The aims of the Sorbonne Declaration were confirmed in 1999, through the Bologna Declaration, where 29-30 countries expressed their willingness to commit to enhance the competitiveness of the European Higher Education Area, emphasising the need to further the independence and autonomy of all Higher Education Institutions. All the provisions of the Bologna Declaration were set as measures of a voluntary harmonisation process, not as clauses of a binding contract. More...
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Joint Declaration, 1998) shared the view that the segmentation of the European higher education sector in Europe was outdated and harmful.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).
At its inception, the Bologna Process was meant to stregthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of the European higher education and to foster student mobility and employability through the introduction of a system based on undergraduate and postgraduate studies with easily readable programmes and degrees. Quality assurance has played an important role from the outset, too.
However, the various ministerial meetings since 1999 have broadened this agenda and have given greater precision to the tools that have been developed. The undergraduate/postgraduate degree structure has been modified into a three-cycle system, which now includes the concept of qualifications frameworks, with an emphasis on learning outcomes. The concept of social dimension of higher education has been introduced and recognition of qualifications is now clearly perceived as central to the European higher education policies. In brief, the evolution of the main objectives of the Bologna Process can be seen hereby. More...
In Bologna in 1999 the Ministers of Education of 29 countries agreed on a common vision of a European Higher Education Area. They found that this vision was politically relevant for their own countries and translated it into the operational goals listed in the Bologna Declaration.
The key elements of the European Higher Education Area envisaged at that time were:
- European countries with different political, cultural and academic traditions would engage in cooperation to reach a shared objective;
- European students and graduates would be able to move easily from one country to another with full recognition of qualifications and periods of study, and access to the European labor market;
- European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) would be able to cooperate and exchange students/staff on bases of trust and confidence and also of transparency and quality;
- European governments would fit their national higher education reforms into a broader European context;
- Higher Education (HE) in the European region would increase its international competitiveness, as well as enter into dialogue and improve cooperation with HE in other regions of the world.
In the past 15 years the Bologna Process, through voluntary convergence and an intergovernmental approach, has led to the construction of the main pillars of the European Higher Education Area:
- A common framework, which includes the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA, a common credit system (ECTS), common principles for the development of student-centered learning, the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, a common Register of QA Agencies, a common approach to recognition, and a common body of methodologies and sustainable achievements produced by European HEIs.
- A number of common tools, namely, the ECTS Users’ Guide, the Diploma Supplement, the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
Source: The Bologna Process revisited - The Future of the European Higher Education Area, 2015. Part 1 - Looking back: 15 years of convergence.
The Bologna Process revisited: The Future of the European Higher Education Area. More...
I want to study in country X, how can I find out if my degree will be recognised?
For general information on the recognition of qualifications read our introduction on recognition. To find out if a qualification you have or intend to get is recognised, please contact the national information centre of your home country or the country where you would like to study or work. A full list of national information centres can be found on the ENIC-NARIC website. More...
A quantified means of expressing the volume of learning based on the achievement of learning outcomes and their associated workloads. More...
Partners are organisations that wish to be associated with the Bologna Process/the BFUG but are not included in the Consultative member category. At present, the following four organisations are BFUG partners: the European Association for International Education (EAIE), the Council of European professional and managerial staff (Eurocadres), Eurodoc, the European Association for Promotion of Science and Technology (Euroscience). They can, upon request, attend BFUG events and may be invited by a WG/AG to send an expert who will participate to the work.
Further technical experts, such as Eurostat, Eurostudent or Eurydice may be associated to the BFUG and invited to events upon specific request.
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This is a non-voting category of members who represent stakeholder organisations and other institutions that have a European scope to their work and are instrumental in the implementation of the Bologna Process.
The current eight EHEA consultative members are: Council of Europe (CoE), UNESCO, European University Association (EUA), European Association of Institutions of Higher Education (EURASHE), European Students’ Union (ESU), European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), Education International (EI) and BUSINESS EUROPE.
EQAR has a similar status to the consultative members (non-voting member of BFUG), but has so far not been officially named consultative member. More...
The Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) is the executive structure supporting the Bologna Process in-between the Ministerial Conferences. BFUG membership is based on the membership of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
The BFUG / EHEA members are 48 countries and the European Commission.
To become a member of the EHEA, countries have to be party to the European Cultural Convention and to declare their willingness to pursue and implement the objectives of the Bologna Process in their own systems of higher education.
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BFUG membership is based on the membership of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA currently has three categories: member, consultative member and partner.
BFUG membership is based on the membership of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA currently has three categories: member, consultative member and partner. More...
The overall follow-up work is supported by a Secretariat, provided by the country hosting the next Ministerial Conference.
Between 1 of July 2015 and 30 June 2018, the Secretariat of the Bologna Follow-up Group is held by France, as organizer of the next 2018 EHEA Ministerial Conference.
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