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Editorial

Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to the first issue of the second volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Our thanks go to the authors of articles and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher Berghahn and the Editorial Board.

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Editorial

Penny Welch and Wright Susan

Welcome to the third issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. This issue completes the 2008 volume. Our thanks go to the authors of articles and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher, Berghahn, and the editorial board.

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Editorial

‘Why ever are the Europeans doing this to themselves’ asked an American professor recently. He was referring to the Bologna Process, whereby 46 signatory European Ministers offered voluntarily to bring their higher education systems into alignment over a period of 10 years, ending in 2010. This special issue of LATISS looks at how the Bologna process came about, and how it works as a new form of governance in Europe, which creates conformity through peer pressure. We then examine two elements of the Bologna process in detail – the standardised degree cycle and the qualifications frameworks. Hopefully, this special issue1 goes some way to answering the American colleague’s question and, at the same time, contributes to a critical assessment of the Bologna process as it nears its target date for completion.

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'Internationalisation' and the Social Sciences

David Mills

We hear ever more about the internationalisation of higher education. As U.K. universities become increasingly exposed to the vagaries of international student demand, administrators are scrambling to develop ‘internationalisation’ strategies, whilst academics are being encouraged to incorporate ‘international perspectives’ into their curricula. Even the U.K.’s Centre for Learning and Teaching Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP) has a strategic aim to promote ‘best practice in the internationalisation of the student learning experience’. It sounds impressive, but what does it mean in practice? Internationalisation has become a buzzword that everyone can use without having to agree on what they mean. The word’s descriptive malleability is its analytical downfall.