Ritzen geeft HO bronzen plak

Nieuws | de redactie
15 februari 2010 | Het hoger onderwijs wordt onvoldoende benut om Europa sterker te maken, zowel sociaal-economisch als cultureel. “The present position of Europe’s universities is something like a bronze Olympic medal: very well represented among the world’s top 200 universities, but almost absent in the top 50.” Jo Ritzen komt met een nieuw boek dat dit pleidooi uitdiept.

Het boek heet: ‘A Chance for European Universities’ en u vindthet als pdf in zijn geheel hier. Zijn executivesummary geeft aan waar hij met name op mikt:

“European universities are underexploited – economically,culturally and socially – for a stronger Europe. There is an urgentneed to alter the context for European universities so that theycan strengthen the European competitive position through economicinnovation, increased social cohesion and a more vibrant culturaldynamism.

The present position of Europe’s universities is something like abronze Olympic medal: very well represented among the world’s top200 universities, but almost absent in the top 50. Society’sfeelings about universities are likewise lukewarm, sometimesecstatic but also often critical on the ivory tower image.

Europe has to choose to go for gold in a world competition with astrong US system of Higher Education and newly emerging runner upslike China and India. The unbalanced demographics in the world -with a virtually constant supply of graduates in the developed Westand a potentially fast increase in the number of graduates indeveloping countries – pose both new threats and new opportunitiesfor European universities.

Europe can cash in on the opportunities by innovating its highereducation, taking into account the lesson learned on effectiveeducation for an international labour market, on the valorisationof knowledge but also on the matching and selection of students.The context needs to be changed to make European universities moresuccessful:

– The Bologna process has to be denationalized with European-wideaccreditation and quality control.

– The organization of universities should be moved on frombureaucratic to innovative.

– The finance needs to be rebalanced so that the public budget cutsof the past decades can be met by private sources.

The 2008/2009 economic crisis (never waste a good crisis) is anexcellent opportunity for a paradigm shift all over Europe topromote excellence together with emancipation of the new Europeansin universities. European universities: yes, they can do so muchmore for Europe.”

Recensie vanuit CHE-top

Oud-directeur van het Duitse CHE, prof DetlefMüller-Böling recenseert het boek en zegt daar het volgendeover:

“Ritzen’s assessment of Europe’s higher education system in thebeginning of the 21st century does not however get lost ininternational gloom and doom compari-sons. He shows positivedevelopments, past and present, such as the Bologna Process as anattempt into the right direction and governance reforms acrosscountries.

Individual European countries and universities do compete well withthe world’s top institutions, but as a whole there is one elementthat makes the difference: money. The illusion of full publicfinance of education is strangling higher education in Europe.”

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