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Roundtable Discussion
November 14-18, 2005

Bologna Process and Its Consequences for Curriculum Development in Historical Studies



Medieval Studies Department, CEU; History Department, CEU & CRC

Contact person(s):
Balázs Nagy


The Department of Medieval Studies (MED) and the Department of History (HIS) of Central European University are proposing to launch a two-year MA Program in Historical Studies starting in the academic year 2006/2007. This move will draw on a unity of purpose, strengthen existing ties, and enhance previous collaboration between these two departments, both of which have been marked by comparative and interdisciplinary endeavors throughout their existence. By joining forces, the intention is to offer a multifaceted degree program, strongly underpinned by a systematic introduction to theories, methods, and research skills in history and its neighbor disciplines, focusing on Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (the comparison with Western Europe and other “borderlands” is implied throughout) from late antiquity to contemporary times, aimed at the understanding of persistent themes in the experience of these regions in a longue durée perspective.
The expansion to two years seems to be necessitated by the fact that basic training in the historical sciences (and their so-called auxiliaries, i.e. research tools and methods) as well as in ancient and modern languages is not as good as it was earlier, and especially not in universities less oriented to research training (in developing areas and in Anglo-American undergraduate education). This will be even more the case with the introduction of the Bologna model and the likelihood that 3-year-BA graduates will show up on our doorsteps relatively soon. Such a program would allow more systematic grounding in research methods and may be more appealing to students from Western Europe and North America while also able to accommodate applicants from universities with limited resources in up-to-date research training.

In designing the program the nature and the possible career paths of our “customer base” must be taken into consideration. Some of our MA graduates will continue in academia, enrolling in PhD programs. Most, however, will enter the general labor market and may eventually have such diverse careers in primary and high school education, public administration, cultural institutions such as museums, media, NGOs, and even business firms.

Our aim is to discuss the possible impacts of the Bologna process on curriculum development in the field of historical studies. We would like to share our experience with colleagues teaching history or historical studies in different university structures, and create together an overview of BA and MA curriculum structures (chronology-based systems, skills- and methods-based systems, etc.). Special attention will be given to the problem of mobility issues and to questions concerning the “national” character of history courses. Furthermore, how the teaching of historical source languages should affect the development of course structures at the MA level will be discussed. The program is designed for senior faculty members contributing to the structural development of the history curriculum on the local, national or regional level. At the same time, it is also offered for junior faculty members developing new courses in the field of history or historical studies (including archaeology, art history, classical studies, etc.) according to the new (Bologna-process-compatible) curriculum structure.

Roundtable Discussion

The Effect of the Bologna Process on History Teaching in Higher Education

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
LOCATION: CEU, Nador u. 9, Gellner Room

A roundtable discussion presented by the Department of History, Department of Medieval Studies and the Curriculum Resource Center

Moderator: Gábor Klaniczay (CEU)

Participants: Sorin Antohi (CEU), Istvén Bóna(CEU), Neven Budak (Zagreb), György Geréby(ELTE), Gerhard Jaritz (Krems)

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