Call for papers: “Supranational influencies in higher education” – nº 37 Revista Española de Educación Comparada

In the last fifty years, no other educational level has seen greater changes and transformations than higher education. This can be preached in almost all countries, even those where the right to basic education remains a pending issue. There are different reasons that explain it: political, economic, social and even technological. And yet, if something characterizes this educational level by comparison to others, it is precisely the fact that, despite the fact that there is talk of a higher education system, it has an enormous institutional diversity, generally without equivalence in the other levels of the country itself, and at the same time with a great autonomy of the institutions. This makes this level unlikely to accept uncoordinated public policies and explains why their behavior is not always homogeneous -in fact, most of the time the different institutions are related to each other knowing that they are concurrent and, at the same time, need mutual cooperation, nationally and internationally.
It is this dynamism that, combined with the internal complexity of institutions with a high level of self-government, makes the analysis of international trends a truly interesting and not at all easy venture, especially when trying to account for influences that transcend beyond the scope that is proper to the nation-state.
Indeed, national policies on higher education, as well as institutional ones, have been clearly affected in recent decades by supranational influences, mostly emanating from international organizations. The most well-known case is, undoubtedly, that of the European Union which, through numerous programs, has promoted research and also training, increasing convergence and international cooperation. The complex Process of Bologna initiated in 1990 and completed in 2010 and whose continuity will take place in the current Sorbonne Process has been, perhaps, the most tangible materialization of these processes of supranationality to which higher education institutions have been subjected.
But other international organizations such as the Development Banks have also made their influence felt in many countries, financing higher education as a relevant mechanism for competitiveness and economic growth. This is a perspective equally shared by the OECD indicators and analysis, which insist on the strategic value of investments in higher education. To these influences must be added, on an equally global scale, the persistent task that UNESCO has been developing to promote access to higher education with equity, as reflected particularly in the current agenda for sustainable development.
This is the framework of analysis that interests this monograph. Thus, contributions that help shed light on how these supranational influences have contributed to the configuration of contemporary higher education will be welcome for this issue. Also, those that analyze the most significant emerging trends on a global scale and, of course, that assess their impact in large regions of the planet, in specific nations or in more specific local realities.