2. december 2013

Invading Bologna - Prospects for Nordic Cooperation on Professional Military Education

NORDEFCO states cooperate in many ways and desire to cooperate more fully and deeply in professional military education (PME). The purpose of this report is to indicate how they can do so in a limited yet comprehensive manner. They ought to raise their level of ambition from small training courses for specialists to their command and staff courses. Despite substantive overlap, these are executed as national courses for national purposes to a select group of officers-in-residence and in their national language. These constitute substantial barriers to cooperation and enhanced operational effectiveness. This PME situation mirrors that of civilian higher and vocational-technical education in Europe some two decades ago. Lessons can therefore be learned from civilian experiences in cross-national education reform.

This report points out that eight principles formerly used to encourage substantial convergence in civilian education could be adapted to enable more meaningful and extensive cooperation in PME. Five different institutional expressions of these principles are formulated and it is recommended that the NORDEFCO working group on human resources and education should form seven subcommittees manned by a mix of appropriate stakeholders to undertake the hard work required to implement the eight principles. Each of the institutional expressions has its own set of merits and liabilities that must be further explored, developed, and considered.

Download the report here.