European and Latin American Higher Education Between Mirrors

Monday, July 14, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: F201
Oral Presentation
Antonio TEODORO , Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Manuela GUILHERME , Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias (ULHT), Lisbon, Portugal
Higher Education systems all over the world have gone through deep transformation and extraordinary expansion. In Europe, major transformations in higher education took place during the first decade of the 21st century and resulted mainly from the implementation of the so-called Bologna process. The main goal was to establish a European Higher Education Area which allowed an increase in international competitiveness, attractiveness and comparability between European higher education systems. Evaluation of results and consequences of the Bologna process has largely depended upon the evaluators’ perspective. At the political level, it is easy to conclude that the Bologna process has been successful since it allowed greater integration and harmonization between the various education systems of the 46 participating countries. However, at the institutional and local level, the response is more cautious due to the great variety of contexts involved.

 In Latin America, timing was different since this was the first region were neoliberal policies were put in place, after Pinochet’s military coup in Chile in 1973. Several authors described the end of the 20th century in LA as the “lost decades” The beginning of the 21st century brought with it important changes to the scene. The election of progressive governments in some LA countries gave way to policies which favored redistribution of wealth At the same time, in some countries, with robust indigenous communities, their cultures were granted political and social recognition and intercultural policies were developed. It is not meaningless that it is precisely in LA, where the first neoliberal experiment was carried out, that the search for alternative policies and the construction of other rationalities were undertaken. This paper presents the results of a research project developed by the Network RIAIPE, comprehending 31 universities from 21 countries of EU and LA, funded by the ALFA Programme through 2010-2013.