I met yesterday a Bologna Expert from Turkey (this is how he calls himself even if he is questioning the term). During his visit in our Centre this week, he gave a presentation on the current developments in the implementation of the Bologna Process in Turkey.
It was quite interesting to observ the commonalities between the importance of the Bologna Reform for Turkey and for Romania: European integration, globalization of higher education and a framework for the reform of the national higher education system.

I found it amusing when he stated about the change to the new cycle structure: “Well, we have cycles since 1981, so it was not a real challange to design the new structure to 4(BA)+2(MA)+4(PhD)”. Probably, Turkey belongs also to those countries who just moved forward or backward the time of graduation from the first cycle. Recently, Prof. Teichler commented, in a TV show, the problem of the new Bachelor-Master structure in Germany. The phenomenon, which in my eyes seems to happen in the majority of the European higher education systems, is that all systems want to keep their previous levels of qualification (e.g. ‘Diplom’ or Master), sqeeze somehow the former courses into the new Bachelor programmes and make hereby a “Bonsai-Bachelor” (Teichler, 2009).
The story of ECTS is also funny. In Turkey an own credit system is used, based on contact hours. ECTS is mainly an instrument for recognition of mobility periods. Therefore, the calculation of ECTS points for a course in Turkey is very simple: 30 credits a semester for 6 mandatory courses… that means 5 credits per course.
At least, in Germany, they tried to take over some principles of ECTS, but they tend to fall to the other extreme and increased in this way the student workload very much (which is never evaluated!!): papers, presentations, reviews for each session/course and the obligatory TEST at the end of the semester for each discipline.
German students and pupils started a national education strike last week, against the new system, against tuition fees, against grades for behavior, against the 12th grade high school degree, for more authonomy, more student participation and student voice: Education for all and for free!
We discussed this issue with our guest as well and I was surprised to find out about the the different levels of internalisation of students rights among the student community in Turkey: the social dimension is confused with social activities and the opportinity for a student representative to talk to his/her students in an university event, should be given by the professors. I find this quite sad and it will take some time to change the mentality of students and other stakeholders of the universities in favour of collaboration and partnership. Nevertheless developments in this direction start to appear, because our colleague in Turkey was also student representative before he started his PhD and got a job at the university. And he is very much involved in student information and awareness campaigns, as well as in fostering change in the university through several projects: new teaching techniques trainings for young lecturers, trainings for the students’ unions, building a student centre where social and learning activities will be combined, etc.

One student… reminds me on my first contacts with this issue, on Traian and then Vlady and then the community of Bologna Instigators

We change education! 😉

Teichler, U. (Author) (June 16. 2009). Prüfungen im Bachelorstudium [Television broadcast]. 3Sat. Retrieved June 26. 2009 from URL: http://www.3sat.de/mediathek/mediathek.php?obj=13231&mode=play.

5 Replies to “Sharing Experience”

  1. Well, sure he was an expert! Since the community of people well informed and involved is still so small, those experts are easily recognisable. We were just debating on the fact that everybody in the higher education community should be a little expert on this topic so far…

  2. Well I don't know my Bologna reform that well, but I do know how to make good spaghetti. And there is one thing I know for sure: when ur sauce is too salty and have no ingredients for a new one, is better to just order Pizza (specially when u have a room full of hungry guests).

  3. Mmmm, Spagetti Bolognese…
    but to be sure, that your sauce will be ok, you can buy that fix powder from Knorr/Maggi/etc., add mince meat and make sure that you have, at least at the beginning, always a recipe available… it's like a guide. After some time it won't be necessary even to think that you will have to order Pizza 😉

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