Globalizing the ‘Bologna Process’: Looking Closely at Europe’s ‘Looking Out’ Strategy for Higher Education

Professor Susan Robertson, University of Bristol

In this presentation I look closely at globalization of Europe’s Bologna Process (otherwise known as the external dimension) that is altering the terms and terrain of higher education both within and beyond Europe. I argue that there are distinctive phases in this project of creating a unified higher education area, the latest involving the ‘extra-regional’ (neighborhood economies; distant strategic domestic economies; old colonial relations and networks; new inter-regional formations – see Robertson, 2009). The ‘extra-regional’ in the European project is given momentum driven by a combination of forces and projects: Europe’s claim to contingent territorial sovereignty (Elden, 2006) and state-hood; Europe’s extension of its political project in relation to other geo-strategic claims; the usefulness to domestic actors in neighboring and more distant economies of Europe’s higher education tools for brokering internal transformations; the desire of globally-oriented export and import higher education institutions and domestic economies beyond the borders of Europe to align their architecture and regulatory frameworks to maximize market position; and the emergence of Europe’s normative power on the global stage. I conclude by suggesting that in the case of Europe, this current moment of regulatory regionalism might be best conceived of as ‘regulatory state regionalism’.

The PowerPoint presentation will be available next week on the series website: You can also contribute to the discussion in advance of the seminar on the series blog:

The talk will also be broadcast live via webcast and this link can also be accessed via the website