Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2001-2003
Social Dimensions of the Bologna Process
The topic Social Dimensions of the Bologna Process was highlighted in the Prague Communiqué, and proved its importance throughout the follow-up period 2001- 2003. Two seminars were organized specifically to explore this issue.
The first seminar was the “Seminar on the Social Dimensions of the Higher Education Area” organized by the Greek Ministry of National Education and Religion Affairs in Athens on 19-20 February 2003. Lively discussions focused mainly on analysis of various social dimensions of the European Higher Education Area but in particular on the notion of higher education as a public responsibility and a public good, as well as on the position of (national) higher education in the GATS negotiations. The seminar attracted about 150 participants: students, academics, experts, representatives from national ministries and international organizations. Their unanimous conclusion was that the Prague Communiqué's emphasis on the social dimension of the EHEA was legitimate, and that the Berlin Communiqué must follow up this dimension and pay even greater attention to the different elements involved.
The second event about this topic was a seminar on “Student Participation in Governance in Higher Education” organized by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and planned together with ESIB and the Norwegian national unions of students, NSU and StL. The seminar took place in Oslo on 12-14 June 2003. Participants looked at student participation in Europe in a historic as well as in a contemporary perspective; they discussed in depth the legislative, decision-making and system- improvement aspects of student participation as well as case studies and best practice from various countries and/or organizations. Based on discussions from previous events, participants argued that students should be treated as partners in higher education and not (only) as consumers. They discussed the impact of internationalization on student participation, and sought to define the motivation for participation in governance. In these discussions, a detailed survey on student participation in the governance of higher education in Europe was very helpful; this survey was commissioned from the Council of Europe by the Norwegian Ministry of Education especially for this seminar.
Source: Bologna process between Prague and Berlin
Report to the Ministers of Education of the signatory countries Berlin, September 2003
General Rapporteur: Prof. Pavel Zgaga
Report commissioned by the Follow-up Group of the Bologna Process
Bologna Process between Prague and Berlin