A Model for the Regionalization of Higher Education: The Role and Contribution of Tuning

Jane Knight

Abstract


A notable evolution in the internationalization of higher education in the last decade has been the increasing emphasis on regional level collaboration and reform initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of regionalization through the lens of a conceptual model and to demonstrate how different Tuning initiatives serve as useful instruments in the application of the model, and the ultimate realization of higher education regionalization. The evolving nature and meaning of region and regionalization are explored in the first section of the paper. This leads to an analysis and conceptual mapping of the many terms used to describe the phenomenon. The proposed model is based on three distinct but complementary approaches; Functional, Organizational and Political Approaches (FOPA). The three approaches are inter-related. The model is generic in concept and purpose so that it can apply to the evolving process of higher education regionalization in different parts of the world. The article examines how the initiatives and implications of the Tuning process are directly related to the model and consequently make important contributions to the regionalization of higher education in all regions of the world.

Keywords


regionalization; system alignment; curriculum convergence; credit systems; qualification frameworks; organizational; functional; political; African Union; Latin America; Bologna; Europe; Central Asia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18543/tjhe-1(1)-2013pp105-125

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