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'TUNING' Educational Structures in Europe
The Project ‘TUNING Educational Structures in Europe’, submitted to the European Commission at the end of the year 2000, is intended to be a two year Pilot project. It is co-ordinated by the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and the University of Deusto, Spain.
Important developments are taking place in the European labour market, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the Bologna process (pdf format) is determining quite fundamental changes in the Higher Education sector and the educational systems at large.
Intensive debates are going on concerning the educational structures as well as the ways study contents are organised and offered, but actual exchange of opinions between foreign institutions does not really seem to take place on an issue that is of European-wide relevance.
The political decision underlying the Bologna process implies that convergence between the different educational systems in Europe will occur with the necessary adaptation of curricula in terms of structures, contents as well as the phrasing of competencies or learning outcomes as a starting point.
The ‘TUNING’ Pilot project aims at pooling together and capitalising on available experience and recent developments in several of the Member-states and a number of study areas, particularly from previous and on-going European co-operation in the context of the Socrates programme.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) has been facilitating mobility and recognition of study periods abroad, but there is the need to evolve towards a European credit accumulation and transfer system, which will enable to measure workload and the adaptation to the new and dynamic configurations of the labour market and its requirements in terms of learning outputs (professional profiles and needs of society).
The Pilot project aims at enabling European universities to make a joint reflection and debate on these issues, enabling comparative analysis, building upon their experience and conferring a European dimension to the undertaking. It focuses on five Pilot groups, which are representative of university studies and methodologies in general and which regard the areas of : Mathematics, Geology, Business, History and Educational Sciences.
In addition, certain other study areas will contribute to the ‘TUNING’ Project as synergy areas: Chemistry, Physics, Languages, Humanitarian Development, Law, Medical Sciences, Engineering and Veterinary Sciences. These synergy areas were selected on the basis of the work already accomplished in the context of the ERASMUS Thematic Networks action concerning ECTS, quality assurance, definition of core curriculum and minimum requirements.
The main objectives of the project are:
The anticipated outcomes of the project are:
Following a call for expressions of interest in joining the project and participation in its implementation, launched via the SOCRATES National Agencies, the project has been generating great interest among the European Higher Education Institutions.
The Steering Committee of the ‘TUNING’ project comprises representatives of the main partner institutions (University of Groningen, NL, University of Deusto, ES, LUISS Guido Carlo, IT, Fachhochschule Osnabruck, DE, Université Libre de Bruxelles, BE), representatives of the "synergy areas", of the Association of Rectors and Confederation of Rectors Conferences and Commission representatives (DG Education and Culture).
There exists an ‘inner circle’ of partners composed of about 70 universities that are directly contributing to the implementation of the project (about 15 per each of the five main study areas) and an ‘outer circle’ of partners consisting of all other interested higher education institutions. Communication between the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer circle’ will take place via an electronic newsletter, a ‘TUNING’ Project website including a discussion forum (on the Europa Server) and hyperlinks to the partners’ websites. In addition, national Rectors Conferences will provide information to their respective universities.
Regular meetings will take place throughout the ‘TUNING’ Project, culminating in a final meeting which is foreseen in June 2002.