Towards the European Higher Education Area

Priorities in the Bologna Process

The Bologna Declaration (pdf format) of June 1999 has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for our own citizens and for citizens and scholars from other continents. The aim of the European Higher Education Area is to provide citizens with choices from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses and benefit from smooth recognition procedures.

On 19 and 20 May 2005, the Ministers of Higher Education of the Bologna Signatory States gathered in Bergen, Norway, and adopted a Communiqué (pdf format) taking note of progress made so far and confirming the three priorities defined at the Berlin meeting in September 2003: the degree system, quality assurance and recognition of degrees and study periods.

As further challenges and priorities, Ministers identified: higher education and research, the social dimension, mobility and the attractiveness of the EHEA and cooperation with other parts of the world. A new stocktaking exercise was announced to take place before the next Ministerial meeting in London in May 2007.

The Commission fully supports the priorities set above. In addition, the Commission would like to emphasise the need to concentrate on a genuine implementation of reforms. The Bologna process is more than halfway, the reforms are in the laws, now reforms have to become a reality for students and teachers in their everyday university life. Moreover, the changes in European higher education have attracted world-wide attention, hence the need to work out an external dimension strategy.

The Lisbon Strategy encompasses the Commission’s contribution to the intergovernmental Bologna Process, aiming to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010, mainly in the areas of curricular reform and quality assurance. The Bologna process coincides with Commission policy in higher education supported through European programmes and notably Socrates-Erasmus, Tempus and Erasmus Mundus. The Commission stimulates Bologna initiatives at European level and participates as a full member in the Bologna Follow-up Group and the Bologna Board.

From an EU perspective, there is also an obvious link between the Bologna Process and the Copenhagen process on enhanced European co-operation in Vocational Education and Training, launched in December 2002. The Commission has taken initiatives to establish synergies between both processes in important fields such as transparency of qualifications (EUROPASS), credit transfer (ECTS-ECVET) quality assurance (ENQA-ENQAV) and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF for EHEA and EQF for LLL).

For more information on curriculum reform policies and projects read :

From Berlin to Londond, the EU contribution (pdf format)

Fonte: The Bologna Process Towards the European Higher Education Area

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