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Spring Newsletter (No.2)
May 2003
Welcome to the Network's second Newsletter. This issue will focus on keynote presentations from the Launch Conference including an update of the Bologna Process and its implication to Geography in Europe, European Funding opportunities. Expansion of our Network and the direction it is taking.



Network Launch
The HERODOT Network was launched at the Royal Geographical Society in London by Robert Evans MEP
as part of the conference "Geography Education in an Evolving Europe". Further details can be found on the HERODOT Web site. Short reports on the activities and outcomes of the launch follow here. Fuller information can be found on the full conference report.

Launch: Bologna Update - Launch: Network News Thematic Pillar Update

The Bologna Declaration: Current Situation

Following on from our launch newsletter in March. The Bologna Process was the subject of a keynote presentation by Professor Wendy Davies, Pro-Provost (Europe) at University College London, who is one of two UK representatives on the Bologna Promoters Group of the European Universities Association.

Professor Davies outlined two central political drivers:

  • To increase the attractiveness of European higher education to overseas students, central to the process
  • To reduce the cost of the higher education system - especially in continental Europe where there are long degree courses (5-7 years

There is also the European vision of creating an integrated Europe, with the increased employability of graduates on a Europe-wide basis. A top-down approach is necessary and this will have a marked effect, with new structures outlined by legislation.

A study by the EUA (European Universities Association) of the undergraduate and postgraduate systems shows the following current situation:
Traditional: UK, Ireland, Malta
Established: Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Turkey
Consolidating: Czech Republic, Slovenia, Finland, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, Cyprus
New structure: Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Spain, Belgium (Flemish)
Not following: Hungary, Romania
Undecided: Belgium (French), Greece, Croatia

Bologna has had two main effects so far:

  • Two-tier structure (Bachelors-Masters) - greatest effect
  • ECTS use - widespread, influenced by the University Charter

ther likely effects are:
  • Quality Assurance, suggested there might be a super European Quality Assurance Agency, though this is greatly opposed. One European body ENQA (European Network of Quality Assurance) already exists as a liaison body.
  • TUNING Project, suggesting curriculum convergence and outcomes at subject level considered valuable and interesting. Has led to general levels of agreement, but of non-practical use.
  • There are doubts about the effectiveness and acceptability of the Bachelors degree when compared with the employability of graduates at this level. In many countries students stay at university until Masters level. Concern over what is the correct period of study, with some countries considering 5 years as acceptable, i.e. 3+2.
  • Appropriate use of ECTS

ECTS Credit route

Sub degree 60 ECTS 1 year fulltime
  60-120 ECTS Certificate, Diploma
First degree 180-240 ECTS Bachelors level
Postgraduate under 60 ECTS Postgraduate certificate, Diploma
  60-120 ECTS Masters type qualification
  90-120 ECTS MA, MSc.
  Not credit rated PhD

Professor Davies stated the future of Bologna is highly political and is therefore changing rapidly and is unstable. The Berlin draft is already available for the Ministers meeting September 2003 and includes:

  • Quality Assurance - European Register for QA, regular use of European nationals in the QA process, call for EUA and European Commission to make it happen, pan-European
  • Mobility, portability of grants and loans to a member state, to study up to a full degree abroad
  • ECTS recommended as THE system, appeal to use to the Diploma supplement and in a pan-European context
  • Increased cooperation beyond Europe, more scholarships, Erasmus World programme
  • Doctoral programmes to be integrated

In the view of Professor Davies there are considerable opportunities for the HERODOT Thematic Network for the following reasons:

  • Culture is changing, attitudes changing
  • Masters degrees are very messy, need to be sorted out, opportunities for joint programme developments between institutions, 2 year Masters programmes, yet 1 year Masters in the UK for the rest of the world, cost considerations
  • Doctoral degrees incorporated, needs studies and activities
  • Recognition mechanisms for the worth of overseas study periods, needs assistance for it to happen at national level, the use of ECTS may allow it to happen
  • Closer links to establish the European Higher Education Area and European research area to establish Europe of Knowledge.

Further information and full text of the delcaration is available from the European Union web site.

Major reforms are now underway in a large number of the 33 signatory countries. Many institutions are now directly involved in shaping new educational structures which will lead to national and European initiatives, developing a stronger European dimension in higher education as a whole. The HERODOT Thematic Network will seek to facilitate collaboration by bringing to the fore the key issues facing geography within Europe through research and discussion.


Launch: More Network News - Thematic Pillars: Update TP1 - TP2 - TP3

TP1: Europeanisation (Leader: Olivier Mentz)

HERODOT will seek to enable self-TUNING of Geography in Europe in order to establish an International Charter for Geography in Higher Education. Link here for the TUNING Educational Structures in Europe

At the launch conference Pillar 1 decided to postpone the seminar in Tatu, scheduled for May this year, until September 2004 as most members were unavailable to attend at such short notice. In the meantime Malta University will host a meeting 20th-23rd June 2003. The aims of this meeting are to:

  • devise and approve the TUNING questionnaire
  • draw up data needs and questionnaire
  • plan and organise the data collection and analysis
  • plan activities and organise a meeting of the TP next year in Tartu

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TP2: Professionalism (Leader: Brian Chalkley)

Professional development is a key component for Geographers in changing times in higher education in Europe. This section will seek to establish needs and identify ways that these can be met. LTSN GEES Project.

TP 2 proposes to:

  • undertake a base line survey of existing staff, and what is being done for geography staff in European countries.
  • data should be collected by the end of May
  • data collated and paper written and put onto the website
  • perhaps a wider survey will be undertaken later
  • this is a very important theme for professional development

The group considered geographers unprepared for employability with academics being considered out of touch with how to advise students on available employment for qualified geographers. They intend to publish a paper on employment. Their follow up meeting will be held in Sofia, Prague during March 2004.
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TP3: Exciting Geography (Leader: Ashley Kent)

This pillar is focusing on innovative learning and teaching issues. It will seek to produce case studies in support of good practice in Geography. Geography Discipline Network

This was is the largest of a group which covered many aspects of geography education and as such split into three sub-groups:

  • What is exciting geography? Leaders Iris Pauw and Adwin Bosschaart
  • Using geography to enhance thinking. Leaders David Owen, Sheila Waddington and Costas Constantinou
  • ICT and CAL in geography. Leaders Harry Rogge and Gregor Falk

Full details of plans and outcomes can be found in the Launch Conference Report.

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HERODOT has been linked with the new Thematic Network EEGECS (for higher education departments of Geodetics, Cartogaphy and Surveying). This network has submitted an application under the ALPHA Programme to link universities in Europe with those in Latin America. If you are interested in joining EEGECS, contact

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HERODOT needs YOUR help
HERODOT is looking to link with universities and teacher training departments in other parts of the world. If you have contacts who might be interested in joint projects or in running and organising events and conferences for Geographers, please contact Karl Donert or Glenda Wall urgently.

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INLT stands for International Network for Learning and Teaching Geography in Higher Education. It was established at the AAG conference in Hawaii in 1999. Papers were published in JGHE July 2000. There is a listserv and a twic yearly Newsletter. Members of HERODOT, who have not already done so, should join. It is free. See http://www.glos.ac.uk/gdn

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Project on the Mental Maps of Young Europeans
Raymond Treier (email: raymond.treier@swissonline.ch) would like to hear from any colleagues interested in the possibility of creating "mental maps" about the emotions of young pupils in Europe about the European countries. Contact him if you can contribute to this investigation and to find how to realise this in schools in different countries.

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HERODOT Network Growth
The HERODOT Network now stands at 97 partners, including 10 geography related organisations, representing 29 countries within Europe and is still growing.

The Network is urgently looking to expand its links internationally, particularly within Asia, Japan and Africa. Partners with any geography specific contacts who they feel may be interested in participating in the Network are asked to provide contact details. An expansion form has been e-mailed to all partners and there is also a copy available on the web site. Link here to site.

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HERODOT News will seek to provide members will useful information concerning opportunities to access European Commission and other funds to further collaboration and for projects.

Funding opportunities for colleagues exist now in the following areas, click to find out more:
Science and Society - European Science Education Initiative (teacher training)
LEONARDO DA VINCI - vocational training

Coming soon:

Other Links

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More Bologna - News from the European Commission - role of universities - Eurydice Bulletin - top

More Bologna
The HERODOT Web site has copy and links on Bologna, an explanation of the Declaration can be found at:

An article by Prof. Graham Gaie (University of Glasgow) may be of interest to UK colleagues, "The Bolgna Declaration - Does it concern UK Universities?

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European Commission News

Ploteus Portal for European Education and Training
PLOTEUS, is an online service launched by the European Commission in March to help citizens find out about education and training in Europe.The new portal, named after the ancient Greek word for 'navigator', offers a vast array of useful free information by linking national education and training websites. In parallel with the EURES jobs database, it effectively opens up public sector sources of learning and employment opportunities throughout 30 countries.

As well as the detailed information on schools, colleges and courses of all kinds in it's learning opportunities and education systems sections, the portal provides practical help under the headings 'exchange', 'contact' and 'moving to a country'. This includes hints on matters such as finding a place to stay, living costs, the legal aspects of studying or working abroad, tax and social security. Visit the PLOTEUS Portal at: http://www.ploteus.net

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European Commission consultation: the role of universities
The Commission adopted on 5 February a Communication on The Role of Universities in the Europe of knowledge. They are inviting anyone who has an interest in this matter on higher education to send a response on the Communication to the Commission up to the end of May this year. The intention is to prepare a short report to the Ministers of (Higher) Education in time for the Berlin Ministerial meeting of the Bologna process. Further action will be assessed at that stage. The briefing document from the Commission on the role of universities can be accessed by clicking here.

As a Thematic Network, HERODOT is asked to contribute to this debate. Please send any comments and statements to Karl Donert or Glenda Wall or contribute by the end of May directly on email to:
or by post to: European Commission, EAC A1 (Consult-Univ), (B7 – 9/58), B - 1049 BRUXELLES, BELGIUM

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Eurydice Bulletin: 'Education in the News - Europe'
Headlines are as follows:
* Turkey to participate in education, training and youth programmes in 2004 - European Commission Press Release
* Debate on the future of universities in Europe - European Commission Communication
* Denmark proceeds with university reform
* Germany seeks to increase share of international postgraduates
* Sweden seeks to attract more foreign students with the launch of a new web site: http://www.studyin.sweden.se
* The future of higher education in England & Wales (Government white paper on the reform of HE in England & Wales)
* ICT government policies for education and training worldwide (searchable database)

The bulletin contains a collection of recent education news items, presented in alphabetical order by country. These have been collected from European education websites, the Times Educational Supplement, the Times Higher Education Supplement and other publications. The items also contain web sites where further information may be found about each topic.

You can download a copy of this bulletin from: http://www.nfer.ac.uk/eurydice/factfiles/factfileeur.asp#ednews (click on the words 'current issue')
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Please click to link to a presentation on "The Future of Young
Researchers' Mobility and Career Paths - A European Context
" Any comments can be emailed directly to Alex Lewis at ajclewis@yahoo.co.uk

Information or resources on learning and teaching in geography, earth or environmental sciences can be obtained from the LTSN-GEES Centre http://www.gees.ac.uk/

GEO:connexion Magazine has a special Offer - £45 or 82 Euros/US$ (10 issues).
To subscribe or renew, contact: subscription@geoconnexion.com or call +44 (0) 1480 356499
Recent columns:
GEO:VIEWPOINT: topical issues
GEO: Africa
GEO: Middle East
Recent stories


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Conferences and Events 2003/4

Turbulent Landscapes exhibition, London, UK (19 April - 15 September 2003)
Complex natural events on a large scale create sand dunes, form clouds and hot springs. These form the subject of Turbulent Landscapes, an interactive exhibition from the Exploratorium, San Francisco, using the water, salt, wind and sand. Visitors experience natural phenomena on a human scale, via exhibits that are powerful and thought provoking.
Venue: The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7.
Contact: Press Office, The Natural History Museum.
Tel: + 44 20 7942 5654. email: J.Glyde@nhm.ac.uk

Green Week 2-5 June 2003
Green Week 2003 intends bringing people together to debate, as a follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg on key environmental issues of sustainable consumption and production, renewable energy and climate change and water. You can now register on-line at
http://europa.eu.int/comm/environment/greenweek/practical/practical_en.htm for the 2003 edition of Green Week!

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Special International Conference Society and Environment <Interaction under Conditions of Global and Regional Changes> will take place in Moscow and Barnaul (Altai) July 20-29, 2003
Further Information: http://igu.org.ru/en/events/barnaul_2003.html and: http://www.igu-net.org/uk/news_and_events/altai.pdf

Earth Science for the Global Community, the Fourth International Geoscience Education Conference wish to extend an invitation to attend the August 1014, 2003 Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2003
RGS- IBG International Annual Conference: Geography Serving Society and the Environment. Venue: 1 Kensington Gore, London, Date: 3-5 September 2003
Theme: Geography, Serving Society and the Environment
Globalisation, Deprivation and Health, Global London, Geography and the Humanities, Representation of the City and Creativity, Global Change, Geography and the Future of Education, Environmental Governance, EU Water Framework Directive, Voices from Europe, New Europe and New Geography.
Further information: http://www.rgs.org/ACLondon2003 or email rhed@rgs.org

2nd International Swiss NCCR Climate Summer School
Climate Change: Impacts of Terrestrial Ecosystems 30 August - 6 September 2003 Grindelwald, Swiss Alps. The Summer School fosters cross-disciplinary links. An excursion will lead us to exciting research sites.
Information and an application form online at:
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Earth Science Teachers Association: 36th Annual course and conference
The 36th Annual course and conference takes place 12-14 September 2003 at Manchester University. This year's theme is Earth sciences in the 21st Century. The course will include INSET and workshop events, lectures and fieldworkshops. .
For further information, contact Dr Paul Selden, Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
Tel: + 44 161 275 3296 email: Paul.Selden@man.ac.uk

Neothemi Conference Helsinki 2003: Cultural Heritage and ICT: Theory and practice, 19 – 20 September
University of Helsinki, Department of Teacher Education, Siltavuorenpenger 10, Finland
Deadline for returning the Registration Form, May 31 2003
See also: http://www.malux.edu.helsinki.fi/tt/helsinki2003
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The Asociación de Geografos Españoles (Spanish Geographers Association) XVIII Congress:Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona, 24-27th September, 2003 "Geographies for a Global Society: Diversity, Identity and Social Exclusion". The four groups of the Congress will discuss : Territory and social change, Diversity and integration in the new Europe, Landscape and sustainability and New issues in territorial planning and management. At the same time, four Round Tables are planned on : The Bologna challenges in geography teaching; Geography and Society; From Postmodernism to the new Cultural Geographies and Innovation, Networks and fluxes in terriritorial studies. Information : http://www.age2003.com

Geographical Association: Annual Conference 5th-7th April 2004.
University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. There will be a special event on Europe and Enlargement Contact: ga@geography.org.uk and visit the GA Web site http://www.geography.org.uk for further information.

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Project Research Assistants: Glenda Wall and Amanda Plumb
Liverpool Hope University College, Hope Park, Liverpool, L16 9JD
Tel: 0151 291 3346/3897 Fax: 0151 291 3116
E-mail: wallg@hope.ac.uk and plumba@hope.ac.uk