The Challenge of Bologna: What United States Higher Education Has to Learn from Europe, and Why It Matters That We Learn It

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Stylus Publishing, LLC., Mar 12, 2012 - Education - 256 pages
In 1999, a declaration formalizing “the European process” was signed at and informally named for Europe’s oldest university: Bologna. “The Bologna Process” has transformed higher education in Europe.

This book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the ability of America’s higher education system to position the country for competitiveness in a global economy, about its failure to broaden access and participation, or to respond to calls for accountability, and specifically about whether it is ready to address the redoubtable challenge that Bologna Process represents on all these issues.

In this book Paul Gaston assesses the Process’ accomplishments, weighing its strengths and weaknesses, and evaluates which features pose a threat, which we can learn from, and which may be inappropriate for our system of higher education.

Bologna’s achievements in making higher education more accessible, in rationalizing and making consistent the evaluation of credits, and the definition and measurement of learning outcomes for all disciplines, all constitute a major “wake-up call” for American higher education.

If we consider Europeans’ increased participation in higher education, their increased graduation rates, and the fact that Europe is retaining more of its students and attracting more international students, American higher education may be losing its competitive advantage.

For all these reasons, it is vital that educators and policy makers understand Bologna and its implications for American higher education. It represents a formidable challenge on a matter of national priority. This book provides that understanding by offering a realistic and balanced account of Bologna’s achievements, and suggesting how US higher education can constructively and effectively respond.
 

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Contents

AN EXPEDITIOUS OVERVIEW
1
1 WHY PAY ATTENTIONTO BOLOGNA?
12
2 THE ROAD TO BOLOGNA
18
3 POINT OF DEPARTURE
33
4 WORDS TO ACTIONS Bologna Prague Berlin
46
5 URGENCY AND UNDERSTANDING Bergen and London
59
6 BEGINNING A NEW DECADE LeuvenLouvainlaNeuve
76
7 THE CHALLENGE FOR BOLOGNA The Promiseand the Potholes
93
8 THE CHALLENGE OF BOLOGNA Access and Mobility
119
9 THE CHALLENGE OF BOLOGNA Structure and Sequence
135
10 THE CHALLENGE OF BOLOGNA Effectiveness and Accountability
149
11 MEETING THE CHALLENGE Improving on Europes Example
174
APPENDIX LIST OF ACRONYMS
205
REFERENCES
207
INDEX
219
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About the author (2012)

Paul L. Gaston serves Kent State University as its sole Trustees Professor. In this role, he pursues a broad commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research in higher education reform, public policy, and the humanities. As the author of The Challenge of Bologna (2010), the only book to date on Europe’s Bologna Process of higher education reform, he speaks often on European higher education reform and its lessons for the world. He is the author also of Revising General Education, co-authored with Jerry Gaff (2009) and General Education and Liberal Learning (2010). One of four authors of Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile (January 2011), he serves as a consultant to Lumina Foundation and makes frequent presentations describing the development of the Profile and its potential uses. He earned both the M.A. and the Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

Carol Geary Schneider has been president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities since 1998.

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