Bologna process

is an important process which is trying to bring more coherence to higher education system all over Europe. In addition, higher education has to be more attractive and competitive something which this process accomplished. The importance of the process is the way that all the collaborating countries discuss and reforms their education for successful learning mobility, cross-border academic cooperation and the mutual recognition of study periods and qualifications.

Why is the Bologna Process important?

Under the Bologna Process, European governments engage in discussions regarding higher education policy reforms and strive to overcome obstacles to create a European Higher Education Area. Bologna reform is key to building the necessary trust for successful learning mobility, cross-border academic cooperation and the mutual recognition of study periods and qualifications earned abroad. Enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching is also a core mission of the Bologna Process. Implementation of these reforms is, however, uneven across the 48 participating countries. The Bologna Process also provides a forum for dialogue with neighbouring countries regarding higher education reforms and questions related to shared academic principles, such as the independence of universities and the participation of students in civil society activities. It has become an important space for soft diplomacy with neighbouring countries in the Western Balkans (with the exception of Kosovo), Eastern Partnership countries, Turkey and Russia, as well as many other countries.

What is the EU doing to support higher education reform?

Since the launch of the Erasmus programme some 30 years ago, the Commission, together with national authorities, higher education institutions, students and other stakeholders, triggered more intense and structured cooperation among European higher education institutions. As the demand for student mobility grew rapidly, it became clear how difficult it was for single institutions to recognise periods of study across different national higher education systems with divergent degree structures and different academic traditions. The Bologna Process, starting with the Sorbonne and Bologna Declarations, was the response of national governments to the challenges arising from the mobility of European students and graduates. The Commission is a full member of the Bologna Follow-up Group and its board, which supports the implementation of the decisions of the Bologna Ministerial Conferences. Much progress has been made in reforming higher education systems in EU Member States and beyond, as indicated by regular implementation reports. Education Ministers have also adopted the Paris Communiqué highlighting priority activities in this area for the coming years. The Communiqué outlines the joint vision of education ministers from 48 European countries for a more ambitious European Higher Education Area by 2020.