Bachelor of Ass. Introduction into the backgrounds oft the Bologna-reform-process.

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Marcel S. Mansouri

Bachelor of Ass
A short introduction into the backgrounds of the Bologna-reformprocess and its efforts in Germany.
Marcel S. Mansouri, 24, student at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Studies th Sociology and Political Science in the 7 term. Specialized on political communication and social inequality analysis. Bachelor of Ass is the title of a manifesto he wrote in spring 2009 to illustrate the failure of the Bologna-Process in Germany. He concluded that the reforms not just economize the education system, but are all at once budget cutbacks which come in through the backdoor. The state is pulling out of the education system step by step so the potential protestors do not realize the privatization until it is too late. But the great tragedy is the fact, that the ethos of studying as a homo economicus is not something which had to be created, it is a widespread motivation to study because of the prospect of better chances on the job market and at last a prospect of wealth.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school." – Albert Einstein

Part I: What they stole from us In the end, what is it, what studying is about? Is it about success? Is it about understanding the world or the meaning of life? Is it meant to be the key to the world of prosperity and wealth, or is it a human right, the right of every human being to get behind its own desires and reach a state of felicity? Let’s be honest – it is about success. Maybe not for you and for me, but, regarding the organizational structures of our society, Universities are institutions for social selection. Indeed they can be the key to the world of prosperity. It depends on the angle from which you look at the question. Do you want a normative answer or do you want to get behind the organizational structure of a utilitarian capitalist society? "The fully enlightened world radiates disaster triumphant.“ This quote of the famous philosophers and sociologists Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno catapults us to the keypoint of the whole discussion about education, society, individuality and mass stupidity. Enlightement used to be a process of emancipation of the intellectual elites in feudalist Europe, beginning in the 18th century as a process of demystification of religion, state, hierarchy, and all the traditions that used to legitimize the societal structures of that time. Meanwhile there was a class struggle between the old feudalist elites and the rising class of bourgeois, whose influence and power grew with the progress of industrialization. Those were the ones who could afford education that time and therefore were the ones to not only question the legitimacy of the social structure, but also think about alternative models of society which in their view would be better than the ruling aristocratic system. The german philosopher Jürgen Habermas wrote 1969, in an essay about the 1968 students-protest movement, that the success of Hitler in spreading his inhuman ideology,

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faking history and manipulating the masses was all at once the failure of the education system (Habermas 1969: 51). Regarding to this realization, in post-war Germany one of the first things to discuss was education-policy-reform. One wanted to prevent the educational institutions being abused by special interests in order to form people’s minds in one or the other way for the own agenda. What happened was nothing less than the opening of the higher education system for the working class. The german council of scientists – a group of elder scientists which was constituted in 1957 in order to work out plans for optimizing the german higher education system – published a paper on the development of the so called “education expansion”. In fall 1950 there were 110 000 students studying in Western Germany. The number was growing slowly to 127 000 in fall 1955. Fall 1960 there 220 000 students studying in West Germany’s Universities (Council of Scientists 2005: 15). The government reacted to the doubling of the students with the founding of 29 completely new Universities, which were built between 1969 and 1979 (Council of Scientists 2005: 16). More and more working class people could afford to study. The timetables were flexible, which was in favour of those who had to work to make their living beside their studies. After 1979 there was a general stop of investments in the public education sector. The experts justified it with prognosis of sinking numbers during the next decade, due to demographic change. They were wrong. The capacities of West Germany’s Universities were completely exceeded and the government didn’t want to invest. So they did what they always do, they tried to trick the people. They launched a campaign against the lazy drunk and drug-doing students and wanted to shorten the regular time for studying down to three years. Sounds familiar? In 1988 there was a great protest movement against the agenda of the government to strengthen the pressure on the students by University reforms. The right to set the timetable on one’s own fits better in the picture of a democratic pluralistic country then a dictated timetable, where there’s not just planned which courses one have to make in which period of the studies, but there’s also timepressure. That would especially be a clear disadvantage to students with lower-income family background who must work to make their living beside their studies. The events in 1988/89 were dramatic. I was three years old back then. 20 years later I read about the struggle of that time in the internet archives of the General Student’s Committee of the Free University of Berlin. There was a wave of Campus occupations through the republic, which I do not want to explore now, because it would get us away from the fact of matter. What I am trying to illustrate is, that the structures, which today appear under the name of Bachelor/Master and European Unification are much elder than some of us might think. As a matter of fact, in the early sixties the government tried to implement those structures. The first step of the student protests of the sixties in West Germany was the SDS-work1 “University in a Democracy”. In the early sixties the protest was focused on the

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The SDS („Sozialistischer Deutscher Studentenbund“; engl. Socialist German Students) was a group of students who were critical about the development of West Germany and capitalism at all. They used to be the youth organization of the SPD (Socialdemocratic Party of Germany). But as the SPD moved to the centre of society in order to win elections, they had to cut the links to the radical student group and founded a new youth organization called “Jungsozialisten” (Young Socialists).

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Governments agenda for University reforms.2 After the 1967 “Vietnam Congress” the movement got down from campus and went over to Main Street. Back to the eighties. After the successful campaign against University reforms there was silence for some time. The unification of Germany brought the whole movement down and other difficulties occurred for the higher education system. Two completely different systems had to be combined. Thousands of students of East Germany now had to be integrated to the academic standard of a democracy. In the natural sciences there was no problem. But social sciences, philosophy and history are much different in a dictatorship. For that job and for planning the future of the German higher education system, in 1993 an institution was found under the name of “Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung” (Centre for University Development). It was a joint venture by the General University-Presidents Conference and the Bertelsmann Foundation.3 And guess what – the new old idea of education reform was born once again. But this time things changed. With the meltdown of the USSR the neoliberals celebrated the end of history and started to reorganize society. 1996 the OECD published a paper called “The knowledge based economy”.4 They concluded that the fastest growing segment of the job-market is ‘highly skilled labour’. Meantime it’s the segment with the lowest unemployment-rate. The major shift in this document is best illustrated in the following quote: ‘Knowledge-intensive service sectors, such as education, communications and information, are growing even faster. Indeed, it is estimated that more than 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the major OECD economies is now knowledge-based’ (OECD 1996: 9). As we see, education is named in a list of services, which are bringing growing economic profit. Let alone the fact that an economic institution like the OECD is now dealing with education, at least putting education on a list of services together with communications and information is a turning point in the discussion of education policy. And as every rational thinking human being knows, as soon as something is profitable for the economy, it gets deregulated so that corporations can press even more profit out of it. After all the Bologna-Process is nothing else than the deregulation of the education system. And what is the great danger in all of that. If we take a look to the worst dictatorships of history – some of them unfortunately are still on power – there’s one thing that jumps into the eye: The whole education system is just a tool for spreading the ruling ideology. It doesn’t matter whether it is a totalitarian theocracy like the Islamic Republic of Iran or a Stalinist regime like North Korea, through the education system those regimes spread their ideology, there’s no free critical emancipatory education, there is just submission under a totalitarian ideology.5 Education is abused as a tool for social control. And where is the
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By the way, at that time the government implemented tuition fees, which soon were abolished because no one paid. So a mass boycott was successful and indeed is possible. I don’t really understand why we couldn’t make it in 2006. http://che.de/. Basically the Bertelsmann Foundation is just a euphemism for Bertelsmann Corporation. The Foundation is just a tool for laundering. th http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/51/8/1913021.pdf, loaded on Oct. 17 2009. The Khmer Rouges in Cambodia even killed every one they accused to be intellectual. The Cultural Revolution in the PR China was a coup by Mao who pushed the youth out of the

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difference between God, the preeminent leader or economic necessity, if each of the explanations forces us to do or accept things of which we know they’re not right? Let us reflect an example for the contradictions in the current German public debate. It is consensus in the public discussion, that the war in Iraq is based on lies of the Bush Administration in order to justify a war they wanted to start anyways. Therefore the former federal chancellor Gerhard Schröder (now a Gazprom Lobbyist) refused to support the war. But meanwhile we have continued our engagement in the war in Afghanistan. We were told that this was the right war. And if Obama asks us to send more troops to Afghanistan, our Government will send them. They used to justify the war with the events of 9/11. After a few years they said we’re in nation-building now, we would have to stabilize the country. Then they said we were there to protect the human rights of afghan women, who would be oppressed if we pulled out our troops. But why do we care about the human rights of the Afghans while we sell weapons to the dictator next door, Uzbekistan? And why can’t Al Quaida just move to Sudan or Somalia or Yemen or one of the other destabilized Islamic countries to build up their camps? And how can Al Quaida fighters with an infantry training can be a danger to us in central Europe? Another example. In Germany there’s a huge discussion about nuclear energy. All that matters is the safety of our nuclear plants and the carbon in our atmosphere. No one talks about the modalities of Uranium exploitation in countries like the Niger where the cancer rate is growing dramatically in the regions where the exploitations are taking place. Where are their human rights? Now here’s my point: Without critical thought and without a good critical education in subjects like history, politics, and philosophy (and maybe many more) it is hard to imagine that your own government is lying to you. Furthermore it is hard to differ between a political necessity for the use of force, like the international community should have used in Rwanda to prevent the slaughter of a million people, and a completely geostrategic motivated war like Afghanistan. Also it would be unimaginable for people without knowing about historic events like the Reichstagsbrand6, to ask questions about the events of 9/11.7 All of that does not mean that there is a great conspiracy going on. These are just abstract examples for the importance of free critical education for reflecting major political events like wars, bills which destroy civil rights and so on. We would not even be able to discuss these events without a certain amount of education. Without education the people are not able to differ between a democracy and a dictatorship. And last but not least the individual is completely helpless against the media-system without a good education.
educations system, away from the party-propaganda of his inner-party enemies, to intoxicate them with his own propaganda, his little red book. And we all see what happened. th Transl. Burning of the parliament. The Nazis set the parliament on fire on February 28 1933 in a false flag attack. They accused the communists to be behind that “terrorist attack”, implemented a new law and started to hunt down their political enemies. Asking questions does not automatically mean blaming the US-Government for an Inside Job. But in my opinion it is more than just disgusting in which way people who dare to ask questions in the so called free world are treated. And the possibility that a government who has lied before and lied afterwards has also lied on that specific manner is in my opinion not very low, considering the incident on the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964 which 41 years later where intelligence reports on that day were declassified appeared to be a lie.

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Conclusion: People say knowledge is power. But knowledge is just power if you know something no one else knows. So you can use your knowledge to manipulate people. Knowledge can just be power if not everybody has access to it. If one sais knowledge is power, in turn we can say, education is emancipation. And basically that is what they stole from us with this reform-agenda. They want to create structures in which the possibility of individual critical education becomes impossible. The only usage of these institutions is the concentration of knowledge, which is needed by the big corporations in order to produce economic growth in the so called knowledge-based economy (OECD 1996). Part II: What they try to sell us The Bologna-Process is not just a reform of the education-system. This reform wants to fit the education system into the neoliberal transformation of society. But like every ideology, there is always a certain argument of necessity. In our age it always is science, and so it is with the Bologna-Reform-Process. The backers of the process argue, that it is scientifically proven, that this reform brings the country forward. If we take a closer look at the argument, we realize parallels to the argumentation of the privatization of hospitals, transport, social services, health care and so on. It follows the same line: 1. The globalization confronts the country with major changes on which the government has to react. The countries with their national economies are in a total competition and are forced to do reforms in order to be able to compete with other countries. 2. The wealth of the nation depends on the international competitiveness of its economy. And the international competitiveness of the economy depends on low taxes for corporations and deregulation of specific segments of the market. 3. The market regulates itself. So it is purely democratic to leave the decision how much and what is consumed to the costumers. There consumption will define the prices. Conclusion: a) No government regulations b) no government enterprises c) no government service when the market can do it too. 4. Everything is available on the market. (In our case) 5. Education is available on the international market. Therefore education is service. And therefore it has to be deregulated, because the market would run it more efficient than the government which is nearly bankrupt anyways and can’t afford to invest more in the ruined education system. Sound familiar? There we go! But what basically did happen on the education sector? That is, what we are going to explore in the following part.

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The falsities of Bologna
‘A system, in which two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate, should be recognized for international comparison and equivalence, seems to emerge.’ – Sorbonne Declaration ‘The vitality and efficiency of any civilisation can be measured by the appeal that its culture has for other countries.’ – Bologna Declaration

These two quotes from key-documents of the Bologna-Process show us the dimension of stupidity and foolyness which is behind the whole agenda. Remark to the first quote: If such a system with two main cycles as described above really was emerging by itself, why did the governments had to force the universities by law to implement the new structures? Correctly the sentence should have sounded like that: ‘We will constrain a system, in which two main cycles […] should be recognized for international comparison and equivalence.’ The answer to the second quote: As far as I am concerned, vitality and efficiency of a civilization can’t be measured by anything. But it is nice to discover the radical eurocentrism of the decision makers who brought this process on its way. And last but not least, this quote is in total contradiction to the ideology of individuality and plurality, which is being taught us since we began to think.8 The Bologna-Ideologues promise us a Europe of knowledge. With a little bit of fantasy one might come to the idea of connecting the planned Europe of knowledge to the knowledgebased economy. And taking statements like ‘they should not make one forget that Europe is not only that of the Euro, the banks and the economy’ (Sorbonne Declaration) they make it hard for us not to speak about the total economization of education and with that our minds. So what did they promise us? According to the Bologna-Declaration there were six major points to be implemented – as far as they weren’t already part of the national education system: 1. Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, also through the implementation of the Diploma Supplement, in order to promote European citizens employability and the international competitiveness of the European higher education system Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate. Access to the second cycle shall require successful completion of first
But of course individuality in our society means nothing else than the difference of our clothes, hair-cuts and our favorite Rockbands. So we can buy our individuality in one of the dozens of consumption temples called malls.

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cycle studies, lasting a minimum of three years. The degree awarded after the first cycle shall also be relevant to the European labour market as an appropriate level of qualification. The second cycle should lead to the master and/or doctorate degree as in many European countries 3. Establishment of a system of credits - such as in the ECTS system - as a proper means of promoting the most widespread student mobility. Credits could also be acquired in non-higher education contexts, including lifelong learning, provided they are recognised by the receiving universities concerned

4. Promotion of mobility by overcoming obstacles to the effective exercise of free movement with particular attention to: - for students, access to study and training opportunities and to related services; - for teachers, researchers and administrative staff, recognition and valorisation of periods spent in a European context researching, teaching and training, without prejudicing their statutory rights 5. Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies

Employability – Triumph march of the Idiots

‚Those, who are not ready to work in teams and networks and adjust theirselves to each challenge, which is brought up to them – after all never by people, but always by the market, the globalization or even the future – those ones do not have a chance to meet the requirements of the knowledge society.’ – Konrad Paul Liessmann

One of the bigger jokes of this reform-process is the promise of employability. It suggests, that the individual can raise its chances on the job market by making several courses in whatever the university, the government or those quality assurance agencies might think is relevant. A side effect of such thought is, that the responsibility to get a job is moved to the job searching individual. That means, if an academic (or any other person) doesn’t find a job, it must be his own fault. After the latest economic meltdown no one can seriously believe these kinds of statements. There’s a structural change on the job market, and yes, globalization basically is changing society. We should start to anticipate these major changes and start to understand how they affect our lives. Studying shall become more practically orientated. Students in schools and universities shall be trained for the job market. That means, they don’t necessarily learn how to do things properly, but more how things are being done on the job. So the corrective factor of education is being given up, and the theory is being corrected by the mistakes in practice.

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False policies and unjust structures, the mistakes and thoughts of yesterday – for example on the energy sector, where we cannot continue like the past 200 years – will be the lessons for tomorrow. Not in the sense of stopping, reflecting what we were doing and changing, but in the sense, that the mistakes reproduce themselves in our minds. How do we get away from fossil energy sources, when all we are being taught is about how and where to get the last oil-resources.9 How do we fight world hunger or AIDS, when all we learn is, what we did the past 100 years. And we do not just learn what we did, we learn to do it the same way. When innovation is being suppressed, we have got an authoritarian education system, which works only one way: indoctrination of its students and manifest the status quo in people’s minds. To manifest an ideology into people’s minds you just have to make it part of their reality, which is the perfect explanation, why they’re introducing more and more market elements into the education system. If the process of socialization is shaped by market rationality, there is just one area of life left where the ideology leaves you alone: family. What was the adjective again which we use to describe societies, where an ideology goes through all area of life? Wait… it was totalitarian10! But don’t worry, it’s just capitalism. Now where does all of that bring us? If we take a brief look at the situation before the Bologna-Process, we don’t see masses of unemployed academics. So what do we need employability for? It is more than obvious, that this reform is just meant to reorganize the education system so that schools and universities are run like corporations. I’ll give you two arguments for my thesis: 1. A good example is the new higher education law in Germany, where after the structural reforms the Universities were subordinated under advisory boards, which should lead the institutions like enterprises. So they operate profit oriented. Basically there is no advantage in the new structure. The main problem of the education system is the fact that they are underfinanced since 30 years now. And what do they do to salve the problem? They change their structures and implement the structures of a modern corporation. And like a modern corporation has to look for investors, the Universities have to look for third party funding. And who is funding? Corporations. And they didn’t join the salvation army over night. So Universities have to go begging for funding and the government calls this ‘the autonomy of the education system’ and reduces the education budget (to waste it for corporate subsidies and wars). Drug Companies for example will invest in pharmaceutical studies. That’s good for those who study chemistry or other familiar subjects. But not for a historian. It is clear that the only subjects to benefit from the new reforms are those subjects who had good relations to the market anyways. But here’s the negative point: The government has to chip in each Euro which is funded by third parties. So the effect is: Those third parties do not only decide where their money goes, but also where
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A really frustrating example is the National Model United Nations in New York City where students are expected to imitate professional diplomats. And they really do! They imitate their ignorance, they imitate their conflicts, they imitate the lobbyists, they just repeat each mistake which the establishment does! They train it, and they’re mostly really good at it. We usually use this term to describe sovjet system, because the ideology of MarxismLeninism or at least the party-interpretation of it was taught everywhere, was present everywhere, was explaining everything – even the things it could not explain. Now it’s totally different. It’s the market…

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the public investments go. And all of that on the basis of budget cutbacks, because the government wants to reduce their expenses due to their budget deficits which by the way skyrocketed during the financial crisis. And what’s so bad about that? Well, who funds literature, or philosophy, or history? Think about it. 2. This system is about to create a new type of worker: the knowledge-worker. What constitutes a knowledge-worker is that he himself is responsible for the transformation of his knowledge into workforce. And also for selling his workforce on the market. Studying loses its ideal, which is now being replaced by market ideology. Science used to be based on the question of why. Science used to be the process of searching explanations for the all the unknown in reality. One could say: The search for the truth. But now, due to this new quality of precarity, the focus has been shiftet not to the answer of the question why, but the marketing of the results, no matter whether they were scientifically correct or not. Look at all the pharma-corporations who sold the remedy ‘contergan’, which was proven to be toxic and having horrible side-effects on the human body, especially on unborn children of pregnant women (which were born disabled), until it was forbidden by law. And it was the courts, who forbid it, not the government! A scientist would have stopped selling, even producing that shit as soon as he noticed there were side effects. But a capitalist will sell it, as long as he is backed by the government. The globalized job market doesn’t ask for diploma or other degrees. It doesn’t ask for a degree at all. The globalized post-modern job market asks for a whole qualification profile, which they expect us to start working on when the first social selection mechanisms (in the german school system pupils get separated after the 4th grade) start to set the course for our individual careers. Only possible conclusion: The new system doesn’t want to create educated people with critical minds but just a bunch of idiots running around trying to sell something. And the really blowing thing about this is, those are the ones who have success. They get rewards for locking up their brains in their lockers, which is why I call this point “Triumph March of the Idiots11”.

Competition of competitiveness
What the hack do they mean with competitiveness? What has that to do with education? Well, it is easier than it looks in the first place. Education is a service on the market. Those institutions offering education are in a constant competition with each other. So far so good. But in which categories do institutions like schools or universities or even whole ‘higher education area’ compete with each other? Is it the numbers of graduates and alumni, the most applicants, the most nobelprice-winners, or everything bundled? This is confusing, as far as the architects never made a clear list of competition-categories. But in one point they always agree: the competition will raise the quality of education. Don’t worry, there is clarity. In Germany we have a group of lobbyists who call themselves Centre for University Development, who largely are sponsored by the Bertelsmann
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Basically an Idiot according to Aristotle is someone who can’t differ between private and public interest.

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Corporation, a media global player (we’ve had that above). Chairman was a Professor of Economics called Detlef Müller-Böhling. He had the great idea that Universities should work like modern enterprises. What a coincidence that a Professor of Economics comes to this idea. In this context Müller-Böhling speaks of ‘science-management’. Did anyone think about what that does mean for the Universities, market rationality in the education system? If a University is handled consequently like an enterprise, the first thing to do is to cut off all subjects which aren’t practically relevant for the job market, because they don’t bring any profit, they just cost money. The money which is being saved than, is invested into the top-seller-subjects, those subjects with the highest transfer-rate to the job market. But here’s where my favorite point comes in: Lifelong learning, or, as they say now in newage-marketing-media-slang: ‘LLL’. I call that ‘lifelong certificated learning’. What has that to do with competitiveness? We’ll see. One thing after another. First of all: How can they sell us that crap as a reform? If we look ten years back, did everybody throw their books away after they graduated? Of course life is about learning, therefore you hardly can do something against lifelong learning. The primal innovation here is, that everything has to be certificated. That means in turn, that you didn’t learn anything, as long as you don’t have a certification for proof. And that again means that people who don’t know anything but have plenty pieces of paper can be treated like scholars. People will do anything to get these certificates. So learning becomes a transaction. It doesn’t matter whether one has learned something or not, it’s all about a piece of paper which sais one has learned something. But in a society where your chances depend on these pieces of paper, and you have to collect them lifelong, you will never have the time to really sit down, take your time and read for example the ‘theory of communicative action’ or something else you are interested in. You always think, if I didn’t do it, all the others would do and it would turn out really bad for me. We’re supposed to feel caught in a lifelong prisoner’s dilemma and therefore stop thinking and learning, in order to collect certificates.

ECTS – Down with humanism!
If someone throws up on you shoes, do you also just clean up ‘most of it’? – Dr. Gregory House There are lots of aspects of the Bologna-Reforms I could explore, but this is not supposed to be a complete list of all the failures of the biggest educational scandal of the late 20th century. Therefore I will mention one last aspect, before I end this chapter. It’s my favorite argument to prove my thesis of the economization of education. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System at first isn’t something new. It exists since the 1989 found Erasmus-Program of the European Community. Back then it was a system to compare the courses students passed during an exchange term. Since Bologna it is a quantitative measuring unit – at least in Germany, I’m deeply interested in how it works elsewhere. The german Conference of Education Ministers determined the formula 1 Credit Point equals 30 hours of learning. In the philosophical faculty we usually get 2.5 cp

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(credit points) for per lecture. Now imagine you do a lecture on ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’. The certificate just means, that you spent 75 hours on that highly complex and hardly understandable masterpiece of Hegel. And what do you learn in 75 hours? Even more important: Do you necessarily learn exactly as much as everybody else who spends 75 hours on that book? And, let’s take it to the top: If it’s just about spending time with the book, you don’t necessarily have to read it… Now here’s why mobility is a lie: ECTS. I’ll explain it to you with a little introduction to the german course-system. In Germany there are two types of the Bachelor-Degree. The so called Ein-Fach-Bachelor (engl. One-Subject-Bachelor) and the Zwei-Fach-Bachelor (engl. –as you might guess – TwoSubject-Bachelor). That shouldn’t bother us for now. What matters is, that the BachelorDegree equals 180 cp. That means, more or less 5400 hours workload. They are split over 6 terms, which means more or less 30 cp (900 hours workload) per term. Each type of courses (lecture, seminar, etc.) is given a certain amount of cp. And that differs from University to University, the government didn’t harmonize that. And now we’ve got a situation, where you start studying sociology in Hamburg. You do it three terms long. You pass each of the courses, you’re doing just great. You did all the basics like scientific methods, statistics, introduction to sociology, sociological theories and what else counts as basics. And after the third term, when you’re about to specialize yourself on a certain topic like media analysis, you realize, that the University of Munich or Berlin is more convienent on that sphere, because they’ve got the focus on their researches on that. So, the most reasonable thing to do, is to say ‘hell yeah, Berlin is hell of city, let’s move there’. You compare the course-plans (over all six terms) and realize that the allocation of the credit points in Berlin or Munich is totally different. You don’t get 2.5cp for a lecture, but 6cp. So they don’t accept your certificates, which you collected the past terms, you would have to start at the beginning again. And who is dumb enough to do that? At last all ECTS is about, is to quantify your learning process. And the quantity usually doesn’t say anything about the quality. So, one could conclude that the quantification of learning progress is artillery-fire on the quality of education. That should be enough for now. I tried to translate the promises of the Bologna-Declaration for you and I hope that I could prove that once again we were fucked! Part III: What we can do against it. Once I realized it, I immediately asked myself: What can we do against it? The answer is quite simple. We already are doing a lot against it. This symposium is a great way to do something against the economization of education. It’s not just, that we are here to organize ourselves, we also educate ourselves – without LLL and ECTS! On November 17th until December 10th we got a new action-period in Germany. But we made a great mistake. People more and more get away from a straight theory and concentrate on doing mediawork, street marches and occupations. On a network-meeting in Frankfurt in August this year I asked my fellow students: What would we do, if the government came up to our occupied campus and just said: ‘Okay, you won. Let’s do it the way you want. Where are your claims, what is your concept of education? How can we finance it, how do we build

Bachelor of Ass. Introduction into the backgrounds oft the Bologna-reform-process.

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the structures? And how do we get to your ideal with this mess as a starting point?’ The only answer I got was: ‘That’s not gonna happen.’ That’s it? We don’t need a theory, we don’t need specific perceptions because in the end we won’t win anyways? Let’s just have a great time occupying campus and going to jail for a weekend. No. What we lack, especially in the german students movement, is a theoretical discource about ideals, reality, compromises and the way out if this whole shit. And that is the great danger I see for us in Germany: The protests become small Love-Parades or G-Moves and the political and cultural message behind it will rotten on facebook and myspace. No, people who stand up against the deformation of education should show the world, that they themselves actually know what education should be about! We have to work out a utopia of education, set sails and begin our journey to there. And basically that is lifelong learning! Because if there are any chances for us to prevail, victory won’t come during the next two years. The question is: How to start? We should use this forum to discuss our next steps. By the end of this symposium, we should be able to agree on a blueprint for a ‘reform of the reform’ in terms of renegotiating the worst disasters of the Bologna-Process. Those which I think are the most important ones, I listed and explained above. Let’s roll. Marcel Mansouri

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