Results implementing the Bologna process in higher education

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The paper approach a very topical issue from the perspective of applying the Bologna process in higher education, the development of cognitive competence at the students of Romanian universities. The paper is like an x-ray, which aims to shape the facto state in which the higher education is found, bringing in foreground the attempts to reform it, the objectives of this reform and the degree in which this public policy touched their objectives. The paper is facing various methodological limits, particularly in what concerns the existence of a participative assessment, which to include the observations of the first actors aimed by the reform policies of the higher education - teachers, respective the students. The paper has as importance the education and contribution analysis which should the higher education have in transforming the permanent learning (long-life learning) into a reality. For this the higher education must extend the possibilities of continuous training including through the recognition of previous diplomas and to provide more flexible training routes.

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The Bologna process is a framework through which the European states have proposed to create, by 2010, a Unique European Space of the Higher Education. The paper has as objective an analysis of the concrete measures that were taken in Romania to achieve the established goals through the Bologna proves, and in what extent they were adequate to achieve these objectives. Moreover, the paper seeks to determine the quality of the obtained results, in terms of efficiency and adequacy of these initial policy goals.

The paper has as importance the education analysis and contribution that the higher education must have in transforming the permanent learning (long-life learning) into a reality. In terms of methodology, the paper is based on technical, descriptive and appreciative evaluation. The challenge is found the correct implementation of reforms that involve both structural changes, as well as and profound transformations, at the level of the attitudes and behaviors of teachers and students.

The Bologna Process reforms offer several tools of change that will, if implemented properly, will produce the positive effects that we expected long. This paper presents results of research conducted on a total of 15 universities from Romania and proposes some solutions for a correct implementation of the Bologna process. Finally it will be analyzed within a national debate the implementation of the Bologna Process.

Methodology

In terms of methodology, the paper is based on technical, descriptive and appreciative evaluation, rather than one to propose innovative solutions for the Romanian higher education reform. Also, the analysis part of the documents it is important. The used data are from official sources currently available.

Thus, there were used reports of the Ministry of Educations and Research on implementing the Bologna process, the legislative texts and available public information about the activity of different institutions in implementing the Bologna process.

Results

The Bologna Process is a framework through which the European states have proposed to create by 2010, a unique European Higher Education Area. Achieving this goal is to develop in Europe a competitive economy, based on knowledge, which would have the potential to provide better jobs and create a greater social cohesion.

We considered particularly interesting an approach of this issue in terms of major changes made concerning the Reform made in the Romanian higher education. The paper aims at analysis of the concrete measures that were taken in Romania to achieve the goals set by the Bologna process, and in what extent they were adequate to achieve these goals. On other side, the paper seeks to determine and the quality of the obtained results, in terms of efficiency and adequacy of those to their initial goals of the policy.

The study of the higher education reform from Romania in the contest of the Bologna process will present the following results:

statistical assessment of the satisfaction degree of the employees concerni9ng the quality of the higher educations graduates. Identification the solutions concerning the increase of the degree of satisfaction of the employees concerning the preparation level of the graduates;

the assessment of the absorption degree of the graduates of higher education by the Romanian economy in recent years

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proposes concerning the assimilation of the practical activity of the students to meet the demand of the employers in the labor market in Romania

Worldwide is found a systematic concern of founding the directions, forms, and the educational devices most appropriate in the view of the modernization of the teaching-learning process in the university environment. A good example in this regard is the annual congresses of the International Association of University Education, which organized this year the XXIII Congress on the issue of university pedagogy, and Romania started to be present only in 2005. At the University from Louvain runs an Institute of University Education and Multimedia with interests concerning the modernization university education in harmony with the Bologna Process.

Changing a education system, his innovation, but especially the replacement of the old one with a new one claiming a clear conception (which to crystallize the orientation), then the option for an appropriate structure and strategy to which to ensure the more productive use of the types of reform. The experience shows that the reform gets through strictly defined stages, one being the perquisite for the beginning of the next. In general lines, these steps should include the following:

Elaboration Projecting Innovation of the components of

of educational new structures education process

Conent Methods Organization

(curriculum) forms

Figure 1 Stages of education reform

At us the reform process hasn't adapted to the validated model, lacking the articulation between the new paradigm of education and the practice approach. Innovation in this area has preserved the traditional models, which became operational from early 50s or even earlier, were totally inadequate for an approach at the macro-structure level:

ressearch experiment validation generalization

In specialized on the field in by the in university

centers universities authorities (MEN) network

Figure 2 The model of reform process

Adopting a system essentially based on two circles, of sub-graduation and of graduation. The access to the second cycle shall require the successful completion of the first cycle studies, which could last at least three years. The received diploma after the completion of the first cycle will also be relevant for the European labor market as an appropriate level of qualification. The second cycle should lead towards the master and/or doctorate diploma, as it happens in many countries of Europe. The Bologna process follows the harmonization of the education systems to achieve, by 2010, a European Area of the Higher Education.

According to the standards ISO, SR EN ISO 9001: 2001 (Quality Management Systems, Requests) to all processes may be applied the methodology known as PDCA cycle (0.2 - Note in standard), and therefore and of the student-centered learning process.

It is summarized in the figure below, and the terms are explained after the figure.

Figure 3. PDCA cycle

The challenge is in the correct implementation of the reforms that involve both structural reforms, and profound changes in the attitudes and behaviors level of the teachers and students. The problem that we were addressing is that the Bologna process is vague perceived and sometimes wrong in the Romanian academic environment, motive for which it doesn't have support. The project is developed in 15 countries and has 3 stages. In the first stage, the representatives of the students will found within a training session of two days, how should be correctly implemented the reforms of the Bologna Process.

The second phase involved the organization, in every university of Bologna Week, within which it will be distributed letters for teachers, brochures for students, there will be shared Stike, it will be promoted through posters and flyers the competition for students, it will be promoted the on-line project, in each university, it will be organized a local debate on the Bologna Process theme.

Finally, it will be analyzed within a debate at national level the implementation of Bologna process. In this debate will be presented the project results, the Black Book of the Bologna Process and a ranking of universities on the implementation of Bologna reforms.

The universities are among the key players in building a strategy based on society knowledge. Through their teaching, they broadcast their knowledge and improve them in the stock of human capital; through the research they perform, the universities expands the knowledge horizons; as well and through tier activities, other, of knowledge transfer to give to the rest of society, jobs with the established industry and of creating new companies. And the contribution of universities for society goes beyond the economic and technical progress, because they succeed to maintain a culture that favors an environment for the graduates.

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As Europe approaches the world technology frontier and leaves the possibility of catching era behind, innovation and highly-educated people have become crucial drivers of its growth potential. In the case in which the forces are indeed to be deployed in Europe, to create the most competitive economy and society based on the knowledge of the 21st, the European universities must play a central role. But most European universities do not currently seem to be in a position to achieve their potential into an important number of ways. In a still too fragmented European higher education and research area, the universities are affected by a combination of excessive public control, bad governance coupled with insufficient funding opportunities. As a result, compared with their counterparts in the U.S., Australia and other countries (perhaps also China), are behind or falling behind in the international competition increased talented academics and students, and misses fast changing research agendas, innovative opportunities and teaching curricula. Modernization of universities in Europe, involving interlinked roles of education, research and innovation, has therefore rightly been acknowledged as a prerequisite for the success of a move towards an increasingly global economy and based knowledge.

Various policies identified key elements for change, the EU and also in many European countries. Stimulated by the Bologna process, many countries have started designing a reform process. However, few countries make them national priority. However, these changes are crucial for regeneration capacity growth in Europe. Perhaps the governments rightly to give priority providing funding to primary and secondary education rather than university. But university system reform is not just a matter of pumping more public money into the system.

The social dimension of the European Higher Education Area and the one of the Research is seen in the schemes elaboration that aims at improving the efficiency of academic activity and of the opportunities of students succeeding. The appropriate arrangements for the methodological and educational support contribute mostly to a battle between the social and cultural handicaps that disadvantage certain groups of studying youth.

In connection with the referring schemes at monitoring the academic work, the formulas which allow considering, in a flexible way, of the studies ways, the specific difficulties and the behavior of the students from different environments make possible the providing of appropriate answers according with different groups of students attracted by the higher education.

The human Resources Development Strategy within the University must have in its matrix, strategic objectives of maximum resonance in which is individualized ways of development that lead to towards formulation of specific objectives (measures and solutions) designed to eliminate the dysfunctions and to optimize the entire activity of the institution.

We propose as objectives

The activity efficiency of the existing human resource through:

Development Directions: Raising the performance standards in the spread of international recognition, so that through competition and competitiveness to meet the proposed desideratum; Establishment of research groups and departments around new scientific personalities with certified value. The selection and appointment of new highly competitive university professors, authors, authors of novel approaches, assumptions, theories, conceptualization, methodologies, etc. recognized in country and abroad. Stronger orientation of chairs towards the top scientific research and cultural innovation; Strict correlation with the title, curriculum specific and research program of the chairs reported to the current international standards.

Infusion of new competitive staff

Development directions: Improving the faculties' situation, department or chairs in terms of the occupancy degree with teachers. Hiring new staff will focus on both the young performers and consecrated specialists, with the recognized professional performances; the growth phased of the minimum degree of occupancy of the didactic posts, at all faculties and chairs at over 70% by 2012. Employment without delay young assistants and competitive lecturers for optimal adjustment of the pyramid functions. Employment of new teachers will be made by each faculty, line of study, department, chair strictly correlated with the financial resources.

Each chair, department or faculty has to achieve an optimal staff structure, with a global mindset by placing on the forefront the interest of the institution and its goals. By optimal structure we mean the harmonization of the number and staff categories with the number of students, with the applications from the labor work, with the dynamic of the educational policies, with the development directions of the specializations, lines and levels of training.

Rapid integration, effective in the structure and objectives of the institution by:

revitalization the relation mentor-disciple

simulating measures (facilitate granted to the beginners, coaching, etc.)

higher motivation, which aims to establish in the employee's option the principle of comparative advantage

Continuous training of the personnel, according to the desideratum of the institutions and the specific of the provided service:

Development directions:

Flexible, efficient politics of the profile specialization through:

training activities

doctoral and postdoctoral scholarship

educational and training placement

exchange of experience

regular evaluation (internal and/or external) is a obligatory conditions of accreditations (re assessment), on the post, institutionalized procedure

ptimizing the professional pyramid and adjusting the input-output systematic report through harmonized feedback

Development directions:

Optimization of hierarchical reports between de staff grades (triangular pyramid functions);

Rigorous compliance of the performance standards for each step in promoting the hierarchical step

Avoidance of syncope or massive flow and employment of non didactic and didactic staff

Modern, academic, attractive management of career

Development directions:

Reorienting the personnel policy towards the professionalism cultivation, of the criteria of international competitiveness, of certain intellectual values;

Transforming the university by the conditions offered to its own staff, into an "elected preferential employer"

Continuous assessment and optimization of the competences

Reducing of loading with non-productive scientific tasks the valuable personnel

Institutionalization the mentor with a major role in training, selection, development and socialization of the young specialists

Regardless of the measure implemented, either referring on a effort focused on surveillance, or by using the appropriate arrangements of surveillance, or by testing different ways of support, these measures increase the succeeding chances of the students from the social groups, which, until, recently had no access to the higher education. Therefore, they are coherent in what concerns the efforts made to expand the number of admitted in the higher education.

Conclusions

The process takes into account the orientation of higher education systems from Europe towards a more transparent place, which to place the national diversified systems within a common framework, relying on three cycles: Bachelor, Master and PhD. Romania signed the Bologna Declaration in 1999, committing it to include the established objectives in the priorities of the Romanian higher education. The challenge is in the correct implementation of reforms that involve both structural changes, and profound changes at the level of attitudes and behaviors of the professors and students.

Creating the European Higher Education Area in which the education systems and the diplomas are harmonized - this is the main goal of the Reform from Bologna which was signed in 19999 by the European minister who dealt with education. The reform will be concretized in 2010, in Switzerland. Thus, the major European schools will have to by 2010 to fold at the new European systems of education, for the primary purpose of the declaration to be completed. The reform from Bologna is a first step towards a methodology f inter-culture because it has established in the education system principles which led to its standardization and which gave to each youth, regardless of its origin country, the possibility to know and exploit the potential of the EU countries.

All these principle that were established at the higher education level it could be a basis and a starting point for all the other domains, ensuring thus the success of a true united Europe. We noticed that throughout the paper that is desired some standardization of the European education system. This uniformity is based on a union between the European countries for a better understanding and development on all levels. It is an important step for the whole Europe to be a whole and can talk about a evolution and a growth both economically and socially. The problem that we studied is that the Bologna Process is vague and sometimes wrong perceived in the Romanian academic environment, motive because it doesn't have support. The reforms of Bologna Process provide several tools of changing, which if they will be implemented correctly, will produce positive effects that we long expected.