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ENGLISH LANGUAGE FOR SUCCESSFUL INTEGRATION: LEARNING FROM THE BOLOGNA PROCESS

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Author(s): Hernandez - Carrion Jose Rodolfo

Journal: Annals of the University of Oradea : Economic Science
ISSN 1222-569X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 140;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: English | Bologna Process | European Higher Education Area | EHEA | Spanish

ABSTRACT
The Bologna Process aims to provide tools to connect the European national educational systems. The purpose of this paper is to analyze what we have learned and what challenges remain today. Since the beginning all participating countries had to agree on a comparable three cycle degree system for undergraduates (Bachelor degrees or Grades) and graduates (Master and PhD degrees) in order to create compatibility and comparability for achieving international competitiveness and a worldwide degree of attractiveness in higher education. The Bologna Declaration, originally signed by 29 countries, has now reached 47 countries, engaged in the process of creating a European Higher Education Area (EHEA), searching to be competitive to launch the European Academia of the 21st Century. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) has turned out to be the perfect tool to design, describe, and deliver programs and award higher education qualifications. Markets and European universities are going to be able to compete overseas in the future if the new regulations let them to create profitable business in the education area. As expected, European Universities have responded promptly and actively to the call. In the case of small countries like Spain, it is an opportunity to internationalize Spanish universities; moreover, there is the opportunity for the expansion and consolidation of the Spanish language as the second most important foreign language. The 2009 Report highlights that early teaching of a foreign language is advancing in Europe. In lower secondary education, earlier teaching of English is becoming widespread; and the three Nordic countries, Germany, and the UK are the highest innovation performers. The result is a system of higher education more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and non-Europeans students and scholars. Reform is needed today if Europe wants to match the performance of the best performing higher education systems in the world. The English language seems to be the response in the search for a common European answer to solve common European problems.

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