a comprehensive overview of the tools and resources provided by the language industry – in order to provide advice to employers and to pay proper attention to this dimension of language use in their own courses and provision. This may require co-operation between university units that do not normally talk to each. Earlier this year, I attended a meeting in Brussels that went by the name of “LT summit”. During the coffee break, a young man came up to me who works at my University on a LT project. I did not have the foggiest idea of this initiative. In other words, we also need to find new forms of co-operation in our universities.
(iii) Enterprises should not expect universities to deliver tailor-made graduates to them. (a) Universities have to prepare their students for lifelong language learning. Companies cannot predict their linguistic and cultural needs in ten or twenty years from now; graduates do not know what will be required of them in ten, let alone in thirty years from now. Hence, formal education has to equip students with learning-to-learn skills – something that has become a corner stone of the EU’s education policy. (b) What this means is that companies have to be prepared to create on-the-job language learning opportunities for their workforce.
(iv) Multilingual competence, therefore, has to be seen in terms of dynamic repertoires, subject to continuous development in line with the lifelong learning paradigm – be it that a language that is part of an individual’s repertoire has to be further developed in response to changing needs, be it that a new language needs to be added to the repertoire. And linked to this – our graduates have to be prepared for self-assessment – they have to be able to assess their linguistic and cultural competences in relation to specific requirements and, if necessary, take appropriate remedial action.
(v) It is also true that many of our graduates do not find their first job in the region or state where their university is based.
(vi) A lot of language learning is now taking place outside formal educational settings as a result of trans-European mobility and migration into the Union. All EU Member States have become multilingual and multicultural societies, and many of us study and work in multilingual and multicultural organisations. My own University, Freie Universität Berlin, is a case in point. About 25% of our students are international students, with an increasingly large number of Chinese students, but also a substantial number of students from Scandinavian countries. For example, many Erasmus students opt for FUB because of our language offerings, ranging from Arabic to Turkish. What is equally, if not more important is the fact that these international students do not remain in their national clusters, but mix freely with students from around the globe. We try to encourage the potential this presents for language learning by encouraging them to form language tandems and trios – not just for informal, but also for non-formal learning. That is to say, we encourage them to conclude learning agreements in which they state the language learning outcomes they hope to be able to achieve. Needless to say, German students benefit from this arrangement as well.
(vii) This raises the question as to how the outcomes of informal and nonformal language learning can be assessed and documented. I do not know whether you are aware of this – on 5 September, the European Commission released a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the validation of non-formal and informal learning, which calls on Member States to establish national systems for the validation of non-formal and non-formal learning by 2015.
(viii) In all this, we have to be aware of the fact that – as becomes clear from the Economist survey – people do not have to be a hundred per cent competent in all the languages they have.
(ix) Because of the increasingly rapid changes our societies and economies are confronted with, we have to develop modes of accelerated language learning. As regards Europe, we should be aware of the fact that our languages belong to language families – Germanic, Romance, Slavonic. If I as a German need to learn Danish, I should not have to do it the same way that speakers of Slavonic languages have to take.
(x) In this day and age of multilingual profiles, we should perhaps stop talking of mother tongue and foreign languages. For one thing, which languages are foreign languages at a university like my University, where 25% of the student population is international students and a large number of courses are taught in English? For another, you cannot take it for granted that someone whose first language is this, that, or the other can perform all professionally relevant tasks in this language.
All this raises the issue of how enterprises that are aware of their linguistic and cultural needs can assess the linguistic competences of job applicants and of their own employees. This is definitely un defies majeur – and this is where the ECML LINCQ project comes in. We want to raise awareness among employers of the informal and non-formal learning paradigm and the potential ways in which this experience can be recorded and assessed, in order to enhance recognition, especially in the corporate world. (See the flyer put out outside.) Ladies and gentlemen, I do apologise for boring you stiff with my Euro speak. Allow me to provide you with some anecdotal evidence.
Case No. 1
A student assistant of mine – by accident the son of FUB’s registrar. At BA level, he studied history of art and Italian. At the beginning of Year Three, he rushed into my office and broke down in tears. He had found himself in an Italian language module where half the participants were orally fluent because of their family background. I immediately decided to send him under Erasmus student mobility to Torino. When he got there, he was confronted with the fact that Italy’s universities had gone on strike. My colleague at Torino came up with a rescue plan. She got him an internship in a publishing house, where he had to operate in Italian, English, and German. Within a short period of time, he realized what he was able to do and not to do with regard to his job in the three languages in question. He took remedial action, and organized non-formal language learning scenarios – during daytime hours with Italian friends, and in the evening with British and American friends.
Case No. 2
At the beginning of this year, we advertised the position of head of the ELC secretariat at FUB. In the end we went for a 24-year-old US citizen, who at that time was doing an internship in the Multilingualism Policy Unit of the Commission’s DG for Education and Culture. Her first language is American English, but she also has French, German, and Chinese. She did a BA in International Relations at the University of California, started learning Chinese there, but decided that her command of Chinese was not really what it ought to be. Because of this, she suspended her course for six months. She went to Taipeh, followed a course in Chinese for six months, moved in with a local family, got herself an internship at a municipal library, and was therefore able to learn Chinese in an informal way. She now has a very clear idea of what she can do – and cannot do, for that matter – in Chinese. After her BA, she did an Erasmus Mundus Master at the Universities of Leipzig and Vienna – which was taught in English. But she was keen to seize the opportunity to learn German – as she was studying in two German-speaking countries. So she organized language tandems in Leipzig and Vienna – and she is now fairly fluent in German. Definitely a new generation of global players.
Case No. 3
International business communication is not just about communication in and for a given company. A couple of yours ago, two nephews of mine, working at Siemens in Berlin, were sent to Copenhagen for six months. They did not foresee any problems – after all, the corporate language is English. Sure enough, when they got to Copenhagen, everything was fine – business was done in English. However, after the end of a working day, they crossed the street and went to a bar – where all the talk was in Danish. They immediately realized that if they wanted to be accepted by their Danish colleagues, they had to learn Danish. And to their surprise, they came to realize that the two languages are not hundreds of miles apart.
I do apologise for speaking far too long. I very much look forward to our discussion: THANK FOR YOUR ATTENTION.

Posté par pcassuto à 15:01 - - Permalien [#]

Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) Secretariat, Chairs and Vice-Chair

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegBetween 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2015, the Secretariat of the Bologna Follow-up Group is held by Armenia, as organiser of the next 2015 EHEA Ministerial Conference. 
The team representing the Armenian Bologna Follow-Up Group Secretariat includes eight permanent members, who are committed to the mission of ensuring professional and neutral support to further the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), under the exclusive authority of the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) and its Co-Chairs and Vice-Chair.
The central task of the Bologna  Follow-Up Group Secretariat is to support the work of the Bologna Follow-up Group, within all BFUG sub-structures. The Secretariat provides first draft agendas for BFUG meetings for decision by the BFUG Chairs on which items are to be included for discussion. The Secretariat also plays a significant role in drafting official documents within the European Higher Education Area and provides background discussion documents, liaising with relevant authors as appropriate.
The Secretariat circulates the invitation, agenda and relevant papers for BFUG, Board and working groups/ networks meetings. It provides to the participants information on practical arrangements for meetings in consultation with the Chairs, and, during meetings can take responsibility for practical arrangements in cooperation with the hosts, if necessary. The Secretariat drafts the minutes of BFUG/ Board and working groups/ network meetings for clearance by the Chairs and circulates them for comments and subsequent adoption by BFUG/Board at the next meeting.
Another task of the Secretariat that has become increasingly important is to provide up-to-date and reliable information about the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (for both a European and a non-European audience) and to maintain an electronic EHEA archive. To fulfil those functions, the Secretariat maintains the permanent European Higher Education Area website (www.ehea.info), ensuring that up to date information is made available at all times for the BFUG and to the wider public.
While the Chair of the Bologna Process rotates every six months, the Secretariat provides continuity in following the implementation of the agreed BFUG work plan between consecutive EHEA Ministerial meetings.
The Secretariat carries on its activities in close communication with the BFUG through its official representatives (Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Chairs of the Working Groups/Networks) and rests exclusively on their guidance and the mandate given by the BFUG for direction setting in the preparation work.
Composition of the Armenian Bologna Follow-Up Group Secretariat:
Head of the Secretariat: 

            Gayane
        Harutyunyan
         bio note
Members of the Secretariat:
                                        
  Sahakanush            Hayk                         Edgar                  Ani                         Ani 
     Sargsyan            Sargsyan                Harutyunyan        Hakobyan                  Hovhannisyan
   bio note                    bio note               bio note                bio note               bio note         

        
  Marta                             Astghik
Simonyan                    Karakhanyan
 Bio note                    Bio note
http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegBFUG Chairs and Vice-Chair
With the Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué the Ministers decided that in the future, the Bologna Process would be co-chaired by the country holding the EU presidency and a non-EU country. To put this decision into practice, the Bologna Follow-up Group at its meeting in Stockholm on 28-29 September 2009 agreed:
• to treat the EU Presidency and the non-EU country as two chairs (rather than as chair and co-chair) to signal very clearly that the Bologna Process will be chaired on equal footing by the EU Presidency and a non-EU country.
• to leave it to each chairing team to define the exact division of tasks between the two chairs and the vice chair(s)
• to start the new chairing arrangement on 1 July 2010.
• to apply the alphabetical order when designating the chair from a non-EU country.
• to adjust the composition of the BFUG Board by replacing the three elected members with the outgoing, present and incoming non-EU chairs.
This will result in the following chairing arrangement up to the next Ministerial Meeting in 2012, at the occasion of which the arrangement should be evaluated and further established for the period until the following Ministerial Meeting in 2015.

Posté par pcassuto à 14:50 - - Permalien [#]

Qualifications Frameworks/Three-Cycle System

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegQualifications Frameworks/Three-Cycle System
Qualifications frameworks describe the qualifications of an education system and how they interlink. National qualifications frameworks describe what learners should know, understand and be able to do on the basis of a given qualification as well as how learners can move from one qualification to another within a system. Read more.
Composition

Armenia, Austria, Belgium/French Community Federation Wallonia-Brussels, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, BUSINESSEUROPE, European Commission, Education International, ENQA, EQAR, ESU, EUA, EURASHE.
Representatives of sub structures under the Structural Reforms WG should be involved in its work as required.
Purpose
The Working Group on Structural Reforms is mandated to develop proposals for policy and practice aiming to improve instruments for structural reform (QF, QA, recognition of qualifications, transparency instruments) and the coherence between the main elements of structural reform within the European Higher Education Area as well as to oversee and advice the BFUG on the implementation of structural reforms.
The Working Group should consider structural reforms in relation to the major purposes of higher education:
    Preparing for employment;
    Preparing for life as active citizens in democratic societies;
    Personal development;
    The development and maintenance of a broad, advanced knowledge base;
as well as the three missions:
    teaching and learning;
    research;
    service to society. 
It should furtherbe guided by the following policy considerations:
    Students, employers and society at large want more objective, reliable and high quality information about higher education;
    There is an increasing societal expectation of Higher Education Institutions that they enhance the employability of graduates and provide students with skills relevant to the labour market;
    There is a need to adapt the Bologna goals and instruments for structural reforms to the ever changing context of higher education and of our societies and to the evolving needs within the EHEA;
    There is a need to build trust and confidence in higher education;
    The relationship between the structural reforms developed within the EHEA and their impact on other regions needs to be considered;
    There is a need for a more supportive environment for academic staff and students;
    Higher Education needs to contribute to Lifelong Learning.
Specific Tasks

    Consider and make recommendations on specific issues of policy and practice related to quality assurance, qualifications frameworks, recognition of qualifications and transparency instruments and their mutual interaction;
     Consider how the development and implementation of learning outcomes impact on and may strengthen the coherence between the policy areas covered by the WG;
     In consultation with the ENIC and NARIC Networks and the Network of national QF correspondents, develop policy proposals aiming to improve the interaction between qualifications frameworks and the recognition of qualifications;
    The EQF Advisory Group and the BFUG working group on Structural Reforms, in co-operation with ENQA and EQAVET, should review and make proposals to strengthen the common principles of quality assurance to be applied across HE and VET.
    Develop policy proposals aiming to improve transparency instruments for describing individual qualifications as well as higher education systems, in particular as concerns the Diploma Supplement and the ECTS.  In this, the Working Group should establish cooperation with the institutions and bodies charged with the oversight and implementation of the relevant transparency instruments;
     As appropriate, provide input to the WGs responsible for mobility and internationalization; the social dimension and lifelong learning on the role of structural reforms as well as to the Working Group on implementation in furthering the goals of these groups;
    Consider and make recommendations on the interaction between the structural reforms and transversal issues, i.a. employability and the global dimension;
    Consider and make recommendations concerning third cycle qualifications, the review the ECTS Users’ Guide, the Recognition of Prior Learning and the implementation of qualifications frameworks on the basis of proposals by the relevant sub structures.
    Consider and make proposals concerning joint degrees and programmes on the basis of suggestion by a small ad-hoc group reporting to the working groups on Structural Reforms and Mobility and Internationalization.
    Comment, as appropriate, on draft amendments to the European Standards and Guidelines prepared by the Steering Committee (E4 plus EQAR, EI, BUSINESSEUROPE).
    Help identify and set priorities for peer learning activities concerning structural reforms;
    Organize, or stimulate the organization of, Bologna conferences, mini-seminars, peer learning activities and events on issues related to structural reforms;
    Consider developments in relation to EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies operating in countries other than their countries of origin and make policy proposals or recommendations, as appropriate;
    As appropriate, commission research to support its work;
    Maintain contact with and, as needed, oversee the work of any sub groups established to address specific aspects of structural reforms;
    Advice the BFUG on any issues referred to it by the BFUG;
    Submit proposals to the 2015 Ministerial conference, through the BFUG, aiming to improve the coherence of the structural reforms within the EHEA.
Last Update

2012-2015 ToR_Structural Reforms WG.
News and documents.
Contact Person
Sjur BERGAN – Council of Europe 
Noël Vercruysse – Belgium/Flemish Community
Friedrich Bechina – Holy See
Bartłomiej Banaszak – Poland

Posté par pcassuto à 14:31 - - Permalien [#]


Reporting on the Bologna Process Implementation

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegReporting on the Bologna Process Implementation. Read more...
Composition

Austria, Belgium/Flemish Community, Finland, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Romania, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, BUSINESSEUROPE, EC, EI, ENQA, EQAR, ESU, EUA, EURASHE, EUROSTAT, EUROSTUDENT and EURYDICE.
Purpose

To further refine the methodology of monitoring and measuring progress:
to provide reliable, comparable data and to take stock of progress towards realising the European Higher Education Area and the strategy "Mobility for better learning";
to make further progress in the construction of a structured and standardised monitoring system consisting of indicators and qualitative analysis
to allow for comparisons to be made between countries and to allow for monitoring changes over time within countries as well as between countries; 
To prepare an overall report on the implementation of the Bologna Process for 2015, integrating data collected by EUROSTAT, EUROSTUDENT and EURYDICE.
Specific Tasks

To analyse the experience in data collection and processing in the 2009-2012 period with a view to optimize and further improve the methodology;
To identify the key issues to be covered by the report and the way in which they should be addressed (quantifiable indicators or qualitative analysis) according to the call of ministers to "more targeted data collection and referencing against common indicators, particularly on:
employability,
the social dimension,
lifelong learning,
internationalisation,
portability of grants/loans and
student and staff mobility."
To specify the indicators to measure progress in the 2012-2015 period and data required;
To define the survey questionnaire which should
be based on a refined 2009-2012 questionnaire where possible to ensure continuty;
allow collection of information from the Bologna countries including the areas ministers underlinned above.
To assist Eurydice in drafting the overall report for approval by the BFUG in advance of the 2015 ministerial conference.
Last Update

2012 Report on the Implementation of the Bologna Process .
BFUG_HU_AD_24_9.1a Reporting timeline.
BFUG_HU_AD_24_9.1b_Reporting WG update.
2012-2015 ToR_Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process WG.
Reporting Timeline 2012-2015.
News and documents.
Contact Person

Germain Dondelinge
r- Luxembourg
Andrejs Rauhvargers
- Latvia.

Posté par pcassuto à 14:25 - - Permalien [#]

Recognition of Prior Learning European Network

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegRecognition of Prior Learning European Network
Composition

The Network consists of 44 members representing 24 EHEA countries and 20 organisations.
Purpose

To help promote and inform the effective use and practice of RPL across  the EHEA member countries.
To provide a means for member countries to share and learn from policies and practice across wider Europe in relation to RPL development.
To build links between EHEA countries at various stages in RPL development.
Specific Tasks

To work within this definition of RPL: RPL is the process for recognising previous learning that has taken place in informal, formal or non-formal contexts: for example, in the workplace and through life experiences. Once recognised through this process, prior learning can be used to gain credit or exemption for qualifications, and/or for personal and career development.
To build upon the existing evidence base provided by CEDEFOP and OBSERVAL through the collation of evidence on the use and impact of RPL in the Bologna countries, and through considering how cross-border RPL might be fostered.
To allow educators, practitioners and policy-makers working in RPL to share practice and inform progress.
To hold workshops in which practitioners can share and explore ways in which RPL can:
    1. best support student-centred learning, flexible learning paths, lifelong learning, and widening participation agendas across the Bologna process;
    2. help support issues such as employer engagement and workforce development in Bologna.
To facilitate bilateral or multilateral engagement between countries and organisations on RPL areas of mutual interest.
To link with other countries developing RPL.
To consider the conclusions and recommendations from the 2010 RPL seminar (see below) and how these might best be taken forward.  The full seminar report is available on the EHEA website (www.ehea.info).
To liaise with other relevant networks and working groups, in particular the BFUG Working Group on Structural Reforms
Last Update

BFUG_HU_AD_24_9.7 RPL Network update.
BFUG_PL_AM_26_4.9_RPL Network update.
News and documents.
Contact Person
Raul Ranne - Estonia
Heather Gibson - United Kingdom (Scotland)
Ruth Whittaker - United Kingdom (Scotland)
QAA Scotland
is a key partner in the development of the RPL work.

Posté par pcassuto à 14:21 - - Permalien [#]

Network of NQF Correspondents

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegNetwork of NQF Correspondents
Composition
1- All countries of the EHEA are invited to appoint one or more members of the Network. Members should have responsibilities as concerns the development and implementation of the national qualifications framework in their home countries. In cases where countries develop comprehensive frameworks, the responsibilities of the national correspondent(s) should include the higher education part of the national framework. Where the national correspondents do not have overall responsibility for the development and implementation of the comprehensive framework, they should maintain close contacts with those exercising this responsibility and/or with the National Contact points of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF).
2- The European Commission and CEDEFOP are invited to participate in the meetings of the Network with specific reference to their responsibility for the implementation of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) and the follow-up of developments of national qualifications framework for lifelong learning.
3- Consultative members of the BFUG as well as the ENIC Bureau/NARIC Advisory Board and the European Training Foundation are also invited to participate in the plenary meetings of the Network.
The Chair may invite individual experts or organizations to participate in meetings of the Network on an ad hoc basis and with specific reference to their role in relation to one or more items of the agenda of that meeting.
Purpose

The Network should facilitate the sharing of experience in the development of national qualifications frameworks compatible with the overarching framework of qualifications of the EHEA (QF-EHEA) as well as with the EQF. It should provide a forum for national correspondents to exchange experience and to discuss issues of particular relevance to the development and implementation of national frameworks. The Network should seek to further cooperation with the National Coordination Points (NCPs) of the EQF. It should report to the BFUG on its activities and may submit suggestions on policy and practice concerning qualifications frameworks.
Specific Tasks

    further contacts and cooperation between national correspondents of member countries;
    further the exchange of experience and provide a platform for discussion of issues of particular relevance to the development and implementation of national frameworks compatible with the QF-EHEA;
    as required, offer advice on the development and implementation of national frameworks compatible with the QF-EHEA;
    further and stimulate cooperation with the EQF-LLL, in particular with its National Coordination Points;
    exchange experience with and provide mutual support for the self certification of national qualifications frameworks;
    stimulate the organization of Bologna conferences and events on issues related to qualifications frameworks and its relation with other key elements of the process as learning outcomes, Quality assurance….
    as appropriate, advice the BFUG on matters concerning qualifications frameworks;
    coordinate requests for assistance, including as regards self certification of national frameworks against the overarching framework of qualifications of the EHEA.
Last Update
2012-2015 ToR_Network of National Correspondents.
News and documents.
Contact Person
Jean-Philippe RESTOUEIX - Council of Europe

Posté par pcassuto à 14:17 - - Permalien [#]

NESSIE - Network of Experts on Student Support in Europe

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegNESSIE - Network of Experts on Student Support in Europe
Composition
Countries:

Austria, Belgium (Flemish Community), Belgium (French Community), Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Finland - KELA, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Norway - State Education Loan Fund, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Sweden - CSN, UK/EWNI, UK/Scotland.
Organisations:

The European Students' Union,
European Commission (DGEAC)
European University Association
BFUG Secretariat
Purpose

To promote the portability of grants and loans in order to facilitate greater mobility of students across the European Higher Education Area
To support the related objectives of achieving more balanced flows of incoming and outgoing students across the European Higher Education Area and an improved participation rate from diverse student groups
To offer practical solutions for member countries in implementing schemes of portable student support
To share information on developments in relation to the portability of student grants and loans in order to ensure balanced and sustainable mechanisms to support the mobility of students
To raise issues of common concern in relation to the portability of student supports
Specific Tasks

The Co-Chairs – three countries (currently, Germany, Norway, Romania) jointly share the tasks of organising, chairing and structuring the network.
Data exchange – development of a mechanism for facilitating the exchange of data between student support agencies in participating countries in order to ensure balanced and sustainable mechanisms to support the mobility of students. 
Database of information – comparable information on grants and loans systems in various European countries is collected by the network and maintained, together with individual contact addresses in ministries and grants/loans agencies, in a password-protected section on the Bologna website.  The network proposes to extend this activity to providing information tailored for public consumption on the non-password protected section of the Bologna website.
Query response mechanism – this informal electronic forum for sharing policy and practical information has evolved as part of the ongoing e-mail communication within the network.  It has become an important tool for informing policy and effectively functions as a European grants and loans query response mechanism.
Liaison – in response to paragraph 19 of the ministerial communiqué of Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, the network proposes to liaise with the Bologna Social Dimension Working Group to examine how the portability of student grants and loans might facilitate greater mobility of diverse student groups.
Outcomes: NESSIE's Country Information Templates - available here
Last Update

News and documents.
Contact Person
Torill Maseide - Norway
Bjørn Rossevatn - Norway
Andreas Schepers - Germany
Juliane Reimers - Germany
Marilena Din - Romania.

Posté par pcassuto à 14:14 - - Permalien [#]

Ad-Hoc Working Group on Mobility and Internationalisation

http://www.ehea.info/Uploads/SubmitedFiles/11_2012/123432.jpegAd-Hoc Working Group on Mobility and Internationalisation
Composition

The group will be made up of a wide range of countries and should be balanced with regard to EU and Non-EU Bologna countries, geography and size. The group should include members of the 2010-2012 working group as well as new members.
The following countries expressed their willingness to participate in the WG:
Armenia, Belgium/Flemish Community, Belgium/French Community, Denmark, Finland, Jolita Butkienė (Lithuania), Poland, the Netherlands,Turkey, Council of Europe, ENQA, ESU.
Purpose
To contribute to the implementation of the EHEA Strategy “Mobility for better Learning” at national and European level and to assist in the reporting to Ministers in 2015 on the progress made,
To support countries in their national implementation efforts regarding the mobility strategy,
To contribute to the evaluation of the strategy “EHEA in a Global Setting” and to the further internationalisation of the EHEA,
To review the Bologna Policy concept with the aim of further improving policy dialogue with non-EHEA countries.
Specific Tasks

To propose to the BFUG guidelines on staff mobility, including a definition of “staff” and an analysis of current barriers to staff mobility, such as transferability of pensions and social security benefits, as well as a set of potential measures to overcome them,
To contribute to the national implementation of selected measures of the mobility strategy, such as dealing with cases of imbalanced mobility, by facilitating peer learning, exchange of good practices and regional cooperation,
To explore options of improving the information on study programmes and admission systems in the EHEA (measure 8 of the mobility strategy),
To examine ways of overcoming existing mobility obstacles, such as improving visa and immigration procedures and the application of transparency instruments,
 To develop a policy proposal for a specific European accreditation approach for Joint programmes, which should be applied to all those Joint programmes that are subject to compulsory programme accreditation at national level,
To explore whether a common approach on the portability of grants, loans and scholarships is feasible and to be recommended,
To contribute to the reporting exercise on the implementation of the mobility strategy, in particular by assisting the WG on reporting in drafting a suitable questionnaire as well as by proposing conclusions on the progress made and further action,
To examine options of assessing and improving the international attractiveness of the EHEA and to propose a target on mobility into the EHEA,
To propose to the BFUG guidelines for further internationalisation developments in the EHEA.
To help identify and set priorities for peer learning activities concerning structural reforms.
Last Update

BFUG_HU_AD_24_9.2a_Mobility WG update.
BFUG_HU_AD_24_9.2b Mobility timeline.
Working Paper on Mobility Strategy 2020 for EHEA.
2009-2012 Mobility WG Report.
EHEA Mobility Strategy 2020.
2012-2015 ToR_Mobility and Internationalisation WG.
News and documents.
Contact Person

Peter GREISLER – Germany
Gottfried Bacher – Austria
Adrian Curaj – Romania
Luis Delgado – Spain.

Posté par pcassuto à 14:09 - - Permalien [#]