ADAPTATION OF THE UNIVERSITY TO THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA
Complutense University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The Bologna Process aims to create an European Higher Education Area in which students can choose from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses and benefit from smooth recognition procedures. In 1999, with the Bologna Declaration the European Universities began their way to build the European Higher Education Area. The Bologna Declaration has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and attractive for European students and scholars from other continents. Reform was needed then and reform is still needed today if Europe is to match the performance of the best performing systems in the world, notably the United States and Asia.
The objectives set out in the European Convergence Plan in order to establish the European area of higher education and to promote the European system of higher education world-wide were:
- Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees.
- Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles.
- Establishment of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
- Promotion of mobility with particular attention to students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff.
- Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies.
- Promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education, particularly with regards to curricular development, inter-institutional co-operation, mobility schemes and integrated programs of study, training and research.
Convinced that the establishment of the European area of higher education requires constant support, supervision and adaptation to the continuously evolving needs it has been necessary to develop new legislation affecting national institutions and educational systems. Changes carried out in the teaching-learning process involve financial supports which provide to the university enough resources which are essential to develop several strategies of self-learning and dynamics and techniques of group for the students. It allows us to accommodate a different learning style and it aids in promoting constructivist pedagogy. These new methods are facilitated and supported through the use of information and communication technologies.
To that end, not only financial investments are indispensible but also it is important to provide specific training for students and teachers to keep an open mind on this process. Both professors and students must make an effort to perform joining of classical and new techniques to arise the best method to teach and learn with the highest quality as possible. Undoubtedly, the success of the European Higher Education Area will not be reached if the education community do not set to work with a will.