The Bologna Process will not only transform the European university landscape. It will contribute decisively to the globalisation of higher education worldwide. The current list of signatories of the Bologna Process includes 45 countries, which goes much beyond the membership of EU, and the number is growing. The harmonisation of educational systems among the signing countries will probably precede ulterior forms of integrationâ-social, economic and cultural--including future membership to EU.
I know that many other universities outside of Europe are preparing themselves for the Bologna future. North American institutions are looking at our continent as a promising future market, which explains the recent disembarking of some in Europe. Ironically, the institution that has developed the best study on the consequences of the Bologna Process in management education has been GMAC, an American company.
The interest in Bologna is also spreading quickly in Latin America. From my recent conversations with fellow deans of that continent, I detect a strong interest in anticipating the effects of Bologna in their region. In fact, some universities in Latin America are already adapting their higher degrees structure âfrom the typical 5 years âlicenciaturaâ to bachelor+master- in order to get ready for the global effects of Bologna
Certainly, Bologna is a major topic at deanâs meetings. Today I was lucky to be the host at IE of Prof. Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, Dean of Effat College in Saudi Arabia, an impressive person with a strong entrepreneurial drive and also a nominee for a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
The subject of Bologna came out over our conversation and we both agreed that it may provide many opportunities of collaboration and understanding between European and Middle East communities. We should resolutely support the Bologna process because it will extend many bridges among civilisations.
(Prof. Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, Dean of Effat College, second from left)