ERG SES C 08, Education and the Bologna Process
This paper is part of an ongoing PhD research into the Bologna Process (BP) as a process of policy transfer in Ukraine’s higher education. The BP is a European initiative for cooperation in higher education to create a so called European Higher Education Area that would raise attractiveness of Europeand facilitate its competitiveness with other parts of the world. My focus on Ukraineis triggered by the necessity to bring geographical European periphery into scholarly discussion of European higher education policy which has been focused on the EU member states and applicant countries to which Ukrainedoes not belong. Moreover, Ukrainian context presents an interesting site for research because of its ambiguous geopolitical location aspiring both to the EU and Russia.
Refining research questions for this study has been an iterative process along with reviewing different bodies of literature. The major research question is yielded by a gap in literature on the BP, and the subsidiary research questions are formed on the basis of adapting heuristic conceptual framework of Dolowitz and Marsh (2000). The BP is presented in literature from three main perspectives: governance of the BP, reasons to join the BP and the BP implementation implications. The BP transfer process has not been elaborated on fully. To address this issue in this research, conceptual framework which suggest studying policy transfer through asking certain questions was chosen: why transfer happens, who is involved in transfer, what is transferred, from where, what degrees of transfer and constrains on transfer exist, how to demonstrate policy transfer and how transfer leads to policy failure. The claim of the authors of the framework that it is not a theory but a heuristic, and literature review into how policy transfer in general and the BP specifically are approached built a ground for the necessity to alter this conceptual framework slightly by adding, generalising or omitting some questions as well as changing their order with the purpose to use answers to some questions as a background for discussing answers to other questions.
Major research question
What is the nature of the BP policy transfer in the Ukrainian context?
1. What directions characterize the BP transfer, and what actors are present in the BP transfer in Ukraine?
2. What objects, timing and ways of transfer characterize the BP in Ukraine?
3. What are the reasons of the BP transfer in Ukraine?
As mentioned earlier, conceptual framework used to form research questions is a heuristic way to guide research inquiry into policy transfer which suggests that it is not a theory. Theoretical framework of this research is eclectic to some extent which resulted from the consideration that the dimensions of policy transfer I am addressing are not integrated in one theory relevant to the area of my emphasis. Therefore, the network and top-down approaches to policy transfer are combined to frame the discussion of the directions that characterize the BP transfer and actors present in it. Despite some contradicting references in these two approaches, they are chosen because of the tendency towards networking in the BP transfer in Ukraine and simultaneous persistence of a strict centralized control of the Ministry of Education and Science in Ukrainian higher education management. Further, theoretical claim of the Critical Discourse Analysis about policy consisting of text, discourse and practice frames the discussion of the objects of the BP transfer, and policy stages approach that acknowledges mutation of travelling policies is used to guide the discussion of the timing and ways of policy transfer. Finally, the referentiality approach that deals with sources of authority in policy transfer frames the reasons of the BP transfer.
European Higher Education Area http://www.ehea.info/ (accessed December 13, 2013). DeLeon, P. and DeLeon, L. (2002). What Happened to Policy Implementation? An Alternative Approach. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 4, 467-492. Dolowitz, D. and Marsh, D. (2000). Learning from Abroad: the Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making. Governance: an International Journal of Policy and Administration, 13.1, 5-23. Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press. Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (2008). The Bologna Process and the Knowledge-based Economy: a Critical Discourse Analysis Approach, in Jessop, B., Fairclough, N. and Wodak, R. (eds) Education and the Knowledge-based Economy in Europe. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Fimyar, O. (2008a). Educaitonal Policy-making in Post-communist Ukraine as an Example of Emerging Governmentality: Discourse Analysis of Curriculum Choice and Assessment Policy Documents (1999-2003). Journal of Education Policy, 23.6, 571-594. Grek, S. (2013). Expert Moves: International Comparative Testing and the Rise of Expertocracy. Journal of Education Policy, 1-15. Heinze, T. and Knill, C. (2008). Analyzing the Differential Impact of the Bologna Process: Theoretical Considerations on National Conditions for International Policy Convergence. Higher Education, 56.4, 493-510. Janmaat, J. (2008). Nation Building, Democratization and Globalization as Competing Priorities in Ukraine’s Education System. Nationalities Papers, 36.1, 1-23. Lazetic, P. (2010). Managing the Bologna Process at the European Level: Institution and Actor Dynamics. European Journal of Education, 45.4, 549-562. Phillips, D. and Ochs, K. (2004). Researching Policy Borrowing: Some Methodological Challenges in Comparative Education. British Educational Research Journal, 30.6, 773-784. Ravinet, P. (2008). From Voluntary Participation to Monitored Coordination: Why European Countries Feel Increasingly Bound by Their Commitment to the Bologna Process. European Journal of Education, 43.3, 353-367. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2002). Reterritorializating Educational Import: Explorations into the Politics of Educational Borrowing, in Novoa, A. and Lawn, M. (eds) Fabricating Europe: the Formation of an Education Space. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Terry, L. (2010). The Bologna Process and Its Impact in Europe: It’s So Much More than the Degree Changes. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 41.107, 107-228. Zgaga, P. (2009). The Bologna Process and Its Role for Transitional Countries. Revista de la Educacion Superior, 2.150, 83-96.
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