Higher Education

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 101-118

First online:

Faculty attitudes and training needs to respond the new European Higher Education challenges

  • María José Fernández DíazAffiliated withUniversidad Complutense de Madrid
  • , Rafael Carballo SantaolallaAffiliated withUniversidad Complutense de Madrid
  • , Arturo Galán GonzálezAffiliated withFacultad de Educación, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) Email author 

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The main objective of the Bologna Process is to create a “European space” for higher education that allows for comparability, compatibility, and coherence between the existing systems of higher education across Europe. This objective is commonly known as the European higher education area (EHEA). The creation of the EHEA is a new and specific challenge for higher education in Europe, one that depends upon improved faculty development and training across Europe. The integration of Spain and other European countries into European higher education more generally entails these challenges. In order for necessary changes in faculty development and training to take place, university managers and policy makers must account for designing training plans, as well the knowledge, attitudes and needs of faculty members. This investigation was undertaken with these themes in mind. Conducted in Madrid, Spain, it included 257 professors from ten different schools of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The aim of the investigation was to understand faculty knowledge and attitudes about changes in higher education in Europe. Moreover, with an eye to helping faculty members cope with the change that is accompanying the creation of EHEA, the investigators sought to understand the importance that faculty members place upon professional development and how current approaches to professional development at the university level could be improved. The results indicate a degree of ignorance regarding changes in European higher education as well as a feeling of resistance on the part of many faculty members. While many faculty members consider knowledge of change processes and adaptability to be important qualities, faculty responses also indicate a clear need for guidance if they are going to integrate new learning models and adequate coping strategies into their work in higher education.


Training needs Faculty attitudes University teacher training Higher education European area of higher education Spanish higher education