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Gendering the European Parliament

From Commitments to Institutional Reality: The Reflection of the Bologna Process in Romanian and Portuguese universities

European Union
Higher Education
Policy Implementation
Simona Torotcoi
Central European University
Simona Torotcoi
Central European University

From Commitments to Institutional Reality: The reflection of the Bologna Process in Romanian and Portuguese universities

There always has been an interest in exploring compliance and implementation of international treaties and laws, from either the perspective of the involved actors, the process itself and its analysis, trends in development, or the issues the key stakeholders are dealing with. However, not until recently the topic of examining the implementation of voluntary policy agreements has started to be a topic of discussion. Enhancing policies that act in ways that are consistent with the goals and objectives intended by the policy makers in international voluntary agreements, represents a starting point for the members of that agreement to express their commitment.
Policy implementation scholars have offered several explanations for why and how a policy is implemented by putting as main variables the salience of the policy, its design and governance system, but also the arrangements and resources needed for operating that policy, including the will of the responsible bodies. However, currently there is no generally agreed theory of implementation but a collection of multi-factors influencing implementation. By using the case of higher education policy in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and by combining the multi-level governance and the implementation literature this paper aims to shed light on the differentiated integration with regards to the institutional level policy implementation (e.g. higher education institutions) in two countries Portugal and Romania. First, the paper provides an overview of the state of art implementation of the Bologna Process in two policy areas, that is quality assurance and the social dimension in the above mention country cases. A framework which allows to dissect implementation in different stages and actors, will be the base for analyzing the HEIs level situation. Last, the paper reflects upon the role of policy targets (HEIs) and their sources and usages of discretionary power in fostering implementation.
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