Education International has just published a report on “Enhancing Quality – Academics’ Perceptions of the Bologna Process” specially aimed for dissemination at the Bologna Anniversary Conference taking place in Budapest and Vienna in March 2010.
The report presents the findings of a study undertaken with 34 unions representing higher education staff across 26 European countries. It is a study of the academics’ perceptions of the implementation of the impact of the Bologna Process in their respective countries over the reference period 2005-2009, with an examination of how the Process has affected them in particular, together with an appreciation of other ongoing reforms which are taking place in parallel to the Bologna Process, and which also impact on the daily lives and working conditions of academics.
Among the many findings of the study, we can note that academics are clear in their views that more is left to be done for the proper and full implementation of the Bologna Process in the majority of countries represented in this study, while for a large number of union respondents the impact of the Bologna Process has been largely positive in their respective countries, though a number of them also consider the impact to be more or less neutral.
On the other hand, a clear rise in bureaucratic work for academics as a direct impact of the Bologna Process has been noted. The Process has also been accompanied by a deterioration in remuneration for academic staff, as well as a trend of declining teaching and research conditions in Central and Eastern European countries and a trend of deteriorating teaching conditions in Western Europe. Improved working, teaching and research conditions for academic staff are seen as a prerequisite for a successful outcome to the Bologna Process.
The academic staff participation and involvement in Bologna Process' implementation at the national and institutional levels has been found to be consistently weak and concomitantly detrimental to the implementation of the Process on the whole. The study has further researched additional factors which have manifested themselves as trends impacting on the lack of involvement of academics over the reference period 2005-2009 and the involvement of academics at the European level, with particular reference to the two action lines of quality assurance and mobility as bad and good practice examples respectively.
The academics’ perceptions of the future of the Bologna Process are then outlined in the final substantive part of this study. Academics are reported to have a positive outlook on the future of the Process, perceiving it to be a sign of quality as well as an opportunity for the creation of an academic labour market. While they see room for better organisation of the Process in general, they also largely consider it possible for the Process to open up to continents outside Europe for better comparability across continents and the creation of further opportunities for students and academic staff.
To download a copy of the report in pdf, please click on the link below.