Role and Profile of higher education institutes – Comparative Report


Authors: Baumgartl, Bernd & Mariani, Michele

The book resumes national studies carried out in the course of the project NESOR (New Social Risk in the European knowledge society and higher education). This project, cofounded by the European Union through the Socrates programme, analysed the question about the role and profile of Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) in the European knowledge society. It provides a rich picture on the state-of-the art of the implementation of the Bologna Process and asks for future role of EU higher education institutions in the European knowledge society, especially with respect to social inclusion and sustainable economical development.
After a few years from the launching of the Bologna Process, it has produced different impacts on the different national educational systems, along with different economical and social consequences. Furthermore, the transition towards the European Knowledge Society is proceeding at quite a different pace among the participant countries partly in response to the diverse degrees in which knowledge-based activities are present in the national economies and the importance concede to knowledge as a long-run growth factor.
The transformation of the labour markets has deepened inequalities, between least skilled workers and high-skilled ones. This creates new social risks and calls for proactive strategies also by Higher Education Institutions. To face contemporary challenges, contribute to social cohesion and sustainable economical development, EU higher education institutions must further engage as active agents in the creation of the future society. Curricular adaptations, lifelong learning, assistance in the transition of the education system from education to learning, provision of equal opportunities for all, are all relevant and challenging tasks which definitely are part of the contemporary role of EU Universities.