Jürgen Enders

Istruzione superiore "à la bolognese"? Retorica e realtà della riforma universitaria in Germania

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"Internationalisation" and "Europeanisation" became key themes since the 1990s, both in higher education policy debates and in research on higher education. Higher education policy is still predominantly shaped at a national level; and as such, it still tends not only to reflect but to underscore the specific traditions and circumstances of individual countries. However, a number of different trends, many of which can be grouped together under the general heading of "internationalisation", have begun to challenge the predominance of the nation state as the main determinant of the character of universities and colleges. Internationalisation is contributing to, if not leading, a process of rethinking the social, cultural and economic roles of higher education and their configuration in national systems of higher education. This paper addresses the different impacts of internationalisation as a challenge to German higher education, it analyses the role of the European Union and the Bologna process, as well as the ice-breaker function of internationalisation for higher education reform in Germany. A closer look at the complex and dynamic multi-level set-up of internationalisation in European higher education reveals that it not only means varying border-crossing activities that are on the rise, but rather substantial changes towards systematic policies and a growing awareness of international cooperation and competition in a globalising higher education market.

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