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See detailThe Bologna Process's Model of Mobility in Europe: The Relationship of its Spatial and Social Dimensions
Powell, Justin J W UL; Finger, Claudia

in European Educational Research Journal (2013), 12(2), 270-285

Cross-border mobility is among the pillars of internationality in higher education. Understood as central to educational and economic growth for individuals and societies, mobility also should facilitate ... [more ▼]

Cross-border mobility is among the pillars of internationality in higher education. Understood as central to educational and economic growth for individuals and societies, mobility also should facilitate social cohesion. Yet those who can afford spatial mobility are unevenly distributed; elites benefit in far greater measure. Policymakers in Europe aim to bolster the competitiveness and attractiveness of European higher education, especially through enhanced mobility of students and staff. Extending beyond the successes of Erasmus, the Bologna process defines a new model of mobility in higher education to foster spatial mobility, but how is the social selectivity of spatial mobility addressed? Based on a theory-guided content analysis of official Bologna policy documents, the authors examine the principles and standards of mobility. Which dimensions of mobility are mentioned in these declarations and communiqués from 1998 to 2012? To what extent are spatial mobility's social significance and selection processes reflected? The authors find that the dimensions, benefits and effects of spatial mobility have been mainly taken for granted, and both its social selectivity and its effects on social mobility understated. However, if the Bologna process is to facilitate social inclusion, inequalities must be addressed. The authors argue that if the 47 signatory countries to the Bologna process simply follow the principles espoused in this model, considerable disparities in participation in international exchange are likely to persist, reproducing dis/advantages. [less ▲]

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