The Challenge of Bologna
What United States Higher Education Has to Learn from Europe, and Why It Matters That We Learn It

Cloth: 978 1 57922 366 3 / $47.50
Published: January 2010  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 501 8 / $125.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: March 2012  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 502 5 / $37.99
Published: March 2012  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
256 pp., 6" x 9"
In 1999, a declaration formalizing “the European process” was signed at and informally named for Europe’s oldest university: Bologna. “The Bologna Process” has transformed higher education in Europe.

This book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the ability of America’s higher education system to position the country for competitiveness in a global economy, about its failure to broaden access and participation, or to respond to calls for accountability, and specifically about whether it is ready to address the redoubtable challenge that Bologna Process represents on all these issues.

In this book Paul Gaston assesses the Process’ accomplishments, weighing its strengths and weaknesses, and evaluates which features pose a threat, which we can learn from, and which may be inappropriate for our system of higher education.

Bologna’s achievements in making higher education more accessible, in rationalizing and making consistent the evaluation of credits, and the definition and measurement of learning outcomes for all disciplines, all constitute a major “wake-up call” for American higher education.

If we consider Europeans’ increased participation in higher education, their increased graduation rates, and the fact that Europe is retaining more of its students and attracting more international students, American higher education may be losing its competitive advantage.

For all these reasons, it is vital that educators and policy makers understand Bologna and its implications for American higher education. It represents a formidable challenge on a matter of national priority. This book provides that understanding by offering a realistic and balanced account of Bologna’s achievements, and suggesting how US higher education can constructively and effectively respond.

Table of Contents:
Foreword—Carol Geary Schneider
An Expeditious Overview
1) Why Pay Attention to Bologna?
2) The Road to Bologna
3) A Point of Departure
4) Words to Actions: Bologna, Prague, Berlin
5) Urgency and Understanding: Bergen and London
6) Beginning a New Decade: Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve
7) The Challenge For Bologna: Potholes—and Possibilities
8) The Challenge Of Bologna: Access and Mobility
9) The Challenge Of Bologna: Structure and Sequence
10) The Challenge Of Bologna: Effectiveness and Accountability
11) Meeting the Challenge: Improving on Europe’s Example
Appendix: A Guide to Acronyms

Reviews & Endorsements:
"With a masterly approach, Gaston presents an understanding of the Bologna Process and its challenges for U.S. higher education. He offers two perspectives: one chronological and one thematic. Gaston's study focuses on the three Bologna priorities that are most critical to American higher education: access and mobility, structure, and effectiveness. The book's 11 chapters reflect Gaston's deep knowledge of the Bologna Process and express his worries about higher education in the United States. Ultimately, he proposes a process of reform tailored to U.S. higher education needs...Gaston's book effectively illuminates important issues in higher education in regards to needed changes and reforms as seen through his historical and critical overview of the Bologna Process. His message will be of critical interest to international practitioners in higher education, leadership, and policy, and to scholars of international and comparative higher education."
- The Review of Higher Education
"The Challenge of Bologna is more than another summary of what the key elements are or what was accomplished at each of the biennial meetings, although those elements occupy a major portion of the book's content. As Gaston lays out the historical trends taht led to Bologna, he entreats us to consider each step and element as it relates to the unique history and contemporary status of higher education in the United States... Educators would be well served to read and review Gaston's book and use it as the basis for discussions on their campuses
- International Educator
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