Europe urged to get a move on

June 14, 2002

Viviane Reding, the European Union's commissioner for education, has admitted a lot more work remains to be done to make the European higher education area a reality by 2010.

"We are still far away from a situation in which transparency, quality and recognition are common features in Europe," she told a conference in the Netherlands.

In particular, a "special push" was needed in the areas of credits for lifelong learning, European masters programmes and quality assurance, she said. She called on European universities to pool their resources to create high-quality masters courses that could be operating as early as 2003 or 2004.

They would be supported financially by the European Commission through the EU's Socrates programme. And Brussels would also help in developing quality assurance and in establishing a credit system for lifelong learning, she promised.

The Tuning Educational Structures in Europe conference was held late last month to consider research coordinated by the universities of Duesto in Spain and Gronigen in the Netherlands. The universities examined the competences required of historians, physicists and veterinary practitioners, focusing on what such people should know and be able to do after the first (bachelors) or second (masters) cycle.

Peter van der Hijden, who is handling the project for the Commission, said that the UK was already "advanced" in terms of transparency. "You have benchmarks, you have a lot of evaluation so in that way we can only learn from the UK." But, he added, there was a lot of fine-tuning to do.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns