NEAR-EU: The Europeanization of Higher Education

Project Name:

NEAR-EU: The Europeanization of Higher Education

UBC Researchers:

Prof. Kurt Huebner (Director of Research)
Dr. Conrad King (PI)

Research Assistants:

Jana Cleve (March – June 2017)
Lindsey Wong (April – May 2017)


Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (80%)
Co-financing by partner institutions (20%)

Sept 2016 – Sept 2019, €373,415

Project Summary:

Near-EU is a project to establish a Nexus of European centres Abroad for Research (Near), on the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area.  The overall goal of the Near-EU project is to broaden the field of European integration studies by incorporating the domain of higher education into the research and activities of centres for the study of Europe. The project will develop an inter-regional, collaborative academic space to enhance the study of European higher education policy and academic internationalization.

Objectives of the Near-EU project:

  • To develop the academic field of European HE policy.
  • To develop research methodologies in the field of EU HE policy.
  • To strengthen the ability of European research centers to study European educational policy and its role in European integration.
  • To create a wide inter-regional network of Bologna Research Centres which will engage in collaborative research, mutual learning and cross-fertilization processes.
  • To assess the internationalization trends in partner countries.
  • To enhance awareness in non-EU partner countries of the Bologna Process and familiarity with its practical tools.
  • To stimulate debate on the implementation of the process and provide a platform for future enhancement of internationalization– being situated in leading and established European study centers, the BRCs are assured of stable and long-term platforms for continued activity and dissemination.
  • To foster exchange of ideas and sharing of best practices among EU and Non-EU European Study Centers.
  • To promote cooperation between the partner countries HE sectors and the EHEA.

For more information on the Near-EU project, please click here

Partners in the Near-EU project:

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, UBC Institute for European Studies, Technical University of Darmstadt, the Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana, the University of Piraeus, Nanyang Technological University, National Centre for Research on Europe at the University of Canterbury (NZ). The project is supported by a grant from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.


Research: Internationalization Strategies in HE

Our core research question are: What are the internationalization strategies employed by higher education institutions in Canada, when faced with the burgeoning Europeanization of the global higher education sector?

Output to date:

‘The Bologna Process: a View from the Outside’ (BTC Annual International Conference, Bologna around the World – A Comparative Point of View. Tel Aviv, Israel. April 26, 2017)

‘Internationalization of higher education in a Canadian context.  Responses to the Bologna Process from Canadian universities’ (University of Ljubljana Education Conference, ‘Looking out’: Comparability and Compatibility in Global Higher Education. Ljubljana, Slovenia. Oct 10, 2017.)

‘The Internationalization of Canadian Higher Education: which direction are we heading?’ (British Columbia Political Studies Association Conference, Kamloops: 3 May 2018)

‘Unity and Diversity in Higher Education: Effects of Europeanization on Canadian Universities’ (European Community Studies Association Conference; Toronto: 10 May 2018).

‘Designing survey instruments for measuring internationalisation: perspectives from Canada, New Zealand and Singapore’ (Internationalisation and Economic Development in the European Higher Education Area and Beyond: strategies, policies and tools. Pireaus, Greece: 14 June 2018)

‘Internationalisation of higher education in a Canadian context: Responses to the Bologna Process from Canadian universities’ in European Journal of Higher Education 9 (1): 58-72 (2019)

Bologna Resource Centre

What is the Bologna Process?

The Bologna Process is a series of intergovernmental agreements made in the Council of Europe between 48 countries (along with the European Commission), to create a European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA is a means for each country to adapt their higher education systems to make them more compatible with one another, as well as to strengthen quality assurance mechanisms. The primary goal of the Bologna Process has been to facilitate mobility of students and staff across Europe, although this rather ambitious project has adopted several additional goals and objectives. For more information on the Bologna Process and the EHEA, please go to the official website here.

What is the Bologna Resource Centre, at the IES?

The Bologna Resource Centre (BRC) at the IES serves as a hub of information about the Bologna Process and the EHEA, as well as its implications for Canadian universities and policymakers.  The BRC will also act as an incubator to draw students and researchers from various policy disciplines into the domain of European integration studies.


Bologna Resource Centre roundtable.  SAVE THE DATE: April 20, 2018

The BRC at the Institute for European Studies will be hosting a roundtable in room 120 of the C.K. Choi building, UBC Vancouver, on 20 April 2018. We invite guests to come and learn about the internationalization (and Europeanization) of higher education, and about the Bologna process and its impact in Canada.

CPSA Conference, Multi-panel Workshop.  SAVE THE DATE: June 6, 2019

The Near-EU consortium will be facilitating a multi-panel workshop at the CPSA conference, as part of the UBC Congress of the Humanities.  The panels will address two topics: ‘Inclusion and diversity in our universities: how is internationalization changing higher education?’ and ‘The Bologna Process, 20 years on’. Times and locations of panels TBD.

Bologna Resource Centre roundtable.   SAVE THE DATE: June 7, 2019

The BRC at the Institute for European Studies will be hosting a round table with Canadian and international experts on Higher Education internationalization.  The event will take place in room 351 of the C.K. Choi building (UBC Vancouver) on 7 June 2019, from 10:30-12:00.  Lunch will follow.
Please RSVP here: <>