9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Higher Education III Building I, 2E8

Changing values in higher education

The endlessness and relatively modest results of discussions about higher education, its task, its role in society and its transformation is a warning that something is missing from our thinking. The almost ten year old Bologna Process after the creation of its framework is now mature enough so we can focus our attention on the fundamental questions along with the debate over details and practical problems. It would be a good idea to hold clarifying talks about the values we should follow, their priorities of importance and we need to get over the current situation, when the main actors in higher education are confused, unable to be sure, making intellectual and emotional bonding harder for them. This leads to mistaken, dysfunctional decisions and processes. The lecture aims to contribute to this clarifying work. It is based the fact that higher education today, besides its intrinsic values (academic values, production and transfer of scientific knowledge), must undertake to follow the values expected from general education (social equality, effectiveness), and also has to face the transformation and expansion of its own value system, as comply with different labour-market?s demands, institutional autonomy, responsibility to the society as a whole, preservation of European humanist traditions, meeting of different cultures, university as the engine of the economy, innovation etc.).