New and Pressing Challenges for Romanian Higher Education System after 10 Years of Bologna Values Implementation

New and Pressing Challenges for Romanian Higher Education System after 10 Years of Bologna Values Implementation

Dumitru Miron (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5998-8.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter examines a number of issues related to the implementation of reforms in Romania, which focused on the national higher education system in order to internalize the values of the Bologna Process. It presumes that the assumption process of the challenges linked to the educational effects of the globalization and regionalization phenomena must be preceded by solving dilemmas, eliminating conceptual, regulatory, and instrumental fetishes, and changing the behavior of stakeholders involved. The study shows that after 10 years of the Bologna Process implementation, the balance between tradition and modernity is still ambiguous, many areas of uncertainty are kept, being unclear how to place this process within the European economic integration logic, and that much of the expected benefits cannot be seen. This chapter explores the extent to which changes that have occurred in the Romanian higher education system and the tools used for this purpose, strategic or circumstantial.
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Introduction

In the context of the pressing endeavors towards redesigning educational landscape, according to the assumed challenges derived from the new logics of globalization and from the technical-economic paradigm shift, it becomes a sign of normality to focus our scientific attention on the binary relationship between tradition and change both at an institutional level and in terms of regulations. From a theoretical point of view, tradition is based on “a rich practice articulated in time” (Feyerabend, 1978), and tradition as far as higher education is concerned is a very generous one which entailed accumulations, interactions and qualitative leaps. One of the most frequently asked questions refers to the phrases which must be used correctly when we speak about higher education. In the context of the growing internationalization, marketization and massification of education is it advisable to use the singular form (higher education) or the plural one (higher education(s))? The answer to this question must be sought in the dynamic space of globalization which rewrites the balance between homogeneity and diversity. The globalization of education is a process depending on numerous factors both internal and external. As Margison (2006) stated”globalization is inside higher education as well as outside” which makes us reconsider opinions about some pairs of terms such as: adequate vs. inadequate, modern vs. archaic, efficient vs. inefficient. Higher education systems are spaces of dynamism and interdependence. The thing which should concern those who elaborate and implement strategies and policies of tertiary education is whether the anticipated dynamism is a manageable and beneficial one and whether the interdependencies inside and outside the system generate convergence or entropy at its level. The meaningful results of the Romanian higher education are notable and can be used as a starting point for changes necessary at certain stages. On the other side of the previously mentioned binary relationship, the one related to the change in paradigm, it is said that revolutionary modifications occur when “scientists understand and accept that the paradigm postulated by them cannot adequately explain the world to which it refers” (Kuhn, 1970:63).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Higher Education: The final stage in an education system, usually provided by universities.

Bologna Process: An endeavour of the European Union to ensure comparability and compatibility among the qualifications provided by the educational systems in Member countries.

Qualifications Framework: The entirety of qualifications that a graduate may have in a (higher) education system.

Employability: The capacity to gain and maintain employment.

Academic Governance: The formal organization and management of a higher education institution.

European Higher Education Area: An instrument in the Bologna Process, meant to ensure comparability and compatibility between the higher education systems in Member countries.

Student-Centered Education: “An approach to education focusing on the interests of the students” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student-centred_learning ).

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