|The Newsletter of the Network|
|Issue 29: March 2002|
Budapest Conference: over 60 papers in programme
CiCe's Dissemination Conference in Budapest (16 - 18 May) will have a record number of papers read at it - there will be nearly 60 papers given, as well as a range of plenary addresses. The CiCe Steering Group has been drawing up the programme from all the synopses that have been submitted, and the final timetable has now been agreed. A list of papers is included with this Newsletter.
There are still places available at the conference for CiCe members (and others). Each university or college that is a member of the CiCe Network has two free places (which cover the registration fee, conference papers and conference meals). If you want to attend, check with your Institutional Coordinator and arrange you booking as soon as possible. A full list of synopses of Conference papers is available for inspection on the CiCe Livelink web-site.
Papers are being sent to the CiCe Office before the conference: each will be put on the website as soon as it arrives. As was arranged last year, we are asking all conference delegates to print the copies of the papers they wish to attend before they come to Budapest. Please note that the only copies of the papers that will be available in Budapest will be the few that the speakers themselves bring to the Conference. This process saves money, and means that you only have the papers you need. All accepted papers will be included in the Conference Book, which will be distributed in September to all delegates and to all CiCe institutions.
The Conference will conclude with an address from Ettore Deodato, the ERASMUS Principal Officer responsible for the Thematic Networks Programme.
The main business of the conference will be to consider all the efforts made in the Dissemination Year of CiCe - the reports, the national conferences and seminars, and the papers reflecting on our analysis and proposals. We shall then look forward to the next phase of the Network - which includes an ambitious publishing programme of guidelines for colleagues on policy and practice, the collection of materials for teaching in our universities and colleges, and the development of a European-wide postgraduate programme in Citizenship Education. The initial plans for all these activities are well advanced, and Budapest will give us the final opportunity to complete them before the second phase of CiCe starts in October 2002 (providing the Commission accepts our proposals). (Return to Menu)
Vacancies for volunteers to join working groups in CiCe2 later this year
The full bid for CiCe2 for the year 2002-2003 was submitted on the 1st March. This followed our successful short-listing and 'good/good' rating from the evaluating team.
The proposal set out detailed plans for the work of the first nine working groups, which will start their activities in the coming year, and the plans for the MA Group and the Resources Group. Six working groups start in October 2002, when we will be holding a large seminar in London. This will brief all the group members, and allow them space to discuss their task and begin their planning. Three more groups will start work in April/May 2003, and will be briefed at the Minho Conference.
Each working group consists of three members, each from a different country. CiCe2 will pay their costs for attending all CiCe meetings and conferences. We need volunteers as soon as possible to fill the few gaps that are left. We are particularly looking for volunteers from institutions and countries not already involved in a working group. We want to spread involvement as widely as possible: we want to have every institution involved in some way over the three years of CiCe2 (and there will be fresh opportunities to join a working group in 2003/4 and 2004/5). The vacancies on the six first groups (starting in October) are:
|Citizenship: Teaching Controversial Issues||
These groups will draw up a working paper for an audience of fellow lecturers, drawing on CiCe members experiences and ideas
|1 possible vacancy (not from Finland or UK)|
|Active Learning in Citizenship Education||No vacancies|
|Minorities, majorities and democracies||No vacancies|
|Professional Guidelines: The contents for professional training needed …||
These groups will prepare guideline documents for Colleges and Universities, suggesting the major considerations necessary in training professionals who will work with children and young people in these age ranges
... to work with secondary school pupils
|1 vacancy (not from Estonia, Iceland or the Czech Republic)|
... to work with elementary school children
|1 vacancy (not from Portugal, UK or Poland)|
... to work with pre-school children
|2 vacancies (not from France or Germany)|
The vacancies for the three groups that start in April/May 2003 are:
|Identities in multi-lingual/cultural contexts||
These groups will draw up a working paper for an audience of fellow lecturers, drawing on CiCe members experiences and ideas
|Cross-professional issues in citizenship and identity||1 vacancy (not from Poland or Austria)|
|Equal opportunity issues/equality in rights||2 vacancies (not from Belgium)|
Please don't hesitate to volunteer. We really welcome all volunteers. E-mail the International Coordinator today to ask for more details on what's involved - email@example.com
Remember, in the 12 - 18 month working life of each working group, we will meet all your travel and accommodation costs for the group's meetings, and the costs for the group attending the October Seminars and May Conferences. CiCe will also publish each group's report (with your name as co-author) in paper format and on the web. (Return to Menu)
Progress with our European MA plans
We have made significant advances in our plans to develop a postgraduate professional qualification in Citizenship Education in Europe.
The Steering Group decided that we will try to develop a really innovative MA, jointly organised and awarded by a consortia of six Universities - all in different countries - on behalf of all European universities. This will be difficult to achieve because of organisation, finance and different national structures.
As an alternative, we will validate the MA as an 'ordinary' European MA - delivered by and awarded by one university, but developed with associated universities in other countries. We have explored the possibility with ERASMUS officers in Brussels. Tilman Allert and Alistair Ross, from our Steering Group, met the head of ERASMUS, Marianne Hildebrand, and the head of the Thematic Networks, Ettore Deodato, in early March to discuss how the SOCRATRES Programme might be able to support our plans. There is a possibility that, if we can develop a strong proposal and modules in the next two years, we could apply to be an experimental European MA and get Commission development help from October 2004. This may mean including another partner state from outside the EU/EEA/Accession States group in our plans.
We currently plan that a group of five selected Universities will take on the prime responsibility for the MA
University of North London (UK), Jill Rutter*+, Prof Alistair Ross*
Université Rene Descartes - Paris 5 (FR), Prof Christine Roland-Levy*+
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet [Frankfurt] (DE), Prof Dr Tilman Allert+
Linköpings Universitet [Campus Norrköping] (SE), Prof Elisabet Nasman*, Tullie Torstenson-Ed+
Panepistimio Patron [Patras] (GR), Prof Panayota Papoulia-Tzelepi+
We hope to add a sixth university from one of the Accession States in Central Europe (possibly HU or PO) Prof Márta Fülöp* (Univ Szeged, HU) has a watching brief on this.
(* member of CiCe2 Steering Group; + member of MA Group in CiCe2)
The plan is that these six will take the MA planning forward, developing some core modules between them, with other modules each being developed by one of the core university in association with a small group of other universities. We will make CD applications to support this module development. It would be possible to develop two core modules between the five/six universities in 2002-2004, and then eight operational modules in 2003-2005, each being developed by one of the six, in association with three other universities. It would be possible to involve all 30 states in this way.
We intend that each of the modules be delivered and maintained, in open-learning format via the Internet, by one of the six core group. We would apply for MINERVA funding for electronic support for this. We would plan summer schools each year, on a rotating basis, with applications for Intensive Programme funding. This could be progressed in the way that 'European' MAs are currently developed: one institution takes full responsibility for validation, delivery, quality control and maintenance of the programme, and awards the degrees in its own name, but develops the course in various forms of partnership with partner universities in other countries.
We feel that this is unsatisfactory, for a variety of reasons. We feel that, to be European, the MA should not be 'owned' by a particular university, and located in a particular State, but shared and awarded by a larger consortia in name, delivery and award, not simply in its development. This is particularly the case when the subject matter of the degree concerns Europe and its institutions. Our ideal is that the MA be validated, held and monitored jointly by a consortium of the five/six universities in trust for the Union, and that the award be given by all of these universities. This is a dramatically different conception from the traditional HE qualification.
Current European Policy on 'European' MAs
There are currently no real 'European' MAs. There are a number of postgraduate qualifications offered by the individual HEIs that have developed them, and may deliver them, in association with HEIs in other countries. These have often been developed with EU support, and follow the common European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS), but they are still validated, maintained and primarily delivered and awarded by one university. There have been hitherto some uncertainties about the development of HE qualifications across the Community. The Bologna process has begun significantly to change this, and the responses at the post-Bologna meeting in Lisbon last year suggested that there was now considerable consensus, not to say enthusiasm, for the development of a proper pan-European postgraduate qualification. The EAC are currently making an initial survey of existing 'European' MAs, and are planning some form of developmental action (as yet unspecified) in the near future.
Issues in the CiCe Proposal
We are confident that our initial plans are for an academically viable course, with a wide appeal and a strong coherent content. It is also in an area that is closely in line politically with current EU policies. However, there are a number of issues that need to be resolved before we can develop such an innovative programme. Degrees are currently awarded by a single university, which is ultimately responsible for its validation and for issues of quality control. We would need
(1) to devise a mechanism
to agree to share these roles in some way, and
(2) a formal agreement between the participating universities to allow for these changed procedures and to agree to a common/shared award.
We envisage negotiating an agreement between the consortium universities, that they work towards planning a European degree that would have the following characteristics:
When these issues - and others associated issues - had been resolved, we would then move to a second stage agreement to validate, promote and maintain the degree.
A second set of issues revolve around funding - both of the institutions, and perhaps of the students enrolled on the course.
Institutional Funding issues: each state funds its HEIs to teach specific groups of students in different ways, and these are not always transparent. There are different kinds and levels of domestic (direct/indirect state) funding to HEIs: we would need some from of agreement - probably at national government or agency level - to equalise/harmonise for these students. In some states some income is derived from student fees, or an element of fees, in others not. We need to ensure that Institutions receive the additional resources necessary to deliver the course, and this will require national governments' and funding agencies' agreement to treat these consortium degrees in different ways.
Student funding: All EU students are treated as Home Students in each case. Without devising some common funding framework, students would presumably elect to enrol for the MA in the state that was 'cheapest' for them - this would create a problem in that the other participating universities would have no income for the delivery of their elements of the course. It would also distort student choice in the case of options.
There may be other issues that we have not yet identified - it is not until one gets into the details of planning and delivery that one realises the assumptions underlying each of our university system.
These issues need to be resolved if this particular MA is to be developed in the way that we suggest. They are also issues of much wider concern if European Higher Education is to move forward into a shared Higher Education space, and it would seem appropriate to seek the Commission's assistance and support in resolving these. (Return to Menu)
The MA Proposals would work best if we had one university or college from every state in the Network involved in the development of at least one module.
If your University is the only member from your country in CiCe - this means YOU!
If there are several other Universities in the Network from your country - it could still mean YOU!
Why not put your name forward to help develop a module? We will be bidding for funds in the next few months, and need to have the names of everyone who will be involved ready - so put yourself forward. The funds will allow you to travel to planning meetings, cover your subsistence costs, etc., with a group of colleagues from several other European countries.
Please think seriously about getting involved in the MA Planning
We still need a few members of Working Groups next year. Our intention is to get as many different colleges and universities involved in these as possible. Please think about this - you will have a very real and valuable contribution to make.
Cass Mitchell-Riddle (Return to Menu)