New Programme Profiles for a New Society: An Introduction

  • Julia González Tuning Academy, University of Deusto, Spain
  • Paul D. Ryan National University of Ireland, Ireland
  • Robert Wagenaar Tuning Academy, University of Groningen, Netherlands


Higher education is fundamental to both national and global contemporary knowledge economies. It is also a driver for social change (see for example) which crucially includes making higher education available and relevant to a wider section of society and improving the mobility and relevance of its graduates in the workplace. New tools are required to integrate such developments with the sector’s traditional functions of teaching and research. However, every student is different, each programme is different, each university is different and the needs of professions and nations also differ. Therefore, research leading to the development of such tools is fundamental to the development of modern society. One such tool, whose importance has recently been recognised, is the use of profiles at institutional, regional (geographic, cultural or discipline) and programme levels. Such profiles are a concise, precise and portable description of the particular academic entity. They have diverse uses ranging from ranking of institutions, aiding academic programme selection by a student, facilitating graduate mobility and as a tool for professional accreditation. We have, therefore, selected the topic of profiles for the first issue of the Tuning Journal for Higher Education. Whilst we cannot hope to cover the totality of this subject in one issue, we trust that it will stimulate debate and further promote research on the types, design and uses of profiles. The first and perhaps the most important question we address is what should be profiled?

Published online: 4 July 2014


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Author Biographies

Julia González, Tuning Academy, University of Deusto, Spain

Julia González is Co-coordinator of Tuning Higher Education in the World, President of Education for an Interdependent World, Co-founder of the Tuning Journal and a member of its Editorial Board. She is also a high level expert and adviser at the national, European, and international level on higher education. She was Vice-Rector for International Relations at the University of Deusto (2003-2012) and has initiated and coordinated several international networks and educational and research projects such as the Thematic Network on Humanitarian Development Studies, the Erasmus Mundus Master in International Humanitarian Action, the European Doctorate on Migration, Identities and Diversity and two Marie Curie Training networks. She was one of the initiators of the European Master in Human Rights and Democratization and the Secretary General of the NOHA International Association of Universities. Dr. González holds a D. Phil from the University of Oxford (UK).

Paul D. Ryan, National University of Ireland, Ireland

Paul D. Ryan was a founder member of and is a member of the management board of the ‘Tuning Project’. He co-chaired the Earth Sciences Subject Area Group from 2000-2009 and was principal author of the validated Tuning Template for Earth Science Higher Education in Europe. He has given over 40 invited presentations on Tuning and the Bologna Process globally and has acted as adviser to many Government Agencies, Thematic Networks and Tuning Projects. He was appointed Founder Editor of the Tuning Journal for Higher Education in 2011. He worked at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) from 1970 until 2009 where he became Professor of Geology and University Bologna Advisor. He is now Emeritus Professor and an active researcher in the Geosciences and in Higher Education with over 6500 citations. Paul has a Ph.D. in Geology (Keele University, UK).

Robert Wagenaar, Tuning Academy, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Robert Wagenaar is a historian and at present director of undergraduate and graduate studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is also Joint Director of the Tuning Academy, located in Bilbao (Spain) and Groningen; and a member of the Editorial Board of Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE). He is an external expert on Higher Education for the European Commission and has been involved in main initiatives to harmonise European Higher Education, such as the development of a European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) since 1988 and the Qualifications Framework for the European Higher Education Area and a European Qualifications Framework for LLL. He also chairs the Dutch team of experts for the implementation of the ‘Bologna Process’ in Dutch Higher Education institutions. Together with Julia González (University of Deusto, Spain), Wagenaar elaborated, designed and coordinates the large scale innovative project Tuning Educational Structures in the World.

How to Cite
González, Julia, Paul D. Ryan, and Robert Wagenaar. 2014. “New Programme Profiles for a New Society: An Introduction”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 1 (1), 17-19.