About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1362-1369
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

RE-DESIGNING THE FLEMISH HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE K.U.LEUVEN ASSOCIATION

F. Baert1, A. Descheemaeker2

1Katholieke Hogeschool Sint-Lieven (BELGIUM)
2K.U.Leuven Association (BELGIUM)
In the wake of the Bologna reforms all countries in the EU have been reshaping their higher education systems. The introduction of the bachelor-master degree structure happened in a variety of ways. In some countries, institutions kept their full independence. Some other countries opted for outright mergers between universities and university colleges or even for takeovers where universities absorbed the non-university bachelor institutions.

In Flanders, a key element in the reform of the higher education system was the introduction of a unique system of associations between universities and university colleges. An association is a legal framework of in-depth co-operation between a university and one or more university colleges. Its main tasks are to carry out the educational reforms, to increase the research potential and to optimize the range of study and training programmes. Five associations were formed around the universities of Leuven, Gent, Antwerp, Brussels and Hasselt.

This presentation aims at providing a realistic picture of six years experience with the association model. At the same time it shows how the K.U.Leuven Association dealt with the recent challenges for higher education.
Point of departure is an overview of the Flemish higher education system. Then, an insider’s view on the K.U.Leuven Association will be given. We will focus on its organizational structure, on the cooperation between its members (education, research, contributions to the community) and on the first structural results of this cooperation (integrated and associated faculties; Institute for research in the Fine arts, School of Education).
We confront the realizations of the collaboration with the main fears and expectations formulated by the association members in 2004. Do the results match the expectations? Were the fears founded? We give examples of good practices and detect challenges and opportunities.

At the present time, the stake-holders discuss another far-reaching change of the Flemish higher education system, namely the integration of the master programs of the university colleges in the universities. In answer to this idea, the higher education institutions define their position and adapt their strategies.
New models of operation of the university and the university colleges are conceived. The K.U.Leuven announced its resolute choice for a multicampus model. It investigates the implications on its education policy, research policy, student and staff policy. The university colleges in the K.U.Leuven Association join effort to strengthen the image and position of the professional programmes. What will be the role for the assocation in a landscape where academic programs are offered exclusively by the university and professional programs by the university colleges? We formulate an answer to this question, taking into account the results of the evaluation of the 2004 SWOT-analysis and we examine in what way the association contributes to the continuous improvement of quality in higher education.
@InProceedings{BAERT2009RED,
author = {Baert, F. and Descheemaeker, A.},
title = {RE-DESIGNING THE FLEMISH HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE K.U.LEUVEN ASSOCIATION},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {1362-1369}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Baert AU - A. Descheemaeker
TI - RE-DESIGNING THE FLEMISH HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE K.U.LEUVEN ASSOCIATION
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 1362
EP - 1369
ER -
F. Baert, A. Descheemaeker (2009) RE-DESIGNING THE FLEMISH HIGHER EDUCATION: THE CASE K.U.LEUVEN ASSOCIATION, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 1362-1369.
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