How the degree was created

—The author. Stefan Delplace is co-Founder of space (Secretaries and Personal Assistants in the Community of Europe) and the Secretary General of eurashe (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education)

Nearly ten years ago, in 2004, I was in San Sebastian, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the SPACE network, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of ISSA. As on behalf of SPACE I gave a speech on the importance of dedicated staff for the well-functioning of an educational institution.

In 1999 the Bologna reform started, which is also the explanation why a reputable institution like ISSA has made a next step in its evolution, namely the integration in the University of Navarra Pamplona campus.

It was the start of the most widespread voluntary High Educational reform process in the world, which has now spread to 47 countries, having an impact on thousands of institutions and affecting the lives of millions of students.

Mobility was the trigger of the reform process of higher education, as the Ministers of the Bologna countries wanted to make European HE more transparent in order to facilitate mobility of students, a scheme which had been set up on the European level, many years earlier, with the creation of the ERASMUS programme, then also an acronym like SPACE.

Colleagues and friends from my generation in ISSA will remember that making students mobile was also the purpose of setting up the SPACE network. It made ISSA unique in Spaniard higher education.

Other priority areas of «Bologna» are the recognition of qualifications, based on academic principles, a sound quality assurance and accreditation system to maintain high standards and keep away the diploma mills, and last but not least a European dimension based on values that have always been the hallmark of European higher education. The latter was so well expressed by your Chancellor in the anniversary service when he was saying «No hay ciencia sin conciencia».

The above priorities are also part of the mission and profile of the institution of which we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary. I would therefore like to pay a tribute to the colleagues in ISSA from the past, who fought against prejudices towards professional higher education, and who have contributed to its international renown.