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The Bologna process and the Lisbon strategy: commercialisation of higher education through the back door?

By Sacha Garben


The higher education sectors of European countries have been subjected to an unprecedented amount of reforms over the past decade. Much of these changes are the consequence of the Bologna Process, which introduces a common Bachelor-Master-Doctorate system in the participating countries, with a view to increasing the employability of the European citizen and the international competitiveness of Europe as a whole. Apart from the Bologna Process, the important EU policy project called the Lisbon Strategy clearly affects higher education policy, as its goal is to establish the world’s most competitive knowledge economy. ‘Lisbon’ and ‘Bologna’ increasingly converge, particularly via the Open Method of Coordination, which is not surprising considering that they are both part of the same momentum. This momentum seems to regard education almost exclusively as an economic commodity, and it could therefore be argued that both policy projects contribute to a commercialisation of higher education. The desirability of this development is questionable, and the fact that both Bologna and Lisbon suffer from serious democratic defects indicates that much needed public-wide discussions are lacking

Topics: L Education (General), LB2300 Higher Education, LF Individual institutions (Europe)
Publisher: Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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