The following countries/organisations are members of the Ad-hoc WG:
Armenia, Austria, Belgium/Flemish Community, Belgium/French Community, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Holy See, Hungary, Ireland, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, EUA, EI, European Commission, EURODOC.
Map the current implementation of the third cycle in the EHEA, in the light of the “Salzburg II recommendations” and the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training;
Formulate policy proposals to promote quality, transparency, employability and mobility in the third cycle, on the basis of the outcomes of the previous point and taking into account the developments foreseen within the ERA by Horizon 2020 and other EU initiatives.
Formulate policy proposals to improve the transition between the second and the third cycle, with the aim to strengthen the link between education and research.
1. In cooperation with EUA and the European Commission, analyse the current state of doctoral studies in EHEA countries, taking account of the two reference documents – the Salzburg II Recommendations and the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training.
2. Starting from the information provided by the existing National Qualifications Frameworks, map: i) the diverse kind of third cycle degrees offered by HEIs and possible pathways connecting them; ii) different types of doctoral programs in order to formulate policy proposals to improve existing models and instruments.
3. Explore and make proposals for strengthening the link between the second cycle and third cycle in order to facilitate progression, the development of research competencies and timely recruitment to doctoral programs.
4. Explore and make proposals concerning quality and quality assurance procedures in Doctoral training, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.
5. Formulate policy proposals to increase the use of existing transparency tools for third cycle degrees, based on existing good practices in the field, and explore new instruments to increase transparency of third cycle degrees.
6. Examine third cycle degrees with the view to identify , with a specific focus on Doctoral studies, the barriers and incentives to international mobility and define policy proposals for improvement.
7. Analyse the results achieved by the different profiles of third cycle degrees offered, with a specific focus on Doctoral Degrees, and define policy proposals to improve their employability.
Make other policy proposals related to the third cycle, as appropriate, such as sustainable funding for third cycle education or candidate recruitment practices.
2012-2015 ToR_Third Cycle Ad-Hoc WG.
News and documents.
Nicola Vittorio - Italy
Marzia Foroni - Italy
Gloria Molero - Spain
Cezar Haj – Romania
Armenia, Austria, Belgium/Flemish Community, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Moldova, Sweden, Ukraine, UK, EUA, EURASHE, ESU, ENQA
To prepare a revised version of the ECTS Users' Guide by mid-2014, by reflecting on policy development and implementation in the area of ECTS and learning outcomes since the previous revision of the ECTS Users' Guide in 2009, giving consideration to issues such as the following (and including in its scope further issues to be identified in consultation with the Working Group and external experts):
Linking ECTS better with student workload and learning outcomes
ECTS in short-cycle provision, in 1st and 2nd cycle programmes of different length and in 3rd cycle
Including the attainment of learning outcomes in assessment procedures
Reflecting the developments in the area of the recognition of prior learning and with relation to the new EU Directive on Professional Qualifications
Reflecting on the use of the Grading table in Annex 3 of the current ECTS Users' Guide
to identify in consultation with experts the key items to be reviewed
to develop a revised version of the Guide
to liaise with the Structural Working Group for their input
to consult with external stakeholders
to present a finalised draft to the Structural Working Group and the BFUG for adoption
2012-2015 ToR_Revision of the ECTS Users' Guide Ad-Hoc WG.
News and documents.
Adam Tyson – European Commission
Klara Engels-Perenyi – European Commission
Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Revision of the ECTS Users' Guide
To prepare a revised version of the ECTS Users' Guide by mid-2014, by reflecting on policy development and implementation in the area of ECTS and learning outcomes since the previous revision of the ECTS Users' Guide in 2009...
Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Third Cycle
Map the current implementation of the third cycle in the EHEA, in the light of the “Salzburg II recommendations” and the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training...
Mobility and Internationalisation WG
To contribute to the implementation of the EHEA Strategy “Mobility for better Learning” at national and European level and to assist in the reporting to Ministers in 2015 on the progress made...
NESSIE - Network of Experts on Student Support in Europe
To promote the portability of grants and loans in order to facilitate greater mobility of students across the European Higher Education Area...
Network of NQF Correspondents
The Network should facilitate the sharing of experience in the development of national qualifications frameworks compatible with the overarching framework of qualifications of the EHEA (QF-EHEA) as well as with the EQF. It should provide a forum for national correspondents to exchange experience and to discuss issues of particular relevance to the development and implementation of national frameworks...
Recognition of Prior Learning European Network
To provide a means for member countries to share and learn from policies and practice across wider Europe in relation to RPL development...
Reporting on the Bologna Process Implementation WG
To prepare an overall report on the implementation of the Bologna Process for 2015, integrating data collected by EUROSTAT, EUROSTUDENT and EURYDICE...
Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning WG
To mobilise the cooperation of all relevant actors in pursuing efforts to promote greater access, participation and completion rates in higher education for all students...
'Structural Reforms' WG
The Working Group on Structural Reforms is mandated to develop proposals for policy and practice aiming to improve instruments for structural reform (QF, QA, recognition of qualifications, transparency instruments) and the coherence between the main elements of structural reform within the European Higher Education Area as well as to oversee and advice the BFUG on the implementation of structural reforms...
Armenia, Austria, Belgium/Flemish Community, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Norway, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, EC, EI, EUA, EURASHE.
Reference to the Bucharest Communiqué
(With reference to the sections of the Communiqué on “Providing quality higher education for all”, “Enhancing employability to serve Europe’s needs” and “Setting out priorities for 2012-2015”)
In the Bucharest Communiqué, in undertaking to provide quality higher education for all, EHEA Ministers observed, “…widening access to higher education is a precondition for societal progress and economic development. We agree to adopt national measures for widening overall access to quality higher education. We will work to raise completion rates and ensure timely progression in higher education in all EHEA countries…”
Ministers also re-confirmed the declared objective of the social dimension as already outlined at the London and Leuven/Lovain-la-Neuve Ministerial Communiqués – that the student body entering and graduating from higher education institutions should reflect the diversity of Europe’s populations.
Ministers also agreed to step up their efforts towards underrepresented groups to develop the social dimension of higher education, reduce inequalities and provide adequate student support services, counselling and guidance, flexible learning paths and alternative access routes, including recognition of prior learning.
In setting out the specific priorities for 2012-2015, the Ministers committed to strengthening policies of widening overall access and raising completion rates, including measures targeting the increased participation of underrepresented groups. The Ministers also undertook to develop a system of voluntary peer learning and reviewing by 2013 in countries which request it and initiate a pilot project to promote peer learning on the social dimension of higher education.
The Ministers further committed to enhance the employability and personal and professional development of graduates throughout their careers. In that regard, they asserted that lifelong learning (LLL) is one of the important factors in meeting the needs of a changing labour market, and acknowledged that higher education institutions play a central role in transferring knowledge and strengthening regional development, including by the continuous development of competences and reinforcement of knowledge alliances.
Overarching aims of the working group
- To further support the development of the social dimension of higher education at national and the EHEA level through strengthening policies to widen overall access, raising completion rates and targeting the increased participation of underrepresented groups;
- To assist the EHEA countries in their work to enhance employability and lifelong learning through improved cooperation with relevant stakeholders;
- To work closely with the sponsoring consortium on the development of the pilot project on peer learning for the social dimension of higher education (PL4SD), with a general oversight mandate to further BFUG social dimension goals.
Objectives of the working group
- To mobilise the cooperation of all relevant actors in pursuing efforts to promote greater access, participation and completion rates in higher education for all students.
- To fulfil the Ministerial commitment to adopt national measures for widening overall access to quality higher education by supporting EHEA countries in their work to develop and implement national access plans or strategies.
- To support the development of common approaches in monitoring the implementation of national access plans by elaborating core indicators that may be used for measuring and monitoring the relevant aspects of the social dimension in higher education.
- To promote the development and implementation of institution-level strategies for widening access, targeting the increased participation of underrepresented groups and raising completion rates.
- To support and guide the implementation of a pilot project (PL4SD) to facilitate peer learning on the social dimension of higher education which will assist EHEA countries in developing, implementing and monitoring social dimension policies.
- To contribute to the development of structured peer review processes across EHEA countries and institutions.
- To address the emerging pedagogical and didactical requirements to support the needs of a more diverse student population and improve their completion rates, through practical recommendations on implementing student-centred learning (SCL).
- To address aspect of employability by advancing implementation of Bologna reforms and raising awareness on the purpose of those among stakeholders (including employers).
- To help to identify and set priorities for peer learning and peer review activities concerning the areas of the social dimension and lifelong learning.
Minutes of working group meetings will be made available to the BFUG on the protected part of the website (by the Bologna Secretariat). Bologna Secretariat, at the request of the WG Chairs, may circulate relevant updates to the WG members by email.
The BFUG should also receive regular reports and updates from the working group.
To ensure good communication with the BFUG as a whole and for the necessary consultations, progress reports should be submitted at least two weeks before each BFUG meeting.
First meeting Brussels, 13 December 2012
Second meeting Dublin, 17 April 2013
Liaison with other WGs and networks
- Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process WG
- ‘Structural Reforms’ WG
- RPL Network
In addition to the objectives above, the working group will also set out a number of explicit tasks, which will contribute to accomplishing its mandate. These will be specific activities designed to realise the objectives set out above in the context of the overarching aims identified by EHEA Ministers in the Bucharest Communiqué. They will also take into consideration the recommendations of the 2012 report of the social dimension working group and the social dimension chapter of the 2012 report on the Implementation of the Bologna Process.
The draft action plan of the working group for 2013-15 can be found in Annex 1. During the meeting on 17th April 2013, the working group will be invited to discuss and approve the draft action plan.
Contact person (Co-Chairs): Karina Ufert – ESU (email@example.com); Brian Power – Ireland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Download Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning Working Group.
How does the Bologna Process work?
The Bologna Process, launched with the Bologna Declaration, of 1999, is one of the main voluntary processes at European level, as it is nowadays implemented in 47 states, which define the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
Members of the Bologna Process are the 47 countries, together with the European Commission, and the consultative members, namely the Council of Europe, UNESCO, EUA, ESU, EURASHE, ENQA, Education International and BUSINESSEUROPE. Every two or three years there are Ministerial Conferences organised in order to assess the progress made within the EHEA and to decide on the new steps to be taken (more information can be found in the table below).
Bologna, 18-19 June 1999: Bologna Declaration.
Prague, 18-19 May 2001: Prague Communiqué, Conference website.
Berlin, 18-19 September 2003: Berlin Communiqué, Conference website.
Bergen, 19-20 May 2005: Bergen Communiqué, Conference website.
London, 17-18 May 2007: London Communiqué, Conference website.
Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, 28-29 April 2009: Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve Communiqué, Conference website.
Budapest/Vienna, 10-12 March 2010: Budapest-Vienna Declaration, Conference website.
Bucharest, 26-27 April 2012: Bucharest Communiqué, Conference website.
In order to ensure the implementation of the steps upon which the Ministers have decided, the EHEA makes use of several support structures.
The main follow-up structure is the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG). The BFUG oversees the Bologna Process between the ministerial meetings and meets at least once every six months, usually for one-and-a-half days. The BFUG has the possibility to set up working groups to deal with specific topics in more details and, also, receives input from Bologna Seminars. The BFUG is composed of the representatives of all members of the Bologna Process and the European Commission, with the Council of Europe, the EUA, EURASHE, ESU, UNESCO, Education International, ENQA and BUSINESSEUROPE, as consultative members. The BFUG is being co-chaired by the country holding the EU Presidency and a non-EU country, which rotate every six months. The vice-chair is the country organising the next Ministerial Conference.
The work between two meetings of the Bologna Follow-up Group is overseen by a Board.
The composition of the Board changed in 2010, together with the adoption of the document “Briefing note for decision by the Ministers” (BFUG (ES) 20_7c).
The current members of the Board are:
• the EHEA Chairs double Trioka (the outgoing, present and incoming Chairs of the EHEA);
• the EHEA Vice-Chairs;
• the European Commission;
• four consultative members (Council of Europe, EUA, ESU, EURASHE).
The proceedings of the Board meetings are recorded by the Bologna Secretariat, who is permanently invited to Board meetings.
The overall follow-up work is supported by a Secretariat, provided by the country hosting the next Ministerial Conference. The mandate of the Bologna Secretariat coincides with the period between two ministerial conferences, and it is aimed to ensure the continuity for all the Bologna Process reforms, considering that the Bologna Process is chaired by the country holding the EU Presidencies, which rotates every six months.
The central task of the Bologna Secretariat is to support the work of the Follow-up Group at various levels: BFUG, Board, Working Groups, Networks, Ad-Hoc Working Groups and Seminars. The Secretariat prepares draft agendas, draft reports, notes and minutes and carries out the practical preparation for meetings as requested by the Co-Chairs.
Another task of the Secretariat that has become increasingly important is to provide up-to-date and reliable information about the Bologna Process (for both a European and a non-European audience) and to maintain an electronic archive. To fulfill those functions, the Secretariat makes use of the EHEA permanent website as a central tool.
It is noticeable that the main advantage of the Bologna Process and the present support structures is that they enable the key stakeholders to work together as partners, and having a relatively informal character, thus increasing the sense of engagement and ownership among all participants.
To implement the Bologna reforms and to make progress in all priority areas, strong efforts will be required especially at national and institutional level. To support these efforts with joint action at European level, the Ministers entrusted the Bologna Follow-up Group to prepare a work plan for the period leading up to the next Ministerial Conference.
As part of the 2012-2015 work plan, the Bologna Follow-up Group set up four working groups on the following topics:
- Reporting on the implementation of the Bologna Process
- 'Structural Reforms' (qualifications frameworks, recognition, quality assurance and transparency)
- Mobility and internationalisation
- Social dimension and lifelong learning
The 2012-2015 work plan includes Annexes (Terms of References) for each working group, ad-hoc working group and network (see below):
- Annex 1_ToR_Reporting on the Implementation of the Bologna Process WG.
- Annex 2_ToR_Structural Reforms WG.
- Annex 3_ToR_Network of National Correspondents.
- Annex 5_ToR_Revision of the ECTS Users' Guide Ad-Hoc WG.
- Annex 6_ToR_Third Cycle Ad-Hoc WG.
- Annex 7_ToR_Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning WG.
- Annex 8_ToR_Mobility and Internationalisation WG.
To further disseminate the Bologna reforms, countries and organisations participating in the Bologna Process also organise various seminars and conferences that are announced via the calendar of events.
In many respects, the Bologna Process has been revolutionary for cooperation in European higher education. Four education ministers participating in the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the University of Paris (Sorbonne Joint Declaration, 1998) shared the view that the segmentation of the European higher education sector in Europe was outdated and harmful. The decision to engage in a voluntary process to create the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was formalized one year later in Bologna, by 30 countries (The Bologna Declaration, 1999). It is now apparent that this was a unique undertaking as the process today includes no fewer than 47 participating countries, out of the 49 countries that have ratified the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe (1954). Read more...
By Marielk. In this session recording from the NOMA summer school we share the presentations about different multinational research projects. In the presentations, the researchers and project leaders share their experiences with writing the applications for such projects and the considerations one has to take into account when managing such a project.
The recording includes presentations of the following projects:
- NORGLOBAL funded project on higher education and research in Western Balkans presented by Bjørn Stensaker
- HERANA – Higher Education Research & Advocacy Network in Africa presented by Nico Cloete
- AHELO – Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes presented by Hamish Coates
By Marielk. In this recording of the NOMA summer school, we share with you insights from five researchers: Peter Maassen, Nico Cloete, Bjørn Stensaker, Teboho Moja and Jo Muller. They all share their insights to how to navigate in the complicated world of research where one has to take into account multiple interests and conflicting demands.
NOMA summer school: higher education and human development challenges
By Marielk. We will hereby start to publish a selection of the sessions from the NOMA summer school in January 2013 that examined project management, research policy nexus and application writing.
In this session, the Vice Chancellor of University of Western Cape, Prof. O’Connell gave an inspiring introductory lecture to the summer school. Reminding of the often injust and imbalanced global context, he identified seven human development challenges that universities must address.
NOMA summer school: Balancing integrity and the ‘dirty’ world of research
By Marielk.In the end of January a group from Hedda consisting of both professors, PhD research fellows, Master students and administrative staff attended a summer school organised in Cape Town, South Africa. The focus of the summer school was on project management and writing applications, and in this post Mari Elken and Jens Jungblut summarise the overall experience and some of the lessons learned. The article was initially published at University World News and is republished with permission. Furthermore, as Hedda has focus on sharing knowledge through ICT solutions, we have recorded the various sessions and will be making some of them available on the Hedda site during the coming week. Stay tuned!
One thing you almost never learn in masters or PhD education is how the world of successful project applications really works. In the context of unstable and competitive funding sources and expectations of impact and societal relevance, the nature of academic work is changing. New job profiles emerge, with academics being expected to be more entrepreneurial, project management becoming a central skill and policy relevance emerging as a key funding criterion.While policy relevance is expected, linkage between research and policy – the so-called research-policy nexus – is not always straightforward or without contestation. This raises questions about the appropriate skills and competences for the next generation of researchers, who have to operate at the intersection between traditional academic work, policy advice and contract research. Read more...
Student leaders from the old Glamorgan and Newport universities donned University of South Wales (USW) T-shirts to mark the new institution’s first day of operation.
Vice-chancellor Professor Julie Lydon, flanked by learners from each students’ union, chose the recently-developed City campus on the banks of the River Usk to unveil USW’s new logo and website.
Combining five campuses and more than 33,000 students, USW operates across Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys. It is the biggest university in Wales, surpassing Cardiff in terms of size, and is the sixth largest in the UK. Read more...
Strathclyde University in Glasgow said up to 300 extra foreign students will enter the university each year after undertaking foundation programmes at the college based at its city-centre campus.
Run in partnership with education provider Study Group, the International Study Centre is designed to prepare international undergraduate and postgraduate students for university life.
The first students will start in September, with successful students transferring to Strathclyde University courses in September 2014.
It is estimated that within three years the centre will be recruiting 300 students annually. Read more...
Higher education institutions across the U.K. raked in a record £774 million ($1.2 billion) in fundraising during the 2011-2012 academic year, according to a new survey. Fundraising was up by 14% compared to the previous year, and by 33% compared to 2009-2010. Results from the Ross-CASE survey show that universities in the U.K. spent more on their fundraising campaigns and hired more fundraising staff, resulting in higher overall donation levels and a larger number of donors. There were 213,000 donors in 2011-2012, compared to 201,000 donors in the previous year. Read more...