Saturday, 29 November 2008

The Bologna Declaration : critical notes - Part 1

An Introduction

After nearly ten yeas, the effects of the Bologna Declaration in shaping European Higher Education (HE) along neo-liberal lines are becoming evident.

In so far as the Declaration affects the immeasurable tenets underpinning education at all levels “of knowledge” and personal growth, academic freedom social equality and cultural heritage and development, its effects are essentially disfiguring rather than reformatory or revolutionary in any popularly beneficial way. It uses rhetoric to blur its real focus on economic and neo-liberal ideological foundations of knowledge as opposed to the social and cultural. Most alarmingly the declaration is an attempt at the appropriation and redefinition of education as a marketable and exchangeable commodity and a tool of capitalists.

The hidden agenda of the declaration is to create an Higher Education System which enforces hegemony to an Anglo-American style European system of HE based on scientific supremacy and technology. The constituent cultures are implicated in a process of adaptation to the ruling dogma to ensure that they ‘appeal to other nations’ and thus ensure their ‘vitality’ and ‘efficiency’ are sufficiently rated according to criteria imposed by a neoliberal elite caste. It represents a truly colonial mentality towards all aspects of education; a mentality which renders education at the service of the capital colonialists who rely on the same education system to indoctrinate the masses of slaves and ensure their compliance in their own oppression.

The Declaration talks of an education system that must be reconfigured to acquire an international attraction equal to that of European and Scientific traditions. In doing so, the role of education at the root of such traditions is displaced. It is effectively reclaimed by the signatories entrusted with its control, as a system to be molded around economic needs and used to reinforce a neo-liberal cultural, economic and political hegemony across Europe.

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