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COUNCIL OF EUROPE Directorate of School, Out-Of-School And Higher Education, Higher Education and Research Division and PEOPLES’ FRIENDSHIP UNIVERSITY OF RUSSIA INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR MAKING THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA A REALITY: THE ROLE OF STUDENTS
Making the European Higher Education Area a Reality: the Role of Students The Social Dimension of Higher Education Moscow 2 -3 November 2006 Germain Dondelinger
Goals set forward in the Bologna Declaration n n n Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees bachelor/master/Ph. D EQF Adoption of a degree structure based on two main cycles Berlin : 3 cycles Adoption of a system of credits ECTS Elimination of obstacles that impede mobility of students and job seekers Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance Promotion of necessary European dimension in higher education Promotion of social dimension (Prague)
Social Dimension n n The Social Dimension includes all provisions needed for having equal access to, progress in and completion of higher education. The Social Dimension aims at reducing social gaps and at strengthening social cohesion.
Equitable access Higher education should reflect the make-up of the social body and thus reflect the diversity of the populations. outreach strategies/anti-discrimination legislation/positive discrimination quid selection of students on the basis of merit and capacity + quid quality assurance? whose responsibility: state or institution? n
Access- mobility n n Mobility should be available to all. Need to make every effort to remove all obstacles to mobility, inter alia recognition of study periods, portability of grants and loans and visa policies.
Socio-economic living conditions Each student should be able to support himself while studying. Yet, how to define “support”: n Different systems of grants and loans in the EHEA (grants independent of parents’ income, dependent on parents’ income, states without grants) n Different income tax systems n Different systems of tuition fees
The social dimension and the welfare state n Education and the university by extension act as a public instrument for the re-distribution of wealth through investing in social mobility and above all through public investment in the younger generation. This welfare state model defines and measures how far the university has met its obligations of social cohesion in terms of groups defined by social background or relative disadvantage.
The social dimension university community The social dimension also includes a definition of the social relations that exist among people. participation of students in the decision making processes of the university the values of the academic community: probity, intellectual rigor, disinterested research, critical questioning of long held assumptions, etc n
The foundation stones n The Enlightenment ideal of education was Bildung, i. e. producing responsible, autonomous and mature individuals, with strong emphasis on national Bildung. close alignment of higher education with the public service: “effectis civilis”, i. e. certain university degrees are held to be valid to compete for a place in public service Is this the ultimate definition of “higher education as a public good”?
The economic dimension EU policies: the Lisbon Agenda n The political insight that the positive development of central Community activities, particularly those concerning innovation, competitiveness and employment, depends heavily on human resources and thus on high-quality education and training. n Awareness in the political community that in global competition the EU will be visible and play a leading role only if it presents itself as an education area with common, internationally attractive education and training programmes.
The economic dimension 2 n The relationship between social cohesion and economic development which, in the welfare state interpretation of higher education, saw social cohesion as the path that led on to economic future, was reversed. Economic development is the prior condition to social stability. This is not to say that the place of the university is any less central to society.
Change of paradigm for universities n n Universities are agents of change if: Deregulation institutional autonomy accountability Next to the establishment of private providers, the pressure on universities for transparency and public accountability, the focus on costs and effectiveness, the use made of performance contracting signal the invasion of a corporate/culture/business attitude into the academic world.
Change of paradigm n n The primacy of the institution and organisation over the community; The student as “client” of the service provider but also acting as client.
A new social dimension for universities 1) socialising students to their role in society n Socialising to the community, which means preparation for civic engagement or democratic participation (preparation for the participation in the community as citizens of a democracy), n socialising to the life of mind which consists in introducing students to intellectual concepts and giving them the ability to think critically, n socialising to the profession.
A new social dimension for universities 2) providing all citizens with social mobility : in a society that is knowledge driven access to higher education determines who fully participates in society.
A new social dimension for universities 3) upholding the university as the home of disinterested scholarship and unfettered debate : “Pasteur’s quadrant”. Motivated by the practical need to prevent food from spoiling, Pasteur uncovered previously unimagined forms of life and thus laid the foundations of microbiology a century ago. Basic science was advanced because people had a practical need to know.
Pasteur’s quadrant Creative production of new knowledge Pasteur User friendly innovation
The social dimension as part of the Knowledge Triangle Education Research Innovation
n Thank you very much for your attention