Tying the Knots in Bologna Implementation (KnoBI) project is based on a number of work packages, which focus on issues of importance for the Bologna Process, such as mobility and internationalization of higher education, graduate tracking or the social dimension. A brief description with the main activities undertaken by the project can be found in this section.

 

Project preparation and literature review

A systematic literature review was undertaken by experts in order to guarantee that project activities target the more stringent needs in the areas of graduate employability, the social dimension and mobility.

 

Enhancing European mobility in Romanian universities

Mobility is an area in which Romania has been seen to have both a poor dynamic of implementing support measures as envisaged within the wider EHEA (as per the Bologna implementation reports), but also due to declining staff mobility with non-regional countries and a lack of attractiveness for incoming students. One activity aimed to help target groups (academics, institutional managers) better understand the link between the implementation of Bologna envisaged structural reforms and success in attracting greater mobility flows. These reforms include a common degree structure and credit system, common quality assurance standards and guidelines, cooperation for mobility and joint programmes and degrees, as well as other features that are currently not fully implemented.

The work package consisted of two peer learning activities undertaken in Portugal and Italy by experts. The peer learning activities resulted in the drafting of policy brief and policy transfer proposals, in order to help guide the debate on the enhancement of domestic Romanian policies on mobility issues. A national conference on the internationalization of higher education was also organized, in order to share expertise on how other European universities have enhanced mobility and attractiveness and disseminate the main deliverables developed. 

 

Enhancing graduate employability via tracking mechanisms

Romania tends to lag in measuring and tracking graduate outcomes such as employability. As of early 2016, there is no fully functional system for data collection on employment and tracking. 

As such, this work package focused on aiding the development of a functional graduate tracking scheme in Romania. The graduate tracking system from Denmark was studied during a peer learning activity and a policy transfer proposal was put forward. Discussions involving institutional representatives, students and stakeholders representing the labour market were undertaken during a cross-stakeholder conference. A special emphasis was put on the drafting of a feasibility study that looked into legal and regulatory pathways that allow for the use of quality assurance mechanisms (as well as other legal provisions) as tools to increase compliance with requirements to track the progression of graduates into the labour market. 

 

Towards implementing the EHEA social dimension strategy

While the Yerevan Communiqué emphasizes the need to make our higher education more socially inclusive by implementing the EHEA social dimension strategy, Romania still has a monolithic exam-based only entrance system for higher education, limiting access to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The work package tried to facilitate policy exchange aimed at creating tools, mechanisms and policies focused on improving access. It consisted of one peer learning activity undertaken in Austria. The information gathered by the experts as part of the peer learning exercise was then used to create policy briefs and policy transfer proposals on access into higher education and on social dimension to help kick-start a debate on the creation of a national system of support for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

National Bologna Experts

The project managed to identify the national experts representing Romania in the EHEA formal structures since it joined the Bologna Process in 1999. The list of the Bologna Experts also includes the Romanian researchers in the field of higher education which have published research papers regarding the implementation of the Bologna Process in Romania (e.g. in the Bologna Process Researchers’ Conference).