Vol. 2 No. 1 (2011)
Research Article

CHALLENGES, EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY: THE ADAPTATION OF A GEOGRAPHY DEGREE TO THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION ARE

Published 2021-10-05

How to Cite

BAYLINA, M., & VILLANUEVA , M. (2021). CHALLENGES, EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY: THE ADAPTATION OF A GEOGRAPHY DEGREE TO THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION ARE. European Journal of Geography, 2(1). Retrieved from https://ojs.eurogeojournal.eu/index.php/egj/article/view/32

Abstract

After the Sorbonne Declaration, the idea of a European Higher Education Area was launched,
and universities have been pushed into a restructuring process with a strong emphasis on
quality and excellence. In Spain, the focus on graduate employability impelled academics and
professionals towards the formulation of a White Book on the state and the future of
Geography in Higher Education (2004). This has been a useful tool concerning the general
debate on the design of new university degrees within European regulations. This was the
case at the department of Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB),
where a three-year pilot program was undertaken, aiming to test the Bologna system before
setting up and validating the new degrees. The outcomes of the White Book and of the pilot
experience, proved to be very useful. The academic year 2009-10 began with a new Bachelors
degree course in Geography and Regional Planning, a Spanish adaptation to European
(Bologna) regulations. Although the short time that has elapsed since then makes it difficult to
undertake a full evaluation of the process and reflect on its outcomes and impacts, the whole
issue of reform is raising controversy leading to the reluctance to initiate further change, due
mainly to the lack of internal debate about the process of change that apparently seems to be a
response to global economic demands rather than academic ones. This paper analyzes the
impact of the process in Spain, and specifically, in the Geography degree at UAB.