I've been reading about the Bologna Process recently. It is an initiative which aims "to create the European higher education area by harmonising academic degree standards and quality assurance standards throughout Europe by the end of 2010" http://www.wg.aegee.org/ewg/bologna.htm).
A good source of information on the basics of the Bologna Process is at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/highereducation/ehea2010/bolognapedestrians_en.asp
This website states the by 2010 higher education systems in European countries should be organised in such a way that:
- it is easy to move from one country to the other (within the European Higher Education Area) - for the purpose of further study or employment;
- the attractiveness of European higher education is increased so many people from non-European countries also come to study and/or work in Europe;
- the European Higher Education Area provides Europe with a broad, high quality and advanced knowledge base, and ensures the further development of Europe as a stable, peaceful and tolerant community.
47 countries are part of this initiative, including non European nations. This standardization of degrees and outcomes among member nations is meant increase Europe's competitiveness in attracting international students, and help employers understand the skills and learning graduates will bring to the workplace.
I ran across an interesting article on the attempt to ensure that higher education degrees are relevant in the job market by a process named "tuning." Lawrence, Lee (2010, June 2). Fine-tuning college degrees to the job market; US institutions of higher learning are adapting aspects of "Tuning," a European program to give college degrees more job market relevance. The Christian Science Monitor.
Tuning is a product of the Bologna Process. It is described as "a bottom-up process that has implications for the way professors teach and the how students explain what they've learned." European policymakers realized that they would need to understand "what students need to know, understand and do with any given credential." This led to tuning, which has faculty members meeting with employers and administrators to determine what students in each discipline actually need to know. In the US, credits measure hours spent in the classroom rather than what is learned. This kind of reform would increase transparency about what higher education is actually delivering.
The implications for library instruction and information literacy are huge here. Is there a standardized library curriculum as well? What would the nuances and implications of that kind of policy be?