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IHEP: Learning Accountability from Bologna: a Higher Education Policy Primer

Adelman, C. Learning Accountability from Bologna: a Higher Education Policy Primer, Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), 2008.

This report examines the reconstruction of those 46 European higher education systems—known as the “Bologna Process”—in terms of addressing challenges that lie at the core of current debates in the United States about documenting student learning. Written by higher education researcher Clifford Adelman, the study explores the core features of change in Europe that have been created jointly by higher education administrators, faculty, students, and national ministries of education.

This study finds that Europe’s Bologna Process is gaining momentum and could easily become the dominant global model of higher education by 2020. The author therefore advocates serious reforms in American degree standards, credits, and diplomas.

Learning Accountability from Bologna, is the second publication in a five-part IHEP series under its Measuring Global Performance Initiative. The first study, a longer and more detailed essay, The Bologna Club: What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction, was released in May and covers access and accountability issues, and was also written by Adelman. Both publications, along with a Web-based information resource center that includes more than 500 documents in 22 Bologna-inspired topical categories, are available on IHEP's Web site.

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