ΤΕΥΧΟΣ 2

ΤΕΥΧΟΣ 2

ISSUE 2

Spring 2004

EDITORIAL

Andreas M. Kazamias, Dimitris M. Mattheou

CONTENTS

The paper is an attempt  to compare the state higher education   policies in two  small and poor in natural resources countries and former British colonies, Singapore and Cyprus.

The comparison reveals two very different examples of higher education state policies and state university relationships in the two countries. Singapore exercises a very tight control over universitities while Cyprus employs  a policy of university autonomy and academic freedom.

The paper suggests that these differences can be explained as the result of three factors : a) the different degree of industrial development, b) the different demands of the industries developed, and c) the different political and cultural context, and more specifically, the different hierarchy of values in the two countries. The last difference determines to a large extent the different strategy with which the two states try to achieve their legitimacy.

The present paper deals with the new trends in University Adult Education policies (hereby the term “University Adult Education” codifies and subsequently includes each form of Adult Education in a tertiary- higher level, following the rule of the term “University Continuing Education). In fact, the paper takes into consideration
the relation of the University-Adult-Education policies to the active employment policies and macro-economic policies, and
the whole political, ideological and economic context within trends in Adult Education are formatted and changes take shape.
The focus is on two “national cases”, namely the case of Belgium (including both Flanders and Wallonia) and the case of Ireland. What is actually attempted here is a comparative approach of the two cases, in terms of their policies on University Adult Education (tertium comparationis), before and after the Bologna Follow Up Process towards the establishment of the European Higher Education Area.

The paper initially analyses the nature and the components of the post-industrial Educational Policy, focusing on the new trends in Adult Education and Higher Education Policy,
in the context of the internationalization of the economy and the state, (of) the relevant movement of economic power from the national to the international arena and (of) the supranational rationality of the European integration, and
in relation to the trends concerning training and employment.
The focus is on the role of the changing political economy of the E.U. and the European Strategy for Employment to the transformation of the Adult Education structures and methods, in the context of the revisited “human-recourse-development” model. Inevitably the ascertained growing involvement of Higher Education Institutes to Adult Education and LLL projects is taken into consideration.

On the basis of the abovementioned theoretical discussion, we proceed to the phenomenological presentation of
the context for adult education in universities and institutions of higher education and
the main developments and changes concerning the policies in University Adult Education, in Belgium and Ireland.
Special emphasis is laid on issues such as the forms of organization of University Adult Education, its relation to the broader cultural context and to the existing political system (especially in the case of Belgium), issues of supply and demand, the legal status of University Adult Education, providers and competitors, practices and methods, the role of ICTs (especially in the delivery of ODL), modes of certification, issues of funding and governmentality, and more particular issues (i.e. the “recognition of vocational qualifications” and non-formal apprenticeship in the context of University Adult Education programmes, the operation of the Open University in each case, the role of the traditional Universities, the issue of the professionalisation of adult educators).

At the end, the focus moves on the way the supranational logic of the European integration and the relevant movement towards the strengthening of economies of scale within the EU affect the new tendencies in the “national” University-Adult-Education policies. Via the final comparative synopsis of convergences and divergences between the two “national” cases and the subsequent interpretative analysis of the common trends, initiatives, discourses, practices and evenmore common antinomies and counterpoints to the abovementioned trends, the paper attempts:
to synopsize the major forms of the state retreat concerning the policy and institutional dimensions of University Adult Education,
to explore why adult education (and furthermore its tertiary version) is a social policy domain where the European Union gains more and more control (in the terms of the decision making process),
to trace some of the political and economical reasons behind adult education policies an their growing connection to the logics of flexibility, adaptability and market- orientation.

The search and stabilisation of an identity seems to be nowadays a crucial issue for individuals, societies, and states. This is due to the structural transformations induced by capitalism reorganisation and globalisation, as a growing literature and the empirical record on the matter testifies. Individual and collective identities are becoming a problem because of changes in social practices, the multiplication of role expectations, the plurality of contexts of communication and interaction and many other destabilising forces of our post-modern era. Fluidity, incoherence and inconsistency seem to be the features of contemporary identity formation.

‘Lifestyle’, ‘individualised’, and ‘narcissistic’ identities constructed by consuming material, symbolic and visual commodities are dominating developed societies and undermining feelings of wholeness and belonging. As a reaction to consumerist individualism and the global economic and political forces large parts of modern societies seek affirmation in the traditional values of religion, family, nation, and ethnicity. To this it should be added the widely observed loss of trust to politics and therefore the crisis of liberal democracy.
It seems that the European Union is fully aware and

puzzled by these trends and it seeks policies and measures which promote the creation of a new basis of solidarity amongst the Union’s peoples. In other words, the EU is seeking to create its own identity. So far this endeavour – endlessly ‘disturbed’ by nationalistic movements, enlargement processes, decision-making crises and suspicion for its ‘democratic deficit’ – has hardly succeeded.

This study examines the development of the notions “citizen”, “Greek identity” and “citizenship education” in the context of Greece’s membership in the European Union.  More specifically, it relates such development to the official policies of the European Union for a Europe of citizens, on the one hand, and to the various reactions of the Greek society towards that idea, on the other. A number of prominent political theorists have demonstrated that in Greek politics “Europeanization” is often used to denote modernization, a process that is superimposed on Greek Society by state bureaucrats, foreign interests and local political elites.  The study’s thesis is that members of society attempt to resist such superimposition by projecting the Greek identity as a fuzzy concept or a notion that it is characterized by a continuous “crisis”.  Hence, terms like “Greek identity” but also “European citizen” refer to social acts that often constitute attempts to resist the authoritarianism of state bureaucracy and political elites.  That is, modern Greek identity develops dialectically through the individual and collective rationalizations of the symbolisms that (re)produce the initiatives of the EU for strengthening of the European dimension of citizenship as well as the position of the Greek society towards the prospect of its Europeanization.  The answers to questions about the identity of today’s citizens of Greece and about what his or her education ought to be will be searched through the critical analysis of such acts of resistance in school and the broader society.

This presentation  deals with some of the fundamental concerns relating to the present-day concept of citizen from the perspective of Comparative Education (CE), as they pertain to the current context in politics and ideology, economy and society, culture and education. In this framework we propose that modern CE could study three dimensions/levels of the citizen: a. The micro-dimension or micro-realisation, which relates to the personal dimension of citizen, i.e. as socio-psychic entities, how he learns through school to participate in political and social processes; b. The medio-level, or medio-realisation, which has to do with the socio-spatial dimension, i.e. as active members of local, national and wider society, how citizens co-operate, participate and work in common with others within the context of their wider environment; and finally, c. The macro-level or macro-realisation, which relates to the socio-temporal dimension,  to how citizens see themselves as members of national and wider multinational space, and how they define themselves within the context of they society in which they live, on the basis of their past and present, which to some extent determine their future. We argue that CE needs to focus on the following needs: the need to free studies from ethnocentric comparisons and analyses,  the need to seek out wider issues on the micro-/ medio- / and macro-levels, relating to the concept of citizen in the 21st century, the need to develop the concept of the universal citizen in terms of world-society, the need for transition from a globalisation based on economics to one founded on culture or solidarity. We believe that in this transition, CE has an important role to play, and that an educational and cultural reality that takes the citizen as its starting point one can be linked to it. For that very reason, CE must enter a period of rethinking and of new outlooks on things and concepts. In other words, it will be capable of studying collective forms of human action on the educational, cultural and political level. It will look at the new challenges in the area of production-based society and international level science, as well as at the orientation of values in the so-called “information society” or “knowledge society”. We argue that in our days Homo Politicus, is the Homo Comparativus who is identified with a new, humanistic and global Comparative Education.