Edited by Roger King, Simon Marginson and Rajani Naidoo
Chapter 27: The Bologna Process: From the National to the Regional to the Global, and Back
Jürgen Enders and Don F. Westerheijden INTRODUCTION European higher education has shown itself to be no stranger to change: for the better part of three decades the sector has been included in much broader reforms of public sectors and political systems in western, central and eastern Europe. Since the late 1990s the rate of change has accelerated to unprecedented levels, largely on the shoulders of two European political key agendas: the Bologna Process, whose objectives are to create a European Higher Education Area and to make European higher education more competitive and attractive in a globalizing world, and the European Union’s (EU) growth and innovation strategies (formerly the Lisbon Strategy), which seeks to reform the continent’s higher education and research systems into a more powerful motor for the European knowledge economy. The ‘Modernization Agenda’ of the European Commission (EC) could be added as the third key development, bringing together the reform agendas of the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Strategy and linking them up with a new public management (NPM)- inspired agenda for the modernization of higher education institutions (HEIs). In the following, our main focus will be on the Bologna Process and its links to other major reform agendas for European higher education and research. In analyzing Bologna, three issues will be addressed. First, we focus on the undeniable success story of Bologna as a political project. Certain theoretical strands mainly derived from political studies will be used to shed further light on the dynamics of the...
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