E-Participation and Innovations for European Higher Education Institutions

By Ivanicka, Koloman; Tomlain, Juraj | American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal, April 2013 | Go to article overview

E-Participation and Innovations for European Higher Education Institutions


Ivanicka, Koloman, Tomlain, Juraj, American Academic & Scholarly Research Journal


Abstract. Agenda Europe 2020 is emphasizing the role of the education for the competitiveness and innovativeness of Europe. The important aspect of such development is further enhancement of the Bologna process based on the broader participation of all stakeholders of HEI (Higher education institutions). MyUniversity project funded by 7th framework program of European Union develops and uses the e-participation tools for United European Higher Education in 14 European Universities. The project represents the innovative activity in the area of HEI. In the proposed paper we discuss the usefulness of such tools as follows: discussions, polls, processes, e-petitions, e-consultation for the better decision making processes in HEI. We are critically evaluating the attained outcomes and draw the lessons from so far realized research activities, which may be further developed

Keywords: MyUniversity project, e-paticipation, European higher education

1 INTRODUCTION

The electronic participation plays only a limited role in European universities at present, however it is expected that this will change in near future, at it will be more important for European policy making. European Council and Commission have presented strategy EUROPE 2020. It is the European Union's ten-year growth strategy. It is about more than just overcoming the crisis which continues to afflict many of our economies. It is about addressing the shortcomings of our growth model and creating the conditions for a different type of growth that is smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive. (European Commision, 2010) Seven initiatives (flagship initiatives) are incorporated on that global strategy. One of the most important is the "Digital agenda for Europe". The Digital Agenda for Europe aims to reboot Europe's economy and help Europe's citizens and businesses to get the most out of digital technologies. (European Commision, 2012)

2 EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

By identifying human capital development as fundamental to smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, the Europe 2020 strategy places education and research at the center of Europe's future economic well-being. Consequently, it opens up a wealth of opportunities for higher education institutions (HEIs), who have a key role in providing teaching, undertaking research and innovation, producing employable graduates, and developing new ideas for a changing world. (European Commision, 2010) Digital agenda for Europe document is quite comprehensive and addresses multiple views on information and communication (ICT) challenges for the next years. It is based on seven pillars which includes 101 actions. The expected advantage and the added value of agenda are the interconnection of ICT aspects with benefits for humans, citizens and Europe as well. It can be found in the pillar "ICT-enabled benefits for EU society" of agenda. Digital technologies have enormous potential to benefit our everyday lives and tackle social challenges. (European Commision, 2011)

2.1 Bologna process

The Bologna declaration was signed in the year 1999 and the resulting Bologna Process was started. An important characteristic of the Bologna Process - and key to its success - is the close cooperation between governments, higher education institutions, students, staff, employers and quality assurance agencies, supported by the relevant international organizations. Contrary to most people's beliefs, the Bologna process is not a European Union initiative, but an intergovernmental process with 46 participating countries. Obviously this goes beyond the borders of the EU since it has 27 member states. Six primary objectives are included in this process:

1. adoption of the system easily understandable and comparable diplomas,

2. adoption of a system based on two cycles of study (currently has a three-stage),

3. adoption of the credit system (ECTS),

4. improvement of the mobility,

5. …

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