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

The Bologna Process and the New Legal Regime of Higher Education Institutions in Portugal

In the context of the current massification of higher education, the development of the scientific knowledge and the modifications in its reproduction processes, as well as the recomposition of the relations between the State, society and economy, lead us to new modes of governance of higher education, still in construction. This trend to the construction of new modes of governance, strongly influenced by the new public management theories, stems from the combination of forms (state, market, community, ?household?), existing or dominant, through which the various activities (and scales) of governance are socially coordinated. In this context, the educational reforms reproduce the speech and the proposals of powerful global players, such as OECD and World Bank.
Specifically for higher education, these agencies suggest four basic reforms: (i) efficiency and accountability, (ii) accreditation and universalization, (iii) international competition, and (iv) privatization. The last OECD report about Tertiary Education is particularly significant. In the scope of this process, the higher educational policies are at risk of being colonized by the economical policy that expresses itself by the articulation between the educational systems and the productive systems, the curricula reorganization and cost reduction. However, despite the convergences processes identified, in particular within the countries that participate in the Bologna process, there is a hybridization of the educational policies of the higher education, given the market limitations and the resistances to its implementation in each country. Under RIAIPE network, we are currently working this issue taking Portugal and Spain contexts (and five others Latin American countries) as subject of study.
In this context and the framework of critical theory, this communication is to present the analysis of connections between the guidelines set out in the Bologna Declaration and the education policies produced in Portugal with a view to creating a European Higher Education Area.