ERG SES C 08, Education and the Bologna Process
The Bologna is a comprehensive and far-reaching reform process, realizing the creation of a European higher education area (Portela et al., 2009). In tandem with the European level of change, more and more countries are becoming members of this process (Karakhanyan et al., 2012). Along with post-Soviet countries such as Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia, in 2010, Kazakhstan also signed the Bologna declaration and committed to reforming its higher education system in line with its principles.
Adoption of the Bologna process has been a long and complicated process in Kazakhstan.It is yet hard to say whether the Bologna reforms in Kazakhstan are successful or yielding intended results, as the changes are still underway. Nevertheless, the nature and quality of implementation of Bologna may be better understood by asking the actual implementers of these reforms-university teachers.Indeed, research in education policy indicates that policy implementers play a significant role in evaluating reforms, as their perceptions and reactions sometimes may contradict reforms (Spillane et al., 2002; Day et al., 2005; Hargreaves, 2005; Fullan, 2007).
Thus this paper reports findings from a qualitative interpretive case study that explored perceptions of the Bologna reforms in Kazakhstan. A university department in Kazakhstan was chosen as a case. The objectives of the study were to identify and analyse teachers` perceptions, beliefs and expectations regarding the implementation of the Bologna principles in Kazakhstan. Reform administrators have also been interviewed for this study, in order to triangulate teachers` responses and ensure reliability of findings. This qualitative study aimed to reveal how a provincial state university has incorporated the mandatory Bologna principles into the education process.
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