September 2013

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Validation: A process with a future

Josep Galindo Solé - Director to EÒLIA, Escola Superior d'Art Dramàtic

Validation has been a particularly positive process for us in that it has coincided with the fact that Eòlia, which was founded in 2000, only recently became an official School of Dramatic Art. This context of change has allowed us to adopt a comprehensive approach to the adaptation of all aspects concerning organisation and planning in the School to the requirements of the framework (the universities and higher education) in which it operates. The thorough process of validation (in this introductory stage) logically led us to reflect upon our project in terms of parameters that we were not totally familiar with. In spite of this, the approach of the Bologna Plan is particularly suited and perhaps more appropriate to studies in the Arts than in other fields of knowledge. Moreover, it has enabled us to adopt a much more consistent approach to teaching, while at the same time being able to stay true to our own philosophy towards the same.

Quality assurance for any higher education institution should, after all, represent the application of a series of sustainable measures in accordance with its philosophy and resources. It should never disrupt the work of faculty staff nor that of the students but instead become an organic network in which control measures allow for constant analysis and enhancement to take place. If Bologna, together with quality assurance, represents the fusion of these two levels, we see the adoption of these measures and control protocols as being an essential implement for any higher education institution. In short, the tipping point in validation is the actual organic assimilation of these quality parameters.

In this regard, the advisory role adopted by AQU together with the Catalan Ministry of Education in the process involving the School of Dramatic Art has been very important in terms of what it has specifically contributed as well as for what it signifies. It definitely requires us to implement a series of formal protocols that call for a significant amount of structural effort on the institution's part, although it also greatly enhances the way in which we view the application of QA measures in the school. We also realise that it empowers and legitimates us within the context of higher studies in that the effects of it continue to play an active role as we begin to take on the same obligations that the large universities have. Ultimately, the objective must be for Spain, culturally speaking, to make that step forwards and for higher studies in the Arts to be recognised just like in the rest of Europe. The essence of the arts is, after all, the practice itself of art as such. If the performing artists and visual artists get cast out from the university, it is the future of culture that becomes impoverished as this can only ultimately result in a disconnect between creative artistic work and the intellectual professions.


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