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  • Bologna Process


          The Bologna Process is a voluntary higher education reform process, which commenced in 1998/99, with the aim of making higher education systems compliant, and enhancing their international visibility. 2010 has been a milestone for the Bologna Process: At the Vienna-Budapest Ministerial Conference, the European Higher Education Area has been launched.

         The Bologna Process is a rather unique approach to reform and internationalise higher education systems and institutions and establish regional convergence. At its heart is the partnership between national governments. It is not a European Union initiative, but all EU Member States and the European Commission are involved in the Process. Bologna is a voluntary process: reforms are jointly agreed, but implementation is subject to national suzerainty.

        Currently, the Bologna Process has 57 parties: 49 higher education systems in 48 countries the European Commission, and seven Consultative Members. In principal, all countries that are signatories of the European cultural convention are eligible to join the Bologna Process. In addition, representatives of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) participate in Bologna meetings and events.

          The active participation of “stakeholder organisations”, which represent higher education community and society, is an important feature of the process: They are permanent consultative members (i.e. they attend all meetings but do not vote). Along with EUA, which represents the European universities, these are EURASHE(representing professional higher education institutions), the European Students’ Union (ESU), Education International (EI), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA, representing quality assurance agencies), and Business Europe and UNESCO.

    How did the Bologna Process start?

        The Bologna Process has been started in 1998 (Sorbonne Declaration) by four countries (France, Germany, Italy, the UK). For the first time, the idea to create a joint higher education erea in Europe has happened with this declaration. From 1999, when the Bologna Declaration has been officially launched, more countries joined. The main objectives outlined in this statement were as follows:

    1. adopt a system of easily readable and comparable degrees,

    2. adopt a system with two main cycles (undergraduate/graduate),

    3. establish a system of credits (ECTS),

    4. promote mobility by overcoming legal recognition and administrative obstacles,

    5. promote European co-operation in quality assurance,

    6. promote a European dimension in higher education.




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