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Opening of higher education? A lifelong learning perspective on the Bologna process

Anja P. Jakobi and Alessandra Rusconi

No SP I 2008-502, Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Skill Formation and Labor Markets from Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB)

Abstract: Since 1999, European education ministers have discussed and further implemented the "Bologna process", a wide-ranging framework for the reform of higher education. Lifelong learning was added as a goal of the process in 2001. This article evaluates the extent to which the development of lifelong learning has progressed and examines whether the Bologna process has facilitated lifelong learning opportunities in a sample of countries. The evaluation of legislative instruments and policy positions of different stakeholders in Germany, France, Italy and the UK shows that countries link quite different strategies to lifelong learning in higher education. Specific national approaches exist which facilitate or restrict its development. Thus far, the impact of the Bologna process on this issue has been modest. The process has mainly had an impact on the discussion regarding lifelong learning, not necessarily whether and how such policies and programs are implemented.

Date: 2008
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