Critics often see the European Bologna Process as a univocal standardisation of higher education. By exploring how different qualifications frameworks project different social imaginaries of globalisation, this article takes a different stance. The overarching qualifications framework of the Bologna Process rests on a socially constituted and contested concept of globalisation as a change towards a more diverse and unforeseeable world, which calls for the development of flexible, lifelong learners with a broad knowledge base and strong democratic competencies. Although this social imaginary is widely known, I argue that it is also highly contested. For example, the Danish qualifications framework of 2003 projects a social imaginary of globalisation as a change towards a smaller and more predictable world, which enables a novel and more efficient alignment of the curriculum towards specific professional needs, and where the development of a broad knowledge base and democratic competencies are no longer prioritised.
Student perspectives on the risks of fast-track degree completion
Laura Louise Sarauw and Simon Ryberg Madsen
Studies often highlight how standardisation and consent are manufactured through the European Bologna Process (Brøgger 2019; Gibbs et al. 2014; Lawn and Grek 2012). This article shows how students’ conduct is still governed by multiple logics and dilemmas. The context for the article is the Bologna Process and the way it has been applied by the Danish government in the 2014 reforms that sought to fast-track the completion of student degrees. It analyses the impact of changes on students’ conduct through a series of focus group interviews with students who were confronted with the new demands to speed up their progress through their degrees. To illustrate the complexity of this standardisation, the analyses are framed within theoretical ideas of ‘risk’ (Beck 2006) and ‘translation’ (Latour and Callon 1986).
Laura Louise Sarauw, Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu and Penny Welch
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