The Bologna Process and the Lisbon Research Agenda: the European Commission s expanding role in higher education discourse

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1 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Oxford, UKEJEDEuropean Journal of Education Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006June Original ArticlesEuropean Journal of EducationRuth Keeling European Journal of Education, Vol. 41, No. 2, 2006 The Bologna Process and the Lisbon Research Agenda: the European Commission s expanding role in higher education discourse RUTH KEELING Introduction Higher education continues to be acknowledged as one of the primary policy responsibilities of European nation-states. However, national higher education arrangements are increasingly affected by international pressures, and the higher education sector in Europe is at present significantly influenced by two Europeanlevel policy developments: firstly, the higher education reforms initiated by the Bologna Process, and, secondly, the research aspects of the European Union s Lisbon Strategy for jobs and growth. Neither the Bologna Process nor the Lisbon Strategy constitutes a comprehensive basis for EU action in higher education. The Bologna Process is an intergovernmental commitment to restructuring higher education systems which extends far beyond the EU and the Lisbon Strategy is part of the Union s wider economic platform that extends beyond the higher education sector. In combination, however, these European-level actions are supporting and stabilising an emergent policy framework for the EU in higher education. The European objectives for higher education emerging through the Bologna and Lisbon Processes have significantly broadened the European Commission s basis for involvement. Furthermore, these developments have confirmed the increasingly central role of the Commission s policy texts in shaping higher education discourse in Europe. The Commission s dynamic association of the Bologna university reforms with its Lisbon research agenda and its successful appropriation of these as European-level issues have placed its perspectives firmly at the heart of higher education policy debates in Europe. The following article explores the process by which the Commission has begun to dominate higher education discourse in Europe and the implications of this for the sector. The Development of EU Higher Education Policy During 2005, the European Commission s educational initiatives regularly made headline news. To begin with, its proposal to establish a European Research Funding Council met with widespread public approval from several high-profile university alliances (LERU, 2005; Glasgow Declaration, 2005; EUA, 2005b). 1 In May 2005, the Bergen ministerial conference of the Bologna Process confirmed the pivotal role of the Commission in supporting the reforms of degree structures, credit transfer, quality assurance and curricular development, which are trans-, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.

2 204 European Journal of Education forming the European Higher Education Area. In June, Commission President Barroso announced the possible launch by the EU of a new higher educational institution, the European Institute of Technology (European Commission, 2005a; European Commission, 2005j). And in October, the Commission announced proudly that almost 90% 2 of European universities are now formally integrated into its ERASMUS mobility, cooperation and thematic networks (European Commission, 2005l). Given the large-scale impact of the Commission s activities in the European higher education landscape, it is easy to forget that higher education is still not clearly an EU competency. The field of education is notable by its absence in the EU s founding Treaties. Primary responsibility for higher education remains expressly reserved to the EU Member States in the Treaty on European Union and the draft Constitutional Treaty. 3 The European Commission s Directorate- General for Education and Culture has a limited legal basis and relatively small financial resources for its supplementary activities in higher education. The European Commission has nonetheless steadily increased its involvement in higher education issues over the past 50 years. 4 At first, the EU s few educational activities were promoted under the banner of vocational training and the recognition of professional qualifications. These initiatives were justified as being essential to securing the free movement of workers and thus the proper functioning of the Internal Market. Following the European Court of Justice decision, Gravier, however, the concept of vocational training was expanded to incorporate most university-level study (ECJ, 1985). The influential ERASMUS mobility programme, launched in 1987, dramatically intensified the Commission s involvement in European higher education, particularly in the areas of credit transfer and university networking. EU-funded ERASMUS scholarships have now supported 1.4 million Europeans to spend a period of their studies in another European country (European Commission, 2005l). The extension of the EU s higher education activities was cautiously acknowledged in the Treaty of Maastricht, which nonetheless carefully delimited the EU s sphere of action to supporting Member States to encourage international mobility and the European dimension. 5 However, this new mandate allowed the Commission to develop a wider range of inter-university cooperation programmes under the SOCRATES framework. 6 The EU s programmes in higher education today address a range of objectives from language support (LINGUA), distance and e-learning (MINERVA), adult education (GRUNDTVIG), to external relations with non-eu third countries through programmes such as TEMPUS and Asia-Link. 7 A comprehensive new Integrated Programme incorporating most of the EU s existing education programmes and initiatives has been proposed for the period (European Commission, 2004a). In 2002, the EU s educational activities gained in prominence when national Ministers responsible for education endorsed the first European-level Work Programme for Education and Training 2010 (European Council, 2002b). This tenyear plan for modernising education systems in EU Member States confirmed the three overarching objectives adopted jointly by the national education ministers the previous year improving quality and effectiveness; facilitating access; and opening up national education and training systems to the world (Education Council, 2001). The Commission s programmes could now be justified as contributing to these strategic goals set by Member States for their education systems, allowing the Commission to adopt a more systematic approach to its expanding

3 Ruth Keeling 205 repertoire of programmes. Member States nonetheless continued to guard their responsibilities for higher education carefully. The specific European benchmarks set in tandem with the Work Programme 2010 provided few concrete common goals for the university sector (European Commission, 2002c). Such legal and political limits continue to prevent the Commission from taking a more direct approach to higher education and universities. Over the past five years, however, the European Commission has extended its involvement in the higher education sector by two additional routes: firstly, through its research policy as an aspect of the EU s Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs and, secondly, by supporting institutional and structural reform of the tertiary education sector under the intergovernmental umbrella of the Bologna Process. These two broad policy Processes have provided new opportunities for the Commission to assert and insert itself in the higher education policy arena. Through financing a range of research initiatives and Bologna reform projects, it has become directly involved with numerous grass-roots activities practical intervention which has done much to increase the EU s visibility and significance for universities. Furthermore, the formal definition of European-level objectives for universities within the Lisbon Strategy and the Bologna Process has complemented and significantly bolstered the goal-setting for the education sector outlined in the EU Member States joint Work Programme This has opened new opportunities for Commission policy activism in higher education. The Lisbon Process and European Research Research features in the Commission s policy agenda through the EU Lisbon Strategy for economic growth and employment. The EU Heads of State and Government, meeting in Lisbon for the Union s Spring Council of 2000, pledged to work towards making the EU the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010 (European Council, 2000). 8 This ambitious policy objective stimulated the European Council in Barcelona in 2002 to commit the EU to the goal of raising overall expenditure on research and development to 3% of GDP by 2010 (European Council, 2002a). With explicit reference to the Lisbon objectives, the Commission released first a Communication (European Commission, 2002a) and then an Action Plan, Investing in Research (European Commission, 2003b). These strategy documents recognised higher education institutions among the key stakeholders in European research: according to the Commission, European universities employ one-third of European researchers and produce 80% of fundamental research in Europe (European Commission, 2005f). In its Action Plan, the Commission stressed the need for coherence in research policies, for increasing public support and resources for research and for improving the framework conditions for research and development in Europe in order to contribute to the Lisbon goals. The grand plan of the Lisbon Strategy was to be pursued cooperatively through the Open Method of Coordination, according to benchmarks and indicators monitored by the Commission. By 2005, however, it was clear that progress at the national level towards achieving the Lisbon objectives had been slow in a number of policy areas. For example, in the education sector, only one of the five educational benchmarks set by the Work Programme 2010, designed in response to the Lisbon call, was on track to be achieved by the target deadline (European

4 206 European Journal of Education Commission and Council, 2004). Achieving the 3% of GDP funding goal for research also seemed highly improbable. The Commission s damning mid-term review in 2005 ( A New Start for the Lisbon Strategy ) announced that the Lisbon Agenda would be redefined to focus primarily on two main goals: growth and jobs (European Commission, 2005a). The critical role of the higher education sector in achieving the desired outcome was highlighted. Although the broader social and ecological objectives of the original Lisbon commitment were relegated to a back seat in the new Lisbon Integrated Guidelines 9, the Work Programme 2010 objectives for education were retained in parallel. Thus, the higher education sector remains implicated through several different policy channels in the implementation of the streamlined Lisbon agenda. For many universities, however, the Commission s targeted financial support for research under its Framework Programmes is more significant in practice than the broad educational objectives of the Work Programme Lisbon and, paradoxically, its lack of progress has strongly confirmed the Commission s mandate for further action relating to research. In 2005, the Commission presented a bold plan to double funds available for research at the European level under the 7 th Research Framework Programme (European Commission, 2005e). Once launched, European universities and research institutes will be eligible for funding under each of its four headings: for cooperation initiatives (in nine priority areas), project-based research (through the European Research Council), researcher support (through the Marie Curie scheme) and for improving research infrastructure. The funding opportunities available through the Commission s research initiatives have generated considerable interest throughout the European university sector (see, for example, EUA 2005a), enhancing the popular legitimacy of the Commission s actions in this area. The growing significance of the research elements of the Lisbon Strategy has provided the Commission with a critical opening to advocate substantial reform of institutional and research management in Europe s universities. This began in 2003 with the key Communication The Role of the Universities in the Europe of Knowledge (European Commission, 2003a), followed in 2005 by Mobilising the Brainpower of Europe (European Commission, 2005b). Calling for a new social contract between the higher education sector and society, the Commission made recommendations concerning institutional governance, financing arrangements and curricular reform, whilst emphasising the need to guarantee universities operational autonomy and to stabilise their core funding. The 2005 Communication and its accompanying Commission Staff Working Paper (European Commission, 2005c) were exceptional in prescribing detailed measures for university reform, including performance-linked pay for academics, tax incentives for university-industry cooperation, and output-related funding for higher education institutions. The Commission explicitly derived its mandate for issuing such detailed recommendations for university reform from the Lisbon goals for European research, while also referencing the complementary Work Programme in education and training. The Bologna Process and Higher Education Reform At the same time, European higher education systems are undergoing radical restructuring in line with objectives defined by the Bologna Process. Like the

5 Ruth Keeling 207 Lisbon Strategy, the Bologna Process is based on an intergovernmental agreement, but its extended membership places it clearly outside the EU s formal policy-making processes. It began in 1999 as a commitment by 29 European governments to pursue complementary higher education reforms in order to establish a European Higher Education Area of compatible national systems (Bologna Declaration 1999). Seven years later, the Process now involves 45 European countries (and the European Commission) as full members, along with a number of representative organisations operating at the European level, including representatives of students (ESIB), higher education institutions (EUA and EURASHE), quality assurance agencies (ENQA), employers (UNICE) and the academic trade unions (Education International). The reform agenda is implemented in a decentralised way at the national level, but it is closely monitored and advanced by European-level reports, conferences, communiqués and policy declarations, which are all structured around a series of biennial ministerial meetings. 10 Under the banner of the Bologna Process, various national reforms have begun to make university qualifications more easily comparable across Europe. The Bologna Process is best known for promoting the introduction of the three-cycle degree structure to European higher education systems. A three-tiered progression of Bachelor s, Master s, and doctoral degrees has quickly become the European standard in participating countries. 11 Furthermore, intergovernmental agreement within the Bologna Process has determined that these national higher education qualifications are now to be organised into an overarching European-wide framework (BOLOGNA WORKING GROUP, 2005a). Within this basic framework, and in line with complementary Lifelong Learning initiatives in many countries, qualifications will be defined according to levels of complexity and difficulty. Generic descriptors of the requisite learning outcomes at each level are being defined by expert working groups, which are intended to be broadly applicable in all national contexts. 12 The Bologna Process also encourages the use of study credits, which can be accumulated and transferred by students as they move between institutions, between countries and across different forms of study. As it develops, more detailed subject-specific guidelines are also being designed and adopted throughout Europe. 13 In addition, the Bologna Process has encouraged manifold developments in the area of quality assurance both within higher education institutions and externally. Since 2003, common standards have been developed for quality assurance processes (ENQA, 2005) and a European network of quality assurance agencies (ENQA) has been established. An associated strand of activity within the Bologna reforms has involved measures to improve the attractiveness and profile of European higher education. This so-called external dimension was the subject of a number of conferences and publications in the lead-up to the ministerial conference at Bergen in May 2005 (e.g. Muche 2005). At the ministerial meeting in Bergen, it was acknowledged that Bologna overall has demonstrated remarkable success. The country scorecards produced by the Bologna Follow-up Group showed good progress in the implementation of the required reforms throughout the emerging European Higher Education Area (BOLOGNA WORKING GROUP, 2005b; Reichert & Tauch, 2005). Comprehensive stocktaking by the European University Association, the student unions and many other groups has demonstrated that Bologna has initiated profound

6 208 European Journal of Education changes in the higher education systems of dozens of countries, despite lingering concerns about the speed and quality of the translation of the Bologna goals at the university grass-roots (Reichert & Tauch, 2005; ESIB, 2005). Over the past five years, therefore, the Bologna Process has had a decisive impact on almost all aspects of higher education in Europe. Although national governments and higher education institutions are themselves leading the way in shaping and implementing the Bologna reforms, the European Commission has played an active role from the beginning. Formally, it is the only non-state member of the Process, and it is also an influential member of the Bologna Follow-up Group which drives developments at the European level between the ministerial reviews every two years. Many of the Bologna initiatives are mainstreaming solutions first developed by the Commission to enhance the international mobility of European students and their qualifications. For example, the EU s credit transfer and accumulation system (known as ECTS), first piloted within Erasmus networks, has become the European standard. The Commission also provides financial incentives for higher education cooperation and reform projects in line with the Bologna objectives (European Commission, 2005h), as well as funding national Bologna Promoters and Bologna information activities (European Commission, 2005g). The Commission has also aligned its own activities with the Bologna reforms. In 2003, it adopted the complementary goals of enhancing transparency, recognition, credit transfer and quality assurance in its Staff Working Document on the implementation of the EU s Work Programme 2010 (European Commission, 2003e). It has actively developed the quality assurance strand of the Bologna Process on behalf of its Member States, most recently through the adoption of its proposal for a European register of recognised Quality Assurance Agencies by the EU Parliament and Council late in 2005 (European Commission, 2004b). The Commission has further promoted joint degrees and the Bachelor/Master structure through its newly-launched Erasmus Mundus Masters programme and other pilot studies. 14 Critically, it has ensured that encouraging synergies between the European Higher Education Area and the EU s European Research Area is recognised as a key Bologna priority (Berlin Communiqué, 2003; Bergen Communiqué, 2005). The European Commission: shaping the discourse? Through the Lisbon and Bologna Processes, along with the complementary development of its portfolio of higher education activities, the Commission has rapidly achieved a strong profile in the European higher education sector. From funding the ministerial meetings of the intergovernmental Bologna Process to its political backing of the nascent European Research Council, the European Commission has become an indispensable player in higher education in Europe. Furthermore, expanding the range of its educational activities to support European research and the Bologna Process has allowed the Commission s emerging vision for higher education in Europe to develop greater political weight with increased impact on a wider scale. The Lisbon-based research agenda and the Bologna Process have assisted the Commission to disseminate an influential European discourse of higher education. A richly-elaborated language for discussing higher education issues is circulated

7 Ruth Keeling 209 through the Commission s Calls for Proposals, its policy documents, and also by its consistent participation in policy discussions at a European level. As Commission President Barroso has pointed out revealingly, we re the only constant in this project... we re always sitting there (Barroso, 2005). The Commission s multilevelled involvement in the language games (Mottier, 2005) of research policy and the Bologna Process have contributed significantly to the development of a widening pool of common sense understandings, roughly coherent lines of argument and self-evident statements of meaning about higher education in Europe. Through its contributions to the Bologna Process and to the European research agenda, the Commission propagates a discourse that constructs higher education as purposeful. A key message embedded in the Bologna objectives and the EU s research policy is that higher education leads somewhere for the individual and for wider society. This assumption permeates the Commission s texts on higher education issues. In the context of the Bologna Process, the Commission consistently depicts learning as an inherently productive activity, through which students accumulate and generate knowledge for personal and social benefit. 15 Knowledge production 16 plays a similarly central role in the EU s research policy discourse: according to Commission texts, researchers create innovations, new technologies, knowledge assets and intellectual property. By maintaining that these research products should be directed towards the benefit of society, the Commission forges a line of argument which necessitates its own preference for applied research. Its documents on Bologna and EU research policy continually reinforce the idea that higher education (and thus policy activism in this area) produces useful results for the individual and society. Furthermore, the Commission s policy documents push the idea that educational activities and outputs are measurable. In its assessments of the Bologna Process and European research, the Commission measures educational achievements both at the level of the individual (in terms of ECTS credits and research output), and also in its comprehensive stocktaking procedures which analyse the performance of participating countries (European Commission, 2005n; BOLOGNA WORKING GROUP, 2005b). 17 In line with wider global trends, the Commission makes constant reference to research assessment exercises, econometric publication citation indices, quantities of triadic patents, and the raw numbers of European Nobel Prize winners (European Commission, 2005n; 2005j; 2005d). Its identification of indicators and its use of benchmarking, in relation to both research and higher education reform, break open the formerly unique status of universities. Higher education institutions are constructed by the Commission as organisations like any other, participating in and competing on an open market, and measurable in terms which transcend the education sector. The Commission also draws on, and combines, the Bologna Process and the EU s research agenda in order to represent higher education as economically beneficial for both individuals and society (European Commission, 2005d). It represents both the Bologna reforms and its research policy initiatives as essential mechanisms for increasing the employability of university graduates (European Commission, 2003c). Its policy texts call for higher education activities to be responsive to the needs of the labour market and industry. According to this discursive logic, higher education results in and corresponds to the up-skilling of the workforce. In this depiction, knowledge is produced and then traded. Education is represented as a product, the researcher as a manufacturer, the

8 210 European Journal of Education student as a consumer, and ECTS credits as the currency of exchange (Nyborg, 2005). Furthermore, these lines of reasoning present higher education as a primarily scientific activity (rather than a creative or inspired process). This is most clearly demonstrated by the increasing attention paid to science, engineering and technologies (European Commission, 2003a; 2003e; 2005j) and in the Commission s demands for institutions and individuals to develop their capacity for strategic research management. Another area common to the Commission s Bologna discourse and its research policy documents is that higher education remains driven by the university. The Commission s assessment of the continuing relevance of these traditional institutions was made explicit in its Communication The Role of Universities in the Europe of Knowledge (European Commission, 2003a) and is a theme continued in the Commission s Communication on University-based Research (European Commission, 2005b). Nonetheless, the Commission consistently depicts higher education as extending beyond the university. This is articulated through its commitment to lifelong learning (European Commission, 2001; European Commission, 2004a) and the validation of non-formal learning (European Council, 2004) and its attempts within the Bologna agenda to facilitate the accreditation of prior learning through the use of ECTS credits. Complementing this, the Commission s research policy also looks beyond the university, advocating breaking down traditional academic disciplines, supporting transdisciplinarity, and establishing academic links with industry and other stakeholders outside the Ivory Tower. The concept of quality is an important (although floating ) signifier within the Lisbon research agenda and the Bologna Process. References to quality feature frequently in Commission documents in relation to the Lisbon and Bologna objectives for higher education, and the notion is clearly integral to the Commission s construction of higher education itself. This is unsurprising, given that the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam made contributing to quality education an EU responsibility, 18 and the Barcelona Spring Council determined that the Commission should assist European education to become a world quality reference (European Council, 2002a). The Commission s involvement in the quality assurance strand of Bologna, and its aims for European research, are consequently directed towards developing a culture of quality (European Commission, 2005b), with a stated preference for supporting students, academics and institutions of high quality. 19 The research-bologna nexus encouraged by the Commission also presents learning and research as a necessarily collaborative activity. Such cooperation is supported by the Commission through university networks (joint degree programmes, thematic networks, Joint European Projects 20 ) and collaboration with industrial partners (Technology Platforms 21 ). Even the process of policy development in European higher education is presented in EU policy texts as collaborative, involving contributions from expert groups, public consultations 22 and contributions from key stakeholders although the Commission remains pivotal as an organiser and gatekeeper of the debate. International collaboration at all levels (as opposed to harmonisation or competition) has become, in the Commission s view, a defining characteristic of European higher education. The Commission also draws on the Lisbon objectives for research and on the Bologna goals to affirm that higher education is inherently international, with contributions and effects that stretch across national boundaries. The transnational

9 Ruth Keeling 211 dimension celebrated by the Commission is an integral aspect of the wider Bologna Process, which aims to dismantle obstacles to the free movement of students and academics. Multinational cooperation is also a fundamental requirement of the EU s financial support for research collaboration. Furthermore, the external dimension of European higher education has become a key action line for both the Bologna Process and the EU s research agenda. Developments in these areas support the Commission s view that higher education constitutes a critical international platform for relations with, and competition with, the US (European Commission, 2005f; 2003a; Potodnik, 2005) and increasingly also with China. This is commonly expressed as attractiveness ; 23 an issue which manifests itself in the Commission s heightened concern with international student numbers and university league tables. This concern with international pre-eminence in higher education is even more striking in its statements on research policy, particularly in relation to science and technology. 24 The Commission s presentation of higher education as purposeful, progressive, successful, economically beneficial, collaborative and international parallels closely its construction of the wider European project. Higher education is thus depicted as quintessentially European. The Commission stresses the European dimension of the national Bologna reforms, presenting mobility and the recognition of qualifications as key to accessing the benefits of European citizenship. This is echoed in its attribution of a European status for researchers (European Commission, 2002b, p. 60; 2003d, p. 64) and the planned introduction of direct funding through a Europe-wide Research Council. The Commission s valorisation of these distinctively European elements in the EU s research policy texts and in the Bologna Process reinforces its position that higher education is a European-level issue, and that investing more and better in the modernisation and quality of universities is a direct investment in the future of Europe and Europeans (European Commission, 2005b, p. 2, emphasis added). Interestingly, as the Commission knits together research and Bologna elements in its policy documents, the wider Bologna reform programme has begun to be re-articulated in terms of its capacity to support European research. By associating the two lines of policy development, the Commission has co-opted the Bologna Process as a necessary mechanism for maximising the socio-economic returns on EU investment in research. Since the intergovernmental review in Berlin (2003), the Bologna Process has formally paid greater attention at the European level to doctoral studies and the training of young researchers. 25 The Bergen Communiqué in 2005 reiterated the need to improve synergies between the Bologna higher education developments and the European Research Area (Bergen Communiqué, 2005, p. 3). The Commission s docking of research policy with the Bologna rhetoric has in consequence resulted in a reframing of the higher education problematic. In its original formulation, the accepted problem to be addressed by the Bologna reforms was the perceived failure of European education systems to be responsive to the economy (Bologna Declaration 1999). Inflected through the Commission s Lisbon Agenda, the main focus becomes the European economy itself drawing higher education reform more firmly within the EU s policy domain. 26 The European higher education discourse promoted by the European Commission is thus a complex hybrid of research and Bologna elements. Although deriving from different policy origins, the Bologna reforms and the EU s research

10 212 European Journal of Education agenda thus mutually reinforce each other discursively and politically. The framing of EU research policy as consistent with the Bologna Process enhances the political legitimacy of the Lisbon objectives in education and research, as Bologna has become a guiding framework for universities in many countries. The discursive strategy of referencing the Bologna Process in relation to EU research also co-opts the powerful Bologna policy network, with its highly developed cooperation and communication lines, in support of the EU s rejuvenated research agenda. Reference to the EU s research policy in turn provides the Commission s Bologna initiatives with enhanced political relevance and a new line of reasoning for these reforms. The effective blending of these two policy fields has allowed the hybridised Bologna-research policy discourse employed by the Commission rapidly to become a widely-accepted even hegemonic perspective for higher education at the European level. 27 The European Commission: dominating the discourse? The overarching discourse on higher education disseminated through its policy texts clearly benefits the European Commission. Invoking the Lisbon Strategy and the Bologna reforms confirms the legitimacy of EU action in higher education, providing external references which justify the Commission s increased activity in the tertiary education sector. This has helped to cement its ongoing role in the Bologna Process, which had been slightly awkward, given that the Process is formally driven by intergovernmental consensus. Emphasising the research elements within higher education has provided the EU with additional grounds for involvement. While the Commission s ability to steer and fast-track the Bologna Process has diminished as its membership expands far beyond the EU-25, the EU s research policy texts have strengthened the argument that higher education necessarily falls within the EU s field of economic competencies, allowing the Commission to continue to express a detailed interest in the management, governance and financing of European universities (European Commission, 2005b). In turn, however, the Bologna Process continues to provide an important political mandate for the Commission s other higher education activities, framing and justifying the active development of initiatives such as the EU s Qualifications Framework, the ECTS grading scale and the European register of quality assurance agencies. In parallel, the expansion of these various activities has initiated a snowballing effect which is rapidly enlarging the Commission s projected role in future research and Bologna developments. Drawing on and developing these multiple policy logics has proved a useful strategy for the European Commission, encouraging the widespread recognition of higher education as a necessarily European domain. The Commission s convergence of research policy and the Bologna Process has broadly consolidated the existence of a European dimension in higher education. 28 The insertion of this logic into a variety of policy documents, reports and funding opportunities has led to the Commission s view of the European dimension becoming an integral part of the prevailing common-sense of higher education policy debates in Europe. As a result, there is growing acceptance on many levels that the concept of Europe is fundamental to higher education, and not simply an EU construction thus naturalising the Commission s involvement. Through the Bologna and research policy frameworks, the Commission has activated a dynamic and attractive con-

11 Ruth Keeling 213 ception of Europe economically powerful, internationally significant, with a well-educated, technologically innovative population that is open to working with the world. This allows higher education to become part of what Cris Shore calls the panoply of cultural devices (Shore, 2000, p. xi) deployed by EU policymakers to support the European project and address its cultural deficit (ibid: 3). 29 Obviously, the development of these influential rationalities cannot simply be read as an EU conspiracy. The Commission s higher education discourse has considerable buy-in and active involvement from the rest of the European higher education community. While higher education actors continue to dispute often stridently its various proposals, they increasingly adopt the same basic terms. National governments, for example, have embraced the Commission s deft combination of research and Bologna priorities, utilising this common language for higher education to describe and contextualise their national reforms. By discursively referencing the Commission s broad objectives for higher education, national governments can articulate additional justifications for their withdrawal from their traditionally active responsibilities for higher education, moving to arms-length steering and the provision of incentives, rather than centralised control. 30 Critically, through the EU s newly-intensified focus on research, the Bologna commitments adopted by education Ministers can be reframed as relevant to powerful elites in the national context leading universities, politicians and the business technology sector. National governments can also draw on the quality argument inherent in the EU s Bologna and research debates to justify providing incentives for their national champions. 31 The amalgamation of research and Bologna policy discourses promoted by the Commission also strengthens the positions of European universities. Higher education institutions have embraced and encouraged this widening of the agenda (Glasgow Declaration 2005, EUA 2005a, p. 2, p. 9), which elevates universities to a European plane and grants them an influential dual status: as actors and as the site of action for EU higher education policy. Emphasising their research functions on the European scale gives universities enhanced importance within their national spheres and also builds their profile internationally. By shifting the focus of Bologna reforms to the higher research degrees, higher education institutions can access new sources of both financial and political support, mobilising a different constellation of stakeholders, including employers and industry. Equally, in countries where there has been minimal support for research, combining EU research priorities with the Bologna reforms can help to introduce research issues into the national agenda (Bologna Follow-up Conference 2005). Universities can draw on their successes in implementing the Bologna reforms to present a new public image as dynamic, outward-looking European institutions, with the capacity to respond to and engage with criticism and new demands. Drawing on the parallel discursive strands of Bologna and the EU s research agenda, universities are redefining themselves as key and independent players on the European stage; a social position denied them during years of tight state control. The EU-approved interpretation of European higher education provides discursive (as well as financial) resources that are allowing many institutions to reclaim their dignity and sense of purpose following the crisis of confidence in European higher education. 32 In line with this, the Commission s discursive logic helpfully suggests that the problem for European universities is the underexploitation of research ( knowledge transfer (European Commission, 2005k),

12 214 European Journal of Education and the lack of international recognition ( readability ) of their qualifications rather than in the underlying quality of their educational products. By adopting and contributing to this hybridised research-bologna policy discourse, universities are able to redefine their missions positively, representing themselves as the powerhouses of the new Europe. Critically, the nexus of the Bologna and EU research policy discourses also benefits academics. The grafting of research onto the Bologna agenda emphasises a positive and high-status academic identity. The Bologna reforms, with their main focus on students, have entailed hard work for the academic community. 33 The rapid transformations in European higher education over the last five years have necessitated an often painful restructuring of working practices and in many cases a loss of professional autonomy in both teaching and research. At the same time, previously tenured or state-supported academics have had to accept changing employment conditions that often entail a greater dependence on short-term contracts. 34 The research-bologna policy discourse enables academics to (re-)activate their newly-prestigious political identity as European researchers. 35 It also powerfully suggests the inherent quality of academic activity. Furthermore, drawing together the Bologna Process and the EU research agenda has also allowed the structuring of a new, high-status and opportunity-rich space of operation for academics in Europe the European Research and Higher Education Areas. However, it is hard to escape the sense that the Commission s re-reading of the Bologna Process in the context of its Lisbon objectives for research primarily benefits the big players old Member States with established elite universities, and the existing top research institutions. Competitive funding under the European Research Council and 7 th Framework programme will principally benefit some quality institutions and some individuals. A new political logic has been created concerning the definition of the major stakeholders (and the competitors) in the challenges facing higher education and the wider European project. The encouragement by the Commission of the convergence of the Bologna Process with the priorities of the research agenda has supported a growing stratification of the higher education sector in the EU. Instead of consolidating across the field, the European Higher Education Area is in consequence being broken up along new lines of differentiation. The dominance of this reading of European higher education leaves limited space for alternative understandings of higher educational objectives, such as nonproductive research, socialising students to the life of the mind (Newman, 2000, p. 6), personal enrichment and the simple satisfaction of curiosity. With its bifold emphasis on the learner 36 and the researcher, the third integral element of higher education teaching also receives little attention or support. The coaching and mentoring role of professors and lecturers, tutors, instructors and supervisors is elided by the dominant discourse. 37 When combined with the loss of job security, this refiguring of the priorities in their professional lives has resulted for many academics in the loss of a sense of vocation (Henkel, 2001). While drawing together the multiple discursive strands of research and Bologna does expand the discursive range of European higher education policy, it has consequently also given a distinctive inflection to higher education discourse that keeps other perspectives and priorities off the agenda. The setting of educational policy at the national level is critically restricted, as national priorities are required to conform, at least notionally, with the European-level objectives. At the institu-

13 Ruth Keeling 215 tional level, the Commission s proclamation of increasing autonomy for universities disguises how tightly they are increasingly bound into quality assurance regimes, performance-based funding, and complex inter-institutional cooperation agreements. Monitoring, reporting, accounting and evaluation mechanisms have become more onerous (Herbst, 2004), and funding is frequently earmarked for externally-defined priorities. The resultant centralising of research management in many institutions is leading to a reduced ability to set priorities at a faculty or department level (see Herbst, 2004 amongst others). In a retreat from its earlier programmes in higher education, the Commission s new-found emphasis on support for institutions also reduces opportunities for entrepreneurial academics to operate more independently on a European-scale. In addition, the priority granted by the Commission to the Bologna Process and European research potentially closes off other fruitful academic connections, for example with other parts of the world. EU funding mechanisms, through initiatives such as Erasmus Mundus or the European Research Council, propagate strict geographic demarcations between Europe and the Other. These oftenartificial distinctions encouraged by the EU-level discourse are particularly frustrating for those European countries with a long history of international collaboration in higher education, such as Switzerland and the UK. The European Commission s Higher Education Discourse: opening space for discussion? Overall, it would seem that it is the European Commission itself which is a prime beneficiary of the higher education discourse it is helping to shape. It has clearly managed to set the agenda both for the Bologna Process and European research policy, playing a central role in maintaining the momentum of current political debate in these areas, and steering their convergence in ways which have affirmed its own centrality. By drawing together these multiple policy strands, the Commission has confirmed higher education as key sphere of operation for the EU. However, although it has woven together multiple elements of its Lisbon research and education strategy with the wider Bologna discourse, the Commission has still not articulated a coherent vision of European higher education. Its policy documents are frequently unclear about the nature of the challenges facing higher education in Europe. Driving concepts such as globalisation, the rise of the knowledge economy, the ageing workforce, international mobility and the information revolution are presented variously (and vaguely) as threats, as solutions and as context. Consequently, the Commission s argumentation in relation to higher education is frequently inconsistent is the higher education sector in the EU of a similar or lesser quality to that of the US? Should the European higher education sector strive primarily for the distinction of its elite or should it focus on access and outreach throughout the community? Is the diversity or convergence of systems to be desired? Despite widespread consensus that Europe is failing to support and exploit research, and to provide attractive opportunities for its students, both the sprawling Bologna and the research agendas invoked by the Commission evidence the difficulty of defining and implementing clear solutions. Consequently, the Bologna Process and the research agenda are fields of debate, rather than cohesive policy lines tightly controlled by the Commission. 38 The Commission itself is not a monolith (Brine, 2004; Shore, 2000), and divisions

14 216 European Journal of Education and disjunctions caused by its internal politics and competing policy perspectives have always marked its approach to higher education (Corbett, 2005). The continuing lack of a unified vision within the Commission s higher education policy discourse means there is still ample space for dispute and challenge. Given that social meanings are contextual, relational and contingent (Howarth, 2005, p. 317), it is important to continue to examine closely the disjunctions and strategic games (Mottier, 2005, p. 257) behind the apparent policy consensus invoked by EU texts. There is growing resistance by some academics, for example, to being defined quantitatively by their research output. 39 Nonetheless, with the Commission acting as gatekeeper and interpreter of the higher education discourse in so many different venues, such alternative perspectives will probably need to be defined as relevant to the European project to be able to mount an effective discursive challenge to the established orthodoxy. Clearly, the European Commission is deeply and multiply implicated in the way European higher education is constituted discursively. It has had a critical influence in shaping the language of the European Higher Education and Research Areas and has articulated a distinctive set of priorities for the higher education sector. By deliberately linking the research agenda with the Bologna reforms, it has enhanced the political weight and legitimacy of both these policy lines. Its incorporation of the Lisbon-oriented research agenda into the Bologna priorities is helping to bring new status, political attention and money to the academy, and has confirmed Bologna as the accepted solution in higher education reform. However, the messy convergence of the two policy lines also provides alternative discursive strands which can be drawn on to affirm other perspectives. The Commission s higher education policy discourse has thus contributed to a rich pool of concepts, values and priorities, which provides considerable space for challenges to be articulated. The Commission is in many ways dominating the discourse, but it has also played a significant part in opening up the discussion of the challenges facing higher education on the European level. Its introduction of Europe to higher education has added a dynamic new layer to an on-going debate which involves an extensive range of players, as it has always done. NOTES 1. See also for a list of contributions in support of the ERC % of higher education institutions in 31 countries are involved in the ERASMUS scheme (European Commission, 2005l). 3. Amsterdam Treaty (Ch. 3, art. 149(1)): The Community shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity. This article is unchanged in the European Union s Constitutional Treaty (Title III, Ch. V, sec. 4, art. III-182: areas where the Union may take coordinating, complementary or supporting action ). 4. See Corbett (2005) for a detailed analysis of the policy entrepreneurship of certain EU officials in higher education. Corbett s work traces the historical

15 Ruth Keeling 217 stages of creating and stabilising a Community policy domain for education, locating the Bologna Process as the latest in a series of initiatives where Commission officials, among others, have discovered opportunities for EU involvement in education policy. See also Hingel (2001). 5. Maastricht Treaty, 1992 (Ch. 3, art. 126): The Community shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States, particularly with regard to the European dimension and international mobility. 6. The second phase of the SOCRATES framework runs from with a budget of EUR 1850 million over the seven years: comm/education/programmes/socrates/socrates_en.html. 7. The TEMPUS programme, for example, is one of the longest-running European Community programmes, established in 1990 to support the eventual eastward enlargement of the EU. Today, it provides a framework for cooperation on modernisation projects in the higher education sector with the EU s immediate neighbours in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Southern Mediterranean region. The EU also supports the Erasmus Mundus programme and has established cooperation agreements in higher education with the US, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, as well as with Latin America through the ALFA programme, and with developing Asian countries, including China, through the Asia-Link : int/comm/education/policies/cooperation/cooperation_en.html. 8. The Union has today set itself a new strategic goal for the next decade: to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. Achieving this goal requires an overall strategy (European Council, 2000). 9. Meeting the Europe s (sic) growth and jobs challenge is the key to unlocking the resources needed to meet our wider economic, social and environmental ambitions (European Commission, 2005a). 10. For a comprehensive list of the Bologna documents, see The next ministerial meeting will be held in London in The legislation for these changes is already largely in place in most participating countries, with more than half of students being enrolled in Bachelor s or Master s programmes (Bergen Communiqué 2005). See also the Eurydice survey (2005, p. 34). 12. These are the so-called Dublin descriptors: content/descriptors/completesetdublindescriptors.doc. Interestingly, these do not match exactly with the proposed level descriptors of the EU s Qualifications Framework, an issue to which the education Ministers referred to with concern in the Bergen Communiqué (2005). See the Commission s comparison in a recent Staff Working Paper (European Commission, 2005i). 13. See Line 2 of the curriculum Tuning project, supported by the Commission: 14. For example, the Commission supported a pilot project on Joint Masters organised by the EUA in See also

16 218 European Journal of Education 15. According to this logic, education functions to empower citizens to move freely between learning settings, jobs, regions and countries, making the most of their knowledge and competences, and to meet the goals and ambitions of the European Union... to be more prosperous, inclusive, tolerant and democratic. (European Commission, 2004a, p. 4, also 14, 17. See also European Commission 2005n, p. 12, p.17 and 2005m, p. 11). 16. The concept of knowledge production is carefully defined as consisting of four subsets (codified knowledge, embodied knowledge, collective goods and innovation) by two policy guidance reports prepared for the Commission (European Commission, 2002b; 2003d). 17. The Commission of course is not alone in this, as similar performance reviews are undertaken by both national governments and international organisations such as the OECD (see 18. Maastricht Treaty, 1992 (Ch. 3, art. 126), Amsterdam Treaty (Ch. 3, art. 149(1)). 19. This is the express objective of the new generation of elite Community programmes such as Erasmus Mundus and the European Research Council. 20. University networking is supported through the EU s TEMPUS programme and a number of ERASMUS-SOCRATES initiatives See also the 6 th Research Framework Programme, index_en.cfm?p= For example, extensive consultation with the higher education community has characterised the Commission s work on the Role of Universities in the Europe of Knowledge, the 7 th Research Framework programme and the embryonic European Institute of Technology. 23. For example, Action 4 of the EU s Erasmus Mundus programme provides financial support for projects which enhance the attractiveness of European higher education. (see also European Commission, 2003a; 2005d, p. 5). 24. See, for example, the Commission s biennial analysis of science and technology indicators (European Commission, 2005n). 25. See the Berlin Communiqué (2003). Two years later, the Bergen Communiqué (2005) explicitly recognised the special dual status of doctoral candidates as both students and first-stage researchers. 26. This is signalled by a subtle shift of emphasis within this higher education policy discourse from the individual to the social. The Bologna Process was originally focused at the micro-level, intended to impact on the qualifications offered by higher education institutions, where each level has the function of preparing the student for the labour market, for further competence building and for active citizenship (Nyborg, 2005). The objective was to make higher education more relevant to the individual, allowing students to move with greater ease between degrees, between countries and from academia to the workplace. Graduates would acquire recognised and readable qualifications, verified by a personalised Diploma Supplement listing their acquired credits. The new emphasis on research expands the discursive focus to society more broadly. The Bologna Process, in its early iterations, thus focused on making Europeans the Commission s research emphasis, by contrast, is on building Europe.

17 Ruth Keeling Hegemony is created when actors link together a disparate set of particular demands in a common discourse so as to construct a more universal political project (Howarth, 2005, p. 323). 28. Research policy and Bologna have both defined a sphere of operation for EU education policy through the use of geographic metaphors: the European Higher Education Area and the Research Area. 29. Commission President Barroso has repeatedly stressed the need to involve young people and universities in the re-launching of the Europe project (see, for example, Barroso, 2005). 30. Multi-annual contracts, lump-sum block grants, formula funding and performance contracting are becoming familiar funding mechanisms throughout the European higher education sector. (See Herbst (2004)) Neave (1995, p. 63) points out, however, that, while multiplying the pipers, the State still remains heavily implicated in the financing of higher education. 31. See, for example, German initiatives such as the Elitenetz in Bavaria ( and the Exzellenzinitiative sponsored jointly by the federal and Länder governments ( 32. This was in part caused by the political fracas arising from the OECD s PISA reports, which drew attention to the underperformance of Europe s education systems in Many academics are split in their view of... whether the time and efforts used on implementing Bologna exceed the benefits that can be derived from it. (Gornitzka & Langfeldt, 2005, p. 8). 34. For comment, see Gornitzka & Langfeldt (2005). In many countries, intellectual property rights also now devolve to institutions rather than to individual academics. 35. Such political subjects arise when agents are identified anew under conditions of dislocation (Howarth, 2005, p. 317, p. 323). 36. For example, Commission texts support the clear message... that traditional systems must be transformed to become much more open and flexible, so that learners can have individual learning pathways, suitable to their needs and interests... (European Commission, 2001, p. 5). 37. On the neglect of the role of teaching in higher education, see also Demeulemeester & Rochat (2001). It should be noted that the Work Programme 2010 places more emphasis on teaching training and support, but this is generally focused on secondary school teaching and vocational training. 38. The dynamic, processual nature of policy-making at the European level is superbly evidenced by both the Bologna Process and the EU s research policy. The EU s Work Programme 2010 similarly sets few concrete limits on its expansive sphere of operation and interpretation. 39. See, for example, the results of the joint consultation on the UK s Research Assessment Exercise (2003), involving the four UK Funding Councils, higher education institutions and other stakeholders: reports/resp/responses.pdf

18 220 European Journal of Education REFERENCES BARROSO, J. M. (2005) Speech at the Open Forum for Commission Staff (September 12), Brussels, Belgium. BERGEN COMMUNIQUÉ (2005) The European Higher Education Area: Achieving the Goals. Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education in 45 countries (May), Bergen, Norway. BERLIN COMMUNIQUÉ (2003) Realising the European Higher Education Area. Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education in 33 European countries (September). BOLOGNA DECLARATION (1999) Towards the European Higher European Area. Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education in 29 European countries (June), Bologna, Italy. BOLOGNA FOLLOW-UP CONFERENCE (2005) The Role of Research in the Bologna Process in Southeast Europe, Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro. BOLOGNA WORKING GROUP (2005a) A Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area. Bologna Working Group Report on Qualifications Frameworks (Copenhagen, Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation). BOLOGNA WORKING GROUP (2005b) Bologna Process Stocktaking. Working Group Report for the Bologna Follow-Up Group, Bergen, Norway. BRINE, J. (2004) The European Social Fund: the Commission, the Member State and levels of governance, European Educational Research Journal, 4, pp CORBETT, A. (2005) Universities and the Europe of Knowledge: Ideas, Institutions and Policy Entrepreneurship in European Union Higher Education, (Houndsmills, Palgrave Macmillian). DEMEULEMEESTER J. & ROCHAT, D. (2001) The European Policy Regarding Education and Training: a critical assessment. SKOPE Research Paper No. 21 (Autumn). EDUCATION COUNCIL (2001) The Concrete Future Objectives of Education and Training Systems (February) (5980/01/EDUC 23), reported to the Stockholm European Council in March ENQA (2005) Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (Helsinki, European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education). ESIB (2005) The Black Book of the Bologna Process (Bergen, the National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB)). EUA (2005a) Annual Report 2004 (Brussels, European University Association). EUA (2005b) Research in Universities: Strategies and Funding (October) Conference Conclusions (Uppsala, European University Association). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2001) Making the European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality (November), Communication, (COM (2001) 678). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2002a) More Research for Europe: Towards 3% of GDP (September), Communication, (COM (2002) 499). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2002b) Higher Education and Research for the ERA: Current Trends and Challenges for the Near Future (October), CORDIS Report by the STRATA-ETAN Expert Group set up by the European Commission (Brussels, Directorate-General for Research).

19 Ruth Keeling 221 EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2002c) European Benchmarks in Education and Training: follow-up to the Lisbon European Council (November), Communication, (COM (2002) 629). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2003a) The Role of the Universities in the Europe of Knowledge (February), Communication, (COM (2003) 58). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2003b) Investing in Research: An Action Plan for Europe (June), Communication, (COM (2003) 226), and annexed Commission Staff Working Paper (April), (SEC (2003) 489). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2003c) Researchers in the European Research Area, One Profession, Multiple Careers (July), Communication, (COM (2003) 436). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2003d) Measures to Improve Higher Education / Research Relations in order to Strengthen the Strategic Base of the ERA (November), CORDIS Report of a High Level Expert Group set up by the European Commission (Brussels, Directorate-General for Research). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2003e) Implementation of the Education and Training 2010 Programme (November), Staff Working Paper, (SEC (2003) 1250). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2004a) Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council Establishing an Integrated Action Programme in the Field of Lifelong Learning ( ) (July), Communication, (COM (2004) 474). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2004b) Proposal for a Recommendation of the Council and of the European Parliament on further European Cooperation in Quality Assurance in Higher Education (October), Communication, (COM (2004) 0642) / (COD 2004/0239). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005a) Working Together for Growth and Jobs: a New Start for the Lisbon Strategy (February), Communication (from Commission President Barroso to the Spring European Council), (COM (2005) 24). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005b) Mobilising the Brainpower of Europe: enabling universities to make their full contribution to the Lisbon Strategy (April), Communication, (COM (2005) 152). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005c) European Higher Education in a Worldwide Perspective (April), Staff Working Paper, (SEC (2005) 518). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005d) EU s Higher Education Achievements and Challenges: Frequently Asked Questions (April 20), Press Memo, (MEMO/05/ 133). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005e) Building the Europe of Knowledge: Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and Council concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (2007 to 2013), and Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for Nuclear Research and Training Activities (2007 to 2011), (April), Communication, (SEC (2005) 430 and 431) / (COM (2005) 119). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005f) European Universities: Enhancing Europe s Research Base (May). Forum on University-based Research for the European Commission (Brussels, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005g) Information Project on Higher Education Reform (Lisbon Strategy and Bologna Process), (June), Call for Tender, (EAC/18/05),

20 222 European Journal of Education EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005h) Europe-wide Participation Projects Contributing to the Realisation of the European Higher Education Area (Bologna Process), (June), Call for Proposals, (EAC/19/2005). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005i) Towards a European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (July), Staff Working Paper, (SEC (2005) 957). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005j) A European Institute of Technology? Public Consultation on the Possible Missions, Objectives, Added-value and Structure of an EIT (September), Services Discussion Paper, education/eit/paper/en.pdf. EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005k) Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme More Research and Innovation Investing for Growth and Employment: A Common Approach (October), Communication, (COM (2005) 488). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005l) Erasmus Networks now cover nine-tenths of Europe s universities (October 20), Press Release (IP/05/1313). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005m) Modernising Education and Training: a vital contribution to prosperity and social cohesion in Europe. Draft 2006 Joint Progress Report of the Council and the Commission {SEC (2005) 1415} on the Implementation of the Education & Training 2010 Work Programme (November), Communication, (COM (2005) 549 final/2). EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2005n) Towards a European Research Area Science, Technology and Innovation: Key Figures CORDIS Report for the European Commission (Brussels, Directorate-General for Research (Information and Communication Unit)). EUROPEAN COMMISSION AND COUNCIL (2004) Education and Training 2010: the success of the Lisbon Strategy hinges on urgent reforms, Joint Interim Report of the Council and the Commission on the Implementation of the Detailed Work Programme on the Follow-up of the Objectives of Education and Training Systems in Europe, by the Commission (November 2003) (COM (2003) 685), by the Education Council (February 2004) (14358/03 EDUC 168) / (6905/04 EDUC 43), submitted in final form to the European Council in March EUROPEAN COUNCIL (2000) Presidency Conclusions (March), Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon.pdf. EUROPEAN COUNCIL (2002a) Presidency Conclusions (March), Barcelona, Spain EUROPEAN COUNCIL (2002b) Detailed Work Programme on the Follow-up of the Objectives of Education and Training Systems in Europe (2002/C 142/01). EUROPEAN COUNCIL (2004) Conclusions of the Council and of the Member States Representatives Meeting within the Council on Common European Principles for the Identification and Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (May), (9600/04 / EDUC 118 SOC 253). EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE (1985) Gravier (ECJ Case 293/83). EURYDICE (2005) Focus on the Structure of Higher Education in Europe (2004/05): National Trends in the Bologna Process (Brussels, Eurydice Information Network on Education in Europe). GLASGOW DECLARATION (2005) Strong Universities for a Strong Europe (April), (Glasgow, European University Association).

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