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Date of print: 04/12/16
Page: http://ehea.hyperion.education.gouv.fr/cid102280/working-group-social-dimension-mobility-2005-2007.html

Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2005-2007

Working Group on Social Dimension and Data on the Mobility of Staff and Students in Participating Countries

Social dimension and data on the mobility of staff and students in participating countries; report on comparable data on mobility of staff and students as well as on the social and economic situation of students, as the basis for future stocktaking.
Bologna Process Social dimension Mobility report cover London 2007

The tasks given to the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) concerning the social dimension and mobility, presented in the Bergen Communiqué, were agreed to be  taken forward by appointing a joint working group for the two issues.

Content for Bologna Expert - 18/05/2007
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Key outcomes from the Working Group

The terms of reference for the Working Group could be summarised as follows:

  • to define the concept of social dimension based on the Ministerial communiqués of the Bologna Process
  • to present comparable data on the social and economic situation of students in participating countries
  • to present comparable data on the mobility of staff and students
  • to prepare proposals as a basis for future stocktaking.

Nine countries and three organisations have been represented in the group. A subgroup with statistical experts and data providers was established with the task of collecting data.

Social Dimension and Mobility London 2007

Social Dimension of Higher Education

Strengthening the social dimension is key to enhancing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the EHEA. There are, however, considerable differences and challenges in relation to the social dimension of higher education between the participating countries. The Working Group has found that it is not appropriate to narrowly define the social dimension or suggest a number of detailed actions for all countries to implement. Instead, the Working Group proposes that the following overall objective for the social dimension should be agreed by the Ministers:

We strive for the societal goal that the student body entering, participating in and completing higher education should reflect the diversity of our populations. We therefore pledge to take action to widen participation at all levels on the basis of equal opportunity.

Each country should develop its own strategy, including an action plan, for the social dimension.

Concerning data on the social dimension, there is no comprehensive survey which covers the necessary aspects of the social dimension. The Working Group has also found that there are several important data gaps and challenges in relation to the social dimension: not all Bologna countries are covered, there is no common deadline for surveys, requirements for indicators need to be matched with data availability and comparability, statistics from different sectors need to be brought together to get a fair picture of the social dimension and most of the currently available data is not appropriate for analysis of change.

The Working Group proposes actions at both national and European level:

  • By 2009 the countries should report to the BFUG on their national strategies for the social dimension, including action plans and measures to show their impact. All stakeholders should actively participate in, and support, this work at the national level. The Working Group suggests an approach to the work on national strategies in Annex 2 of their report.
  • Student survey data should be collected with the aim of providing comparable and reliable data concerning the social dimension.
  • The collection of data on the social dimension needs to go beyond the present stocktaking method. BFUG should entrust Eurostat, in conjunction with Eurostudent, with a mandate to develop more comparable and reliable data to inform progress towards the overall objective for the social dimension in all Bologna countries. Data should cover participative equity in higher education as well as employability for graduates. This task should be overseen by the BFUG and a report should be submitted for the 2009 Ministerial meeting.
  • To give an overview of the work on strategies and action plans carried out in participating countries in order to exchange experiences.

Mobility of Students and Staff

The promotion of mobility of students and staff is at the core of the Bologna Process. The objective should be an EHEA where students and staff can be truly mobile. However, the participating countries face challenges concerning both the facilitation of mobility itself and finding comparable and reliable data on mobility. Among the obstacles to mobility, issues related to immigration, recognition of study and work periods abroad and lack of financial incentives feature prominently. Data are scarce and those that are there show significant weaknesses in giving a full picture of mobility. First of all, there is no common and appropriate definition of mobility for statistical purposes. Also, there are no data covering all Bologna countries, no comparable and reliable data on genuine student mobility, hardly any data on staff mobility (and the data that is there is not comparable between countries).

The Working Group proposes actions at both national and European level:

  • By 2009 the countries should report to BFUG on actions taken at national level to remove obstacles to and promote the benefits of mobility of students and staff, including measures to assess their impact at a future date.
  • Countries should focus on the main national challenges: delivery of visas and work permits, the full implementation of established recognition procedures and creating incentives for mobility for both individuals and higher education institutions.
  • To address the institutional attitude towards and responsibility for mobility. This includes making mobility an institutional responsibility.
  • To facilitate mobility through strengthening the social dimension of mobile students and staff. G To support the development of joint programmes as one way of enhancing trust between countries and institutions.
  • The collection of data on mobility of staff and students needs to go beyond the present stocktaking method. BFUG should entrust Eurostat, in conjunction with Eurostudent, with a mandate to provide comparable and reliable data on actual mobility across the EHEA.
  • BFUG should also consider how best to overcome the many obstacles to mobility of students and staff. Progress in this work should be reported for the Ministerial meeting in 2009.

Annika Pontén, Chair of the Working Group, Sweden

Source: Bergen to London 2007 - Secretariat Report on the Bologna Work Programme 2005-2007
Bologna Process between Bergen and London

Terms of reference

Mission statement:

  1. To define the concept of social dimension based on the ministerial communiqués of the Bologna Process;
  2. To present comparable data on the social and economic situation of students in participating countries;
  3. To present comparable data on the mobility of staff and students; and
  4. To prepare proposals as a basis for future stocktaking.

The Working Group will be led by a Steering Committee. The work will be organised along three broad projects and with subsequent subgroups working with a) and b) and c) will be the responsibility of the Steering Committee:

  • a. Definition of the social dimension using the previous communiqués as a starting point for discussion;
  • b. The collection and exploration of data with three strands: socio- and economic situation of the students based upon the definition, mobility of students and mobility of staff; and
  • c. Recommendations on the scope of a future stocktaking exercise on the social dimension and on mobility, according to the definition emerging from subgroup (a) and the availability of comparable data as identified by subgroup (b).

Working Group meetings

14-15 December 2005 Brussels

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Draft Agenda - Brussels December 2005

Diagram from meeting of the Social Dimension Working Group December 2005

Terms of Reference for the social dimension and data on the mobility of staff and students in particpating countries

Social Dimension and data on mobility - Commitments Made

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Brussels December 2005

19 January 2006 Stockholm

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Draft Agenda - Stockholm January 2006

BFUGB3_6_WG-SocialDimension-TemplateNationalReport

Social Dimension and data on mobility - Transforming commitments into action

Social Dimension and data on mobility - Overview of indicators

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Stockholm January 2006

9 March 2006 Brussels

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Brussels March 2006

14 June 2006 Vienna

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Vienna June 2006

11-12 September 2006 Stockholm

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Stockholm September 2006

13-14 October 2006 Helsinki

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Helsinki October 2006

19 December 2006 Luxembourg

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - Luxembourg December 2006

6 February 2007 London

WG Social dimension and Mobility - Notes - London February 2007

Published: 18/05/2007 - Last modified: 01/06/2016
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Start

Terms of Reference agreed by BFUG in November 2005.

The first meeting of the working group took place in December 2005.

Members

Countries: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Russia, Sweden and UK.

Organisations: ESIB, EUA and Education International – Pan European Structure.

Seminar

Making Bologna a Reality: Mobility of Staff and Students, the Bologna Process official seminar organized by Education International in collaboration with ESIB and UCU (the University and College Union, UK), took place in London on 8-9 February 2007.

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