The University of Bucharest is actively involved in the process of transforming higher education at European level – and, implicitly, at national level – with concrete proposals and strategic documents for the development of higher education institutions.
The University of Bucharest is an active partner in dialogue and action, together with its European partners, in a broad and innovative process of transformation and integration of higher education in the European Area of Education, at a time when, starting from the initiative of European universities and linking to the great challenges generated by the pandemic, technological change, demographic change, climate change, migration, the European Commission proposes to the Member States a wide debate and a collaborative process to change the European academic milieu.
Thus, representative institutions at European level in all European higher education policies, such as the European Universities Association, the FOR-EU group (the coordination group of European university alliances, at the level of the European Commission), the CIVIS Alliance and the network of UNICA universities, benefits from the expertise and involvement of many members of the academic community of the University of Bucharest.
In fact, during the round table organized by the European Commission on the development of micro-credentials at the European level in the field of higher education, which took place this week, the Rector of the University of Bucharest, Professor Marian Preda, represented the voice of the CIVIS Alliance in consultation with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. In fact, Rector Marian Preda emphasized that CIVIS universities understood the need to innovate and alter the academic curriculum, in close connection with the training needs of traditional and non-traditional students, already piloting new educational mechanism (such as transdisciplinary micro-programs), built on the idea of “micro-credentials”, to implement flexible study programs.
In real terms, the consistency of the University of Bucharest’s contributions to the design of the future of European higher education can be found in documents prepared by the specialists of the University of Bucharest in collaboration with CIVIS Alliance partners, which address some of the main directions of innovation in learning and teaching in the European system. These are two handbooks for professors, researchers, experts in pedagogical innovation, decision makers and, finally, students, namely: innovative pedagogies – “Innovative Pedagogies: ways into the Process of Learning Transformation”, and virtual mobility – “Digitally enhanced mobility – CIVIS Handbook on Virtual Mobility”.
Moreover, due to the steps taken by the University of Bucharest in conceptualizing and piloting new forms of virtual mobility, UNESCO will present the European Alliance CIVIS, in a case study conducted globally, as an example of good practice in developing virtual mobility, being the only alliance in the European area included in the study.
We also recall that the University of Bucharest has launched, since the beginning of 2021, a programmatic document for the development of higher education at the national level by adopting micro-credentials as educational “macro-policies”, targeting the transformations that educational institutions and decision-makers can propose them to harmonize the national scheme with the European directions of development. Through these directions, the University of Bucharest proposes a new vision on the European academic curriculum, starting from the design of small learning units and the flexibility of the learning path to modular educational components (based on the pattern of “micro-credentials”), such as micro-programs of studies, ensuring an optimal framework for the construction of European Diplomas.
Recently, the University of Bucharest was invited by the Ministry of Education to offer its own point of view on the European Commission’s package of proposals for the transformation of higher education. The perspective of the University of Bucharest considers three main lines of interest: European Diplomas, the legal status of the Alliances of European Universities and the key bodies in ensuring the implementation of the European Strategy for Universities.“
The University of Bucharest considers that the efforts to reconfigure the European higher education area and strengthen the various forms of transnational cooperation in education need a new vision on academic curriculum structure, based on modularization, learning flexibility, ensuring the optimal framework for ensuring European Diplomas, as labels of excellence of new joint study programs at European level, in which mobility, societal challenges, innovative pedagogies and inter-/trans-disciplinarity are basic components”, states the position paper sent to the Ministry of Education (find, attached, full document).“It is a key moment for the modernization of European higher education and, implicitly, of our universities since the Bologna Process. The involvement of the University of Bucharest, through the voice and expertise of the members of our community, now makes us a present and active actor at European level, in this transformative and visionary process. What is equally important is that our proposals come both from an understanding of the needs for change and the challenges to which the academic community is called to respond, and especially from the practice of piloting innovative educational components”, says Marian Preda, Rector of the University of Bucharest.
The active involvement of the University of Bucharest in the field of European higher education transformations is due to an extensive team of experts involved in the various mechanisms of dialogue and construction on the innovation of the European higher education system. Among them, we mention the Rector Marian Preda, Member of the CIVIS Board of Rectors, Sorin Costreie, Vice-Rector, Institutional Coordinator of the CIVIS European Alliance and representative of the university in the Alliance Steering Committee, Professor Romiță Iucu, President of the Strategic Management and Analysis Council of the University of Bucharest, CIVIS Alliance governance coordinator at the University of Bucharest and coordinator of the European Diploma Subgroup of the FOR EU working group within the European Commission, Vice-Rector Lucian Ciolan and Vice-Dean Anca Nedelcu, coordinators of the “Excellence in Teaching” Work Package within the CIVIS European Alliance, a component responsible for innovation directions in the field of learning and teaching within the alliance.
In fact, this year the University of Bucharest will launch an innovative training program for university leaders and experts in the field of higher education development, in conjunction with European policies in the field.
In view of the strong experience already gained in the transnational cooperation processes within the CIVIS Alliance and the direct role in providing precise directions for innovation in the educational components at European level, the University of Bucharest continues to actively contribute to building the universities of the future, “as lighthouses of the European lifestyle”.
The full point of view of the University of Bucharest regarding the package of proposals for the transformation of higher education can be consulted here.