Work programme 2009-2012
EURASHE annual conference 2010
EURASHE organised its 20th Annual Conference titled ‘Implementing Bologna: from rhetoric to reality‘ in Tallinn (Estonia) on 14-15 October 2010. It is organised by EURASHE, the Estonian Rectors Conference of UAS (RKRN), Mainor Business School and the EquNet project.
At the Budapest Convention of EURASHE (March 2010) prior to the Ministerial Meetings in Budapest and Vienna we brought a State of the Art of the implementation of ‘Bologna’ in professional HE, while identifying areas for improvement in the main priority areas. This resulted into the publication of a summative document, called EURASHE’s 10 commitments for the EHEA in 2020 – Visions and Strategies, where we expressed our expectations for the next decade.
In the 20th Annual conference of EURASHE we look more concretely at the aspects of the Bologna process that need more attention when it comes to implementation on the level of the institutions. We especially focus on the Social Dimension aspect, as we consider the attention to ‘fair access to education’ a major feature of professional HE. At the same time we look at how ‘external’ agendas (have) influence(d) European higher education policy, in particular the Lisbon Agenda, thus providing a wider background for the HE institutions to grasp the impact of ‘Bologna’.
The Tallinn event is also a 20th Anniversary celebration of EURASHE as an association, coinciding with the launch of the European Higher Education Area in 2020. We highlight this by means of a special EURASHE publication of 10 scientific articles dealing with the priority areas of the HE reform, and consisting of contributions from individual experts in higher education, who are affiliated to EURASHE or have a stake in professional HE. Three conference tracks presented and debated upon in plenary sessions, with breakout sessions for interactive workshops.
EURASHE on Bologna 2010-2020
EURASHE will have presented at the Ministerial conference in Budapest and Vienna (11-12 March) its ‘Ten Commitments’ from professional higher education towards ‘Bologna 2020’. In this year of celebration for both EURASHE and the EHEA, we are also taking stock of the effects of the reform in a number of key priority areas, as they were defined in the 2009 Ministerial Communiqué of Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium).
Lisbon 2010 impact
The Lisbon 2010 Agenda, in which Higher education was recognized as the motor of change in Europe, has now come to an end. The Lisbon agenda initiative of the European Union, which aimed at making Europe the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world, has not given the expected results. Interim reports already in 2004 (Kok Report) pointed at failures to even reach the most modest targets. The 2020 Strategy of the EU will need to take into account the contribution of Universities of Applied Sciences in the knowledge transfer and to improve the skills of the graduates that the labour market requires. Therefore it is important to give the floor not only to policymakers, politicians, researchers but also to stakeholders like employers, institutions and students, and try to come to a balanced opinion on this link from the part of professional HE, which comprises the for-profit sector as well as the social and welfare sectors.
2010 European Year of Social Inclusion
The Social Dimension has become a primary focus in the Bologna Process during the past years, and is now high on the agenda of the Spanish and Belgian presidency of the European Union. This track wants to bring the first result of a research study on „access to higher education‟, in which EURASHE is a partner, and which wants to produce ‘indicators of equity’ in EU27+Norway+Iceland. This part of the conference is a first of a series of three special dissemination events in the framework of the three-year EquNet project. EquNet in which the other partners are the European Students Union (ESU), the MENON network, EDEN (European Distance and E-learning Network), research insitutes HIS (Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH) from Germany and ZSI (Zentrum fur Soziale Innovation) from Austria, University of Ljubljana and the SCIENTER research centre of the University of Bologna (Italy) aims at increasing access to higher education for all marginalised and non-traditional groups, based on a principle of equity. The network analyses barriers due to educational background, socio-economic conditions and structural problems in higher education as a part of the Social Dimension.