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The Modernisation of European Universities

Cross-National Academic Perspectives

Series:

Marek Kwiek and Andrzej Kurkiewicz

The recent decade brought about new ways of thinking about universities. European-level educational policies became increasingly influential as the agenda of university reforms was viewed as part of greater Lisbon strategy reforms. National governments adopted the economic concept of the university consistently developed in subsequent official documents of the European Commission. The EU member states currently need to balance their educational policies between the requirements of policies promoted by the EU and the requirements of their national systems. Additionally, the national educational policies are under high pressure due to globalisation. European universities and European academics operate in the midst of these large-scale changes. Their interpretations of and their responses to what is termed «the modernisation agenda of European universities» are at the core of this volume.

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Preface. Barbara Kudrycka

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Preface Barbara Kudrycka It is my great honour to present to you this publication from the Conference on the Modernization of Higher Education which took place on 24-25 of October 2011 in Sopot. This conference has been the most important event in the frame- work of the Polish Presidency priority for the modernization of higher educa- tion. It clearly corresponded to the new Commission Communication on the modernization of higher education systems in Europe and preceded the adoption of the Council conclusion on the modernization of higher education. The conference on higher education was organized in the near neighbour- hood of the cradle of the Solidarity movement which started the process of de- mocratization in Central and Eastern Europe. Thanks to these changes we can progressively implement the elements of a modern society which obviously en- compass the transformation of education policies. In the last two decades new challenges have appeared, and these concern to differing extents all Member States. The global race for talents, along with de- mographic changes and other challenges of the global world, force us reflect on a new reform agenda for the higher education systems of Europe. Apart from this, for several years Europe has been facing financial difficulties, as well as a crisis in the labour market which can be characterized as the growing uncertain- ty of graduates’ prospects and the skills mismatch. Universities providing socie- ty with the most qualified human capital have a huge responsibility for overcom- ing this situation. The Ministers...

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