Progresses in the Bologna Process Implementation
The ministerial conference for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) took place in Paris on May 24th and 25th 2018. In advance European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice published the Bologna
Process Implementation Report. The report plus the Paris Communiqué and it's appendices offer a comprehensive insight in the ongoing Bologna Process that startet nearly twenty years ago to enable
students and scholars to learn, teach and research flexible and mobile at different universities in the EHEA.
Bologna Process Implementation Report - April 2018
European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. The European Higher Education Area in 2018: Bologna Process Implementation Report. Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union 2018. - https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/sites/eurydice/files/bologna_internet_0.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
The comprehensive report includes an executive summary, that describes the basics and purpose of the Bologna Process to the point.
p 13: "The Bologna Follow Up Group has identified three key commitments that underpin the EHEA. These commitments concern the implementation of the three-cycle degree structure, recognition of qualifications and quality assurance. They can be considered as the foundations of the EHEA: if these foundations are not in place, further European higher education cooperation is undermined.
In addition to the implementation of these commitments, the priorities of the Bologna Process as set out in the Yerevan Communiqué are learning and teaching, social inclusion and employability – all topics addressed centrally in this report."
Paris Communiqué - Paris, 25th May 2018
EHEA Ministerial Conference 2018. Paris Communiqué. Paris, 25th May 2018 - http://www.ehea2018.paris/Data/ElFinder/s2/Communique/EHEAParis2018-Communique-final.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
Two aspects I would like to emphasize.
The competence in research is in my view not only relevant for the tasks described below but also a good learning method by itself. It fosters the ability to ask, acquire, appraise, aggregate, apply and assess - in short: to learn.
p 3: "Students should encounter research or activities linked to research and innovation at all levels of higher education to develop the critical and creative mind-sets which will enable them to find novel solutions to emerging challenges."
Learning and acquiring competencies are important cornerstones to achieve sustainable development goals for both, planet and people.
p 4: "We commit to developing the role of higher education in securing a sustainable future for our planet and our societies and to finding ways in which we, as EHEA Ministers, can contribute to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at global, European and national levels."
Structured peer-based support for the implementation of the Bologna key commitments. - http://www.ehea2018.paris/Data/ElFinder/s2/Communique/EHEAParis2018-Communique-AppendixI.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
The support is described in six steps and refers to the three key commitments that underpin the EHEA.
Belarus strategy. Draft Strategic action plan on implementation of the major objectives of the education system development in line with the EHEA principles and tools. - http://www.ehea2018.paris/Data/ElFinder/s2/Communique/EHEAParis2018-Communique-AppendixII.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
This document offers a good overview on the steps and measures in the Bologna process. Belorus can be seen as an example.
Overarching Framework of Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area (revised 2018) - http://www.ehea2018.paris/Data/ElFinder/s2/Communique/EHEAParis2018-Communique-AppendixIII.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
This document offers a good overview on the Levels of Higher Education and description of the learning outcomes and particular ECTS credits: Short cycle qualifications, First cycle qualification (Bachelor), Second cycle qualification (Master), Third cycle qualification (PhD).
Research competencies are described only for the third cycle. I think, this is a pity, especially referring to the communiqué where the EHEA states, that "Students should encounter research or activities linked to research and innovation at all levels of higher education to develop the critical and creative mind-sets which will enable them to find novel solutions to emerging challenges."
The Diploma Supplement Template. - http://www.ehea2018.paris/Data/ElFinder/s2/Communique/EHEAParis2018-Communique-AppendixIV.pdf [accessed 28 May 2018]
The template consists of two pages and is followed by an extensive explanation on the expected answers. So it is a good example, how to design a diploma certificate and other certificates in higher education and life long learning.
I am well aware of the critics against the Bologna process, that stress, the process is motivated by economic plans and would curtail academic freedom. Nevertheless I am convinced that it is the task of teachers and education institutions to encourage and enable students not just to absolve their studies as fast as possible but to use the years of studies to - like Vikram Seth wrote it in "Two lives" - meander around and to open their mind and their hearts to new topics, cultures and encounters. Im my view the documents described above support this.
Christa Weßel - Monday, 28 May 2018
- The documents in Paris: http://www.ehea2018.paris/
- The Bologna Process Implementation Report: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/sites/eurydice/files/bologna_internet_0.pdf
- Seth V. Two lives. New York, Little, Brown and Company 2005.
- Other collected resources: Resources for Higher Education
Blog Section Higher education