The Bologna Process Explained

The Bologna Club:What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction

Clifford Adelman, Senior Associate
Institute for Higher Education Policy, May 2008

“Since 1999, 46 European countries have been engaged in reconstructing their higher education systems to bring about a greater degree of “convergence,” i.e. common reference points and operating procedures to create a European Higher Education Area. This voluntary undertaking, a logical extension of the process of European integration that has been deepening since 1950—as well as a cultivation of seedlings of change in higher education that were planted in the 1990s—affects 4000 institutions and 16 million students, an enterprise comparable to the size and scope of higher education in the United States.

The undertaking is known as The Bologna Process, named for the Italian city that is home to Europe’s oldest university, where the education ministers of 29 countries first agreed to the agenda and “action lines” that would bring down education borders in the same way that economic borders had been dissolved. That means harmonization, not standardization. When these national higher education systems work with the same reference points they produce a “zone of mutual trust” that permits recognition of credentials across borders and significant international mobility for their students. Everyone is singing in the same key, though not necessarily with the same tune. In terms reaching across geography and languages, let alone in terms of turning ancient higher education systems on their heads, the Bologna Process is the most far reaching and ambitious reform of higher education ever undertaken.

What has transpired since 1999 cannot be but lightly acknowledged in the United States. While still a work in progress, parts of the Bologna Process have already been imitated in Latin America, North Africa, and Australia. The core features of the Bologna Process have sufficient momentum to become the dominant global higher education model within the next two decades. We had better listen up.”

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Business meets Web 2.0

Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World

Matthew Fraser and  Soumitra Dutta.  Chichester, England ; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, c2008

(ordered for PC)

“The rise of social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Bebo is changing the way we see ourselves, how we interact with each other, how we work and how we do business on a daily basis. Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom explores the powerful forces driving the social networking revolution, the impact of these profound changes, and the far reaching consequences of social networking. Detailing the way social networks affects both individuals and societies as a whole, the book offers a detailed focus on the ways social networking affects the world of business and work. The generation entering the workforce today – and entering boardrooms everywhere – is fully engaged with social networking and its uses. Rather than feeling threatened and paranoid, today’s business leaders need to understand this phenomenon, accept that it won’t go away, and embrace its power in the world of business. ”

Throwing sheep–the blog

Job tenure and long-term employment in decline

Job Loss and the Decline in Job Security in the United States
Henry S. Farber
Princeton University
CEPS Working Paper No. 171, June 2008

“Job tenure and the incidence of long-term employment have declined sharply in the United States. However, rates of job loss as measured by the Displaced Workers Survey (DWS), while cyclical, have not increased. This presents a puzzle that has several potential solutions. One is that, while overall rates of job loss have not increased, rates of job loss for high-tenure workers have increased relative to those for lower-tenure workers. Another is that there has been an increase in rates of job change that is not captured in the limited questions asked in the DWS. Some of this seemingly voluntary job change (e.g., the taking of an offered buy-out) may reflect the kind of worker displacement that the DWS was meant to capture but is not reported as such by workers.

In this study, I address these issues by 1) documenting the decline in job tenure  and long term employment using data from various supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS) from 1973-2006, 2) documenting the lack of secular change in rates of job loss using data from the DWS from 1984-2006, and 3) exploring the extent to which the observed patterns result from a relative increase in rates of job loss among high-tenure workers. I find that the decline in job tenure and long-term employment is restricted to the private sector and that there has been some increase in job tenure and long-term employment in the public sector. I find no secular changes in relative rates of job loss in either sector that could account for these trends. Reconciliation of the trends in the tenure and displacement data must lie with a failure to identify all relevant displacement in the
DWS.”

The reciprocal implications of what we do

The Twenty-First-Century Professoriate
William M. Plater
Academe, July/August 2008.

A philosophical call for a new vision in the future.  The paragraph below is pithy.
Many related and important issues could be addressed within this context: understanding the reciprocal implications of embracing part-time and untenured teachers as members of the profession; defining in specific terms the duties of the profession; linking teaching with research, professional service, and civic engagement as a coherent set of activities; affirming the importance of academic freedom with a pragmatic and principled definition; articulating the reciprocal responsibilities of tenure; accepting responsibility for working conditions and shared governance; and redirecting doctoral education to prepare graduates for a profession as well as a disciplinary specialty or a job.

The need for a robust culture of accountability and transparency

The Competition to Be Transparent
Inside Higher Ed, September 29, 2008.

“A mere two years ago, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education lambasted colleges for providing too little information to the public about how they perform. To produce “a robust culture of accountability and transparency throughout higher education,” the panel wrote in its final report, “[w]e recommend the creation of a consumer-friendly information database on higher education with useful, reliable information on institutions, coupled with a search engine to enable students, parents, policymakers and others to weigh and rank comparative institutional performance.””