Volume 31 - October 24, 2011 - Selected Readings

Bologna Reloaded:

A Review of the First Decade of Working on the European Higher Education Area, and of the Bologna Ministerial Anniversary Conference in Budapest and Vienna, March 11–12, 2010
bridges vol. 25, April 2010 / Letter from Brussels

By Sabine Neyer

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sabine_neyer_small.jpgSabine Neyer

On June 19, 1999, 29 European Ministers in charge of Higher Education signed a declaration in the Italian city of Bologna to reform the structures of their higher education systems. This declaration later became famous as the Bologna Declaration and marked a milestone in European cooperation in the field of Higher Education. This March, a Bologna anniversary conference took place in Vienna and in Budapest, at which the first independent assessment of the Bologna Process was presented to the public.

A short overview about the Bologna Process

The Bologna Process itself is on a voluntary basis and, besides the 47 countries participating today, involves the European Commission, Council of Europe, UNESCO, European University Association (EUA), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the European Student´s Union (ESU), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), Education International Pan-European structure (EI), and Business Europe. Each signatory country commits itself to reforming its own higher education system in order to create overall convergence at the European level.

All main stakeholders in the field of Higher Education, from students to businesses, are involved in the Bologna Process, making it open and transparent. The process is steered by biennial Bologna ministerial conferences, which take stock of the progress since 1999 and also set the priorities for the following years in the form of a so-called working plan. The current working plan was decided in November 2009 and looks as far ahead as 2012.


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