THE BOLOGNA PROCESS
Socio - economic background of problems
1st Europe falls behind its rivals in economic development and growth dynamics → the operating systems of higher education are inhibitors of mobility.
2nd The higher education arrives from the elite training stage to the growth in numbers, and had become common→ can not handle the inherent tensions coming with the growth.
3rd Profit can be earn from the well-functioning higher education areas - training, research, advice - , such as the automobile industry → Higher Education in Europe has to be globalized.
The enumeration of tasks
- Sorbonne Declaration (1998)
- Bologna Declaration (1999)
The Bologna Process: reform process standing for the creation of the European Higher Education.
What are its goals?
• to make mobility of students , professionals and researchers working in the area of higher education easier;
• to prepare students
o for active participation in society,
o for personal development.
• to grant broad access to higher education based on the freedom of science
What is the origin of the name of 'Bologna process'?
Its origin is the implementation of strategic guidelines contained in the Sorbonne declaration incuding the Bologna Declaration. It was a voluntary decision signed by 29 European Ministers responsible for higher education with the intention of coordinating higher education policies for a European Higher Education Area. Up to these days, 47 countries have joined the process. Each of them are signatories of the European Council's European Cultural Convention.
Who are involved in the process?
• 47 signatories to the country's government
• European Commission
• European Council
• UNESCO CEPES
• Higher education institutions and participants
• Quality Assurance Agencies
Countries that joined the Bologna process:
Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Georgia, Netherlands, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Poland, Latvia, Liechtenstein , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Hungary, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Germany, Norway, Italy, Russia, Armenia, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Holy See, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.
The reforms being implemented
• Easily understandable and comparable qualifications, a three-cycle system against the two-cycle, linear system:
Elaboration of international qualification framework that is compatible with the European Higher Education Area Qualifications Framework and the definition of learning achievements for each of the cycles.
• Setting up quality management systems, harmonizing quality management in accordance with the Quality Assurance Standards and Guildlines of the European Higher Education Area – with granted avalability of comparism.
• Recognition with credits and higher education degrees and qualifications, advanced studies, labour market experiences earned in different countries – at 75% of knowledge content, - according to the European Council and UNESCO Convention of Recognition / Lisbon Treaty /.
The Bologna Process in other areas
• Higher education and research and development,
• Higher Education and Innovation
• extension of the social and welfare aspects of Higher Education
• expansion of the employee's opportunities,
• lifelong learning
• exceeding the framework of European modernization / The European Higher Education Area in a global environment /
Legal Status of the Bologna Declaration
The Declaration is not an international treaty, only a voluntary commitment by the signatories in order to coordinating their policies of higher education, mutually enforce principles that are essential for the realization of the European Higher Education Area. Volunteering is also a moral commitment to the process of defining its working methods and decision-making mechanism.
HOW DOES THE BOLOGNA PROCESS WORKS?
It is stated in the final part of the Bologna Declaration that the higher education ministers of the signatory countries shall meet every two years. At their meeting they:
• classify, based on the reports;
• take a stand in disputed issues;
• make decisions on admission matters;
• decide the actions to take,
• compose a final document for the forthcoming tasks.
The ministerial meetings are prepared by the International Bologna Group (BFUG). Utilizes the findings of the Bologna Process’ working groups and the results of the Bologna - seminars.
The ministerial meetings
• Budapest/Wien, 2010. 03. 11-12.
• Leuven, 2009. 04. 28-29.
• London, 2007. 05. 17-18.
• Bergen, 2005. 05. 19-20.
• Berlin, 2003. 09. 18-19.
• Praga, 2001. 05. 18-19.
• Bologna, 1999. 06. 18-19.
Members of the International Bologna Group
• 47 representatives of the signatory countries,
• The European Commission,
• as a member of the (with advisory vote):
o European Council
o European Centre of Higher Education UNESCO,
o European Association of Universities (EUA)
o European Association of Institutions of Higher Education (EURASHE)
o European Students' Union (ESU)
o European Higher Education Association for Quality Assurance (ENQA)
o (EI) Pan-European Educational Organisation
The BFUG is supported by the International Bologna Secretariat, which is run by the country organizing ministerial meetings. Currently, a it is carried out by Romania (2012. 04. 26-27. Bucharest meeting preparations are ongoing).
The international working groups of the Bologna Process is created by the BFUG after the ministerial meetings. Their aim is to examine the areas pointed out and the reports related to them in the Ministerial Declaration during the period of the work program between meetings, and to write recommendations for the Bologna Process, for the next ministerial meeting .
What are the areas of the process?
• The European Higher Education Area in a global environment,
• the social dimension,
• Transparency mechanisms
• mutual recognition
• qualification frameworks,
• assessment of the situation.
The so called Bologna seminars have valuable sources of information for working groups, the International Bologna Group and ministerial meetings also. They are mentioned in various topics on meeteings that are held across Europe. Bologna - seminars typically serve a dual purpose: on the one hand, they support policy development, on the other hand, to spread these. It is opened to higher education and to wide range of participants involved in higher education policy.
THE STATUS OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS IN EUROPE:
(click on the picture to see it in full size)
The content of the Budapest-Vienna Declaration
The ministers responsible for Higher Edication of the participating countries of the Bologna Process have met ont he 11th and 12th of March in 2010.
1. We, the Ministers responsible for higher education in the countries participating in
the Bologna Process, met in Budapest and Vienna on March 11 and 12, 2010 to launch
the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), as envisaged in the Bologna Declaration
2. Based on our agreed criteria for country membership, we welcome Kazakhstan as
new participating country of the European Higher Education Area.
3. The Bologna Declaration in 1999 set out a vision for 2010 of an internationally
competitive and attractive European Higher Education Area where higher education
institutions, supported by strongly committed staff, can fulfil their diverse missions in
the knowledge society; and where students benefiting from mobility with smooth and
fair recognition of their qualifications, can find the best suited educational pathways.
4. Since 1999, 47 parties to the European Cultural Convention, have signed up to
this vision and have made significant progress towards achieving it. In a unique
partnership between public authorities, higher education institutions, students and
staff, together with employers, quality assurance agencies, international organisations
and European institutions, we have engaged in a series of reforms to build a European
Higher Education Area based on trust, cooperation and respect for the diversity of
cultures, languages, and higher education systems.
5. The Bologna Process and the resulting European Higher Education Area, being
unprecedented examples of regional, cross-border cooperation in higher education,
have raised considerable interest in other parts of the world and made European
higher education more visible on the global map. We welcome this interest and look
forward to intensifying our policy dialogue and cooperation with partners across the
6. We have taken note of the independent assessment and the stakeholders’ reports.
We welcome their affirmation that institutions of higher education, staff and students
increasingly identify with the goals of the Bologna Process. While much has been
achieved in implementing the Bologna reforms, the reports also illustrate that EHEA
action lines such as degree and curriculum reform, quality assurance, recognition,
mobility and the social dimension are implemented to varying degrees. Recent
protests in some countries, partly directed against developments and measures not
related to the Bologna Process, have reminded us that some of the Bologna aims and
reforms have not been properly implemented and explained. We acknowledge and will
listen to the critical voices raised among staff and students. We note that adjustments
and further work, involving staff and students, are necessary at European, national,
and especially institutional levels to achieve the European Higher Education Area as
we envisage it.
7. We, the Ministers, are committed to the full and proper implementation of the
agreed objectives and the agenda for the next decade set by the Leuven/Louvain-la-
Neuve Communiqué. In close cooperation with higher education institutions, staff,
students and other stakeholders, we will step up our efforts to accomplish the reforms
already underway to enable students and staff to be mobile, to improve teaching and
learning in higher education institutions, to enhance graduate employability, and to
provide quality higher education for all. At national level, we also strive to improve
communication on and understanding of the Bologna Process among all stakeholders
and society as a whole.
8. We, the Ministers, recommit to academic freedom as well as autonomy and
accountability of higher education institutions as principles of the European Higher
Education Area and underline the role the higher education institutions play in
fostering peaceful democratic societies and strengthening social cohesion.
9. We acknowledge the key role of the academic community - institutional leaders,
teachers, researchers, administrative staff and students - in making the European
Higher Education Area a reality, providing the learners with the opportunity to acquire
knowledge, skills and competences furthering their careers and lives as democratic
citizens as well as their personal development. We recognise that a more supportive
environment for the staff to fulfil their tasks, is needed. We commit ourselves to
working towards a more effective inclusion of higher education staff and students in
the implementation and further development of the EHEA. We fully support staff and
student participation in decision-making structures at European, national and
10. We call upon all actors involved to facilitate an inspiring working and learning
environment and to foster student-centred learning as a way of empowering the
learner in all forms of education, providing the best solution for sustainable and
flexible learning paths. This also requires the cooperation of teachers and researchers
in international networks.
11. We, the Ministers, reaffirm that higher education is a public responsibility. We
commit ourselves, notwithstanding these difficult economic times, to ensuring that
higher education institutions have the necessary resources within a framework
established and overseen by public authorities. We are convinced that higher
education is a major driver for social and economic development and for innovation in
an increasingly knowledge-driven world. We shall therefore increase our efforts on the
social dimension in order to provide equal opportunities to quality education, paying
particular attention to underrepresented groups.
12. We, the Ministers responsible for the European Higher Education Area, ask the
Bologna Follow-up Group to propose measures to facilitate the proper and full
implementation of the agreed Bologna principles and action lines across the European
Higher Education Area, especially at the national and institutional levels, among
others by developing additional working methods, such as peer learning, study visits
and other information sharing activities. By continuously developing, enhancing and
strengthening the European Higher Education Area and taking further the synergies
with the European Research Area, Europe will be able to successfully face the
challenges of the next decade.
13. Our next Ministerial Meeting to take stock of progress and to drive the
Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve agenda forward, will be hosted by Romania in Bucharest on
26-27 April 2012.
NEW WORK PROGRAMME of The Bologna Process
The Bologna process will continue after 2010, or in other words the European Higher Education Area requires coordination to continue operating successfully. Ministers marked the priority work areas over the next decade.
I. The social dimension as referred to in the Bologna Process is part of a multidimensional, political and
socio-economic matrix that cannot be solved by means of education alone. Widening the access to higher
education, however, will be an important step towards a more sustainable and democratic society, to
which a growing number of individuals with different backgrounds can make equally valuable contributions.
On the individual level the social dimension can be summarized in terms of equitable access for all. And so
our vision for 2020 is an EHEA where the individual learner can attain the highest level of education that is
in line with her or his capacities, skills and desires, and regardless of the socio-economic, cultural or
During the next decade, nations and governments must cooperate to remove all social, economic and
cultural barriers to higher education where they may still exist. This includes legal frameworks and
organizational structures for paths to and through higher education for learners who are unfamiliar with
traditional academic terminology and/or reticent towards long study programs.
EURASHE commits itself and its members to contributing to this vision. We encourage institutions to
implement all measures to meet the Bologna goals.
II. National qualifications frameworks (NQFs) are designed to facilitate recognition, mobility and
employability through transparency, comparability and transferability, not only between different countries
but also between different sectors within a national higher education system. To fulfil this purpose, NQFs
must be elaborated with a strong emphasis on learning outcomes, fully integrated into the Quality
Assurance systems, and allowing a variety of learning paths to a given qualification, including informal and
non-formal learning; they must be linked to recognition of prior learning; and they must be certified against
widely-recognized, overarching QFs for all types and levels of higher education.
NQFs which meet these requirements will contribute to making higher education programs more relevant
to the needs of society, and at the same time will contribute to the coherence and continuity of the
individual learner’s development. Our vision for 2020 is an EHEA where NQFs are implemented in all
Bologna countries, higher education institutions , and where a single, universal European Qualifications
3 Framework has been developed, certified against the Overarching Qualifications Framework for the EHEA
and aligned to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning.
EURASHE commits itself to cooperate with international bodies, national authorities, higher education
institutions and external stakeholders in defining the learning outcomes that will constitute a universal EQF.
We will initiate discussions and projects to explore the possibilities for sector- and/or profession-specific
approaches in this context. And we will assist our members to ensure that the principles of QFs are
understood, reflected in the institutional policy and fully implemented into curricula.
III. The employability of graduates has from the outset of the Bologna Reform process been considered as
a cornerstone in developing the three-cycle structure of Higher Education, and the curricula are being
adapted accordingly. The underlying concern is to make higher education more responsive to rapidly
developing societies, with equally rapidly changing demands from the world of employment.
This calls for flexibility and innovation in the contents as well as in the structuring of higher education
programs. The vision for 2020 is a Europe where governments, employers and HE institutions have
increased their partnerships in order to create jobs for the graduates and graduates for the jobs. HEIs must
make it possible for students to maintain relations with the labour market through program structures
based on linked and flexible cycles; employers must allow and encourage their employees to go back to
HEIs for relevant supplementary study periods; and governments must ensure that the proper support
mechanisms are in place.
When dealing with employability, however, employers and HEIs should also take into account the longterm
horizon of graduates’ careers. Furthermore a number of graduates may wish to become
entrepreneurs rather than employees. And, not least, the strict market orientation must be balanced with
citizenship and general human and humane qualities.
EURASHE commits itself and its members to create and further develop provisions for students, which
directly affect their job prospects, e.g. careers services and skills-oriented education. We will increase
partnerships with the public and private world of employment and establish cooperation for research and
innovation. We will encourage quality-assured work placements as integrated elements in HE. And we will
pro-actively look for and assist in the development of employment prospects that reflect positive
tendencies in society, such as emerging ‘green-collar’ jobs , and provide appropriate training and
certification for them.
IV. Lifelong learning (LLL) as a leading principle for the creation and development of the EHEA is strongly
supported and advocated by EURASHE and its members, and we believe that the predominant qualities of
LLL are widely found in PHE institutions and programs. For societies, LLL contributes to extending
knowledge and skills and to creating new skills and transversal competences. For individuals, LLL is a major
source to be flexible towards societal and professional changes or to pursue personal desires for the mere
reasons of personal development and growth.
The rapidly changing labour market and the increasing impact of information and communication
technologies requires a more flexible and mobile population. In view of the global ageing of the world
population, technical, professional and academic knowledge will continually have to be updated. LLL will
then be the organic and essential part of the learning process at every level and in every sector of HE.
Our vision for 2020 is that in the entire EHEA, a system of linked and progressive cycles, which permits any
qualified person to enter and exit HE irrespective of age and educational profile is implemented. We urge
4 governments to ensure the provision of adequate investment and legal support for LLL as one of the most
liberating tools to realise a more equitable society as one of the strongest movers towards prosperity and
EURASHE commits itself to assisting its member institutions, other HE associations and international and
national authorities to develop flexible and innovative HE programs in all academic and professional fields,
with appropriate methodologies, including distance-learning provisions .And we will take initiatives to
establish reliable indicators and data-collection, which will help measure and increase the effectiveness of
lifelong learning policies and practices in the different Bologna countries and the EHEA as a whole.
V. Student-centred learning and the teaching mission of higher education institutions are, both as
concepts and as realities, closely intertwined with all the previous themes, i.e. the social dimension, the
qualifications frameworks, employability and lifelong learning. Since the beginning of the Bologna process
the role of students, teachers and their learning environment has already undergone significant change in
accordance with the relatively new concept of student-centred learning.
The learning society in a globalised world requires a number of competencies that are universally accepted,
such as interpersonal and intercultural competencies, multilingualism, international awareness, ICT-skills,
and – perhaps most important – the ability to learn how to learn in different formal and informal settings,
including autonomous learning processes with adequate support and guidance structures.
The vision for 2020 is an EHEA where the transition to student-centred learning has been completed in all
Bologna countries and where HEIs have redefined and implemented curricula in line with their mission and
profile, but entirely based on students’ learning outcomes. This requires not only the dedication of all
institutional staff and management, but also the full involvement of students in program design,
institutional governance and quality assurance. We advise governments to establish the legal frameworks
for this purpose.
EURASHE commits itself to encouraging and assisting all its members to develop an overall approach to
teaching, learning and assessment, where the student-centred approach is the rule, rather than the
exception, and where the will to seek feedback from students and to learn from it, is a prevailing force.
VI. Education, research and innovation are elements in all types and levels of HE, but different HEIs focus
on different aspects of education according to their mission statements. We do see, however, a continuum
between academic, professional and vocational teaching and training; and similarly we see a continuum
between fundamental research, innovation and applied research.
Continually evolving societies require us to invest more in the triangle education-research-innovation, and
we are convinced that higher education is a major driver not only for economic and social development,
but also for innovation in an increasingly knowledge-driven world. And so we urge governments to focus on
the structural development of applied research in the EHEA, to ensure that research results are translated
into all levels and cycles of higher education and to recognize the contribution applied research makes to
Our vision for 2020 is that a greater balance has been established among the different sectors of HE
between teaching and research through the instruments of innovation; that academic and professional
sectors have developed the means to make use of their complementary assets; and that all higher
education institutions have adopted this double mission, each in accordance with their specific mission and
5 EURASHE commits itself to contributing actively to the transfer of research results in society through
innovation and an applied-research based HE with a special focus on regional development, without
neglecting the global perspective. We will cooperate closely with the world of employment, acknowledging
that in a regional context, public institutions (schools & kindergartens, polyclinics, social service centres,
etc.) and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are natural partners for professional HE.
VII. International openness in HE is first of all a means to stimulate global awareness and a true sense of
global citizenship and global responsibility among graduates and within the HE sector as a whole.
Present-day problems are worldwide and cannot be solved in a definite geographical area like the EHEA,
but require a global platform for global solutions. Moreover, the creation of the knowledge society
requires global awareness and responsibility, and HEIs can play an important role here in consciousness
raising and in finding solutions through internationalisation of programmes and study environment.
Our vision for 2020 is an EHEA where the international dimension is perceived as an integrated part of the
mission and role of HEI; where all study programs will offer students the possibility to carry out at least one
semester abroad; and where the positive significance of international openness also comprises immigrant
students as important contributors to the internationalisation of HE. We urge governments to abolish all
legal obstacles relevant to this vision.
EURASHE commits itself to the enhancement of international openness in the EHEA as well as within its
member institutions. We will stimulate the development of joint degrees across national borders. We urge
potential research and innovation players and stakeholders to participate in international projects. We will
initiate international cooperation to develop and implement comparable QA and accreditation systems.
And we will facilitate our members’ active participation in international HE organizations and networks.
VIII. Mobility of students and staff remains an important goal of the Bologna Process. Mobility is important
for sharing and dissemination of knowledge and skills among students and professionals; it contributes to
the personal development and responsible citizenship of the individual; and it underpins the European
identity and the multilingual tradition in a global context.
The set target of 20 % mobile students in the EHEA by 2020 is ambitious and may not be reached, mainly
due to obstacles that are beyond the remit of higher education authorities, such as the (lack of) portability
of loans and grants; problems with visas and permits to stay, etc.. But also, HEIs can create obstacles, e.g.,
when study periods abroad or qualifications achieved are not recognized; or when a student is refused reentry
to her or his original HEI.
In our vision for 2020, all HEIs will provide an international experience for the individual student, either
abroad, at her or his home institution, or virtually. A growing number of European students in HE will be
European multilingual citizens with universally utilizable skills and knowledge. Mobility, in all cycles of HE,
will be an organic part of higher education and shall be the hallmark of the European Higher Education
EURASHE commits itself to strive to achieve the 20 % goal for students and also to increase mobility of
staff. We will inform our students about the specific advantages of studies or practical training abroad, and
we will stimulate the interest of employers who accept foreign students for practical training as a part of
their HE studies. We will stimulate multilingualism and multi-cultural competencies, and promote mobility
in a harmonious way, avoiding the brain drain phenomenon. And we will enter into a discussion with those
6 of our member institutions who might still believe that a mono-lingual and mono-cultural approach is to be
IX. Multidimensional transparency tools. Various ministerial communiqués have highlighted the diversity
of European HE as an asset. A transparent, multidimensional classification system of instruments which are
designed to benchmark HEIs on research and innovation, teaching and learning outcomes, services to
society, level of internationalisation and mobility, governance, study fees and study environment, student
and stakeholder involvement, etc., may help identify and make visible such diversity.
The development of such transparency instruments, is however, inextricably linked to a well-functioning
QA system across the EHEA and to well-described QFs that are closely related to the mission of the specific
HEI. Ranking, especially ranking expressed as an average of the different individual dimensions, must be
avoided; such an average figure will be statistically questionable and therefore provide the reader with
limited, or feasibly, misleading information.
Our vision for 2020 shows an EHEA that has built up a comprehensive information system offering all the
necessary data for those demanding detailed information about the individual HEIs and HE programs across
EURASHE commits itself to cooperating with international authorities and HE associations to identify and
develop such qualitative and quantitative descriptors and indicators that will ensure the practical
usefulness of the multidimensional instruments to the prospective learner.
X. Funding. Increased government funding is essential to maintain the current level of studies, but may not
be enough to increase substantially the proportion of the youth that will complete a HE program. The
accrued benefit for society from the education system in the form of skilled employees, entrepreneurs and
independent researchers, vastly outweighs the current investment. This makes it both realistic and
desirable to invest efforts and resources into education, research and innovation, not least in the light of
the upcoming demographic evolvement in Europe.
The vision for 2020 is an EHEA that is funded in accordance with the overall needs of society and consistent
with the expressed objectives of the social dimension of the EHEA. Study fees have not risen, but general
study support resources have been partly diverted to underrepresented groups. Funding sources and
methods have been diversified, containing a mixture of public and private funding sources. Where
applicable, public and private employers have been successful in establishing salaried in-service training
periods as integrated part of HE programs.
The decision made based on the Declaration of Leuven, that from the 1th July 2010 the country having the EU Presidency, and a non-EU Bologna-country presides together (with equal rights) the Bologna Process – to emphasize the nature of the process being non- EU. The latter follow each other in alphabetical order. The first Presidential pair was Belgium and Albania, the seconds were – in the first half of 2011 - Hungary with Andorra, presiding the Bologna process.
The Bologna Secretariat, which is always hosted by the country setting and running the following ministerial meeting, moves to Bucharest on the first of July in 2010(Romania will be the host in 2012).
The Bologna Process receives a permanent site, which is maintained and operated by the current Bologna Secretariat. The new website starts with the Romanian Secretariat period, on the first of July in 2010, and will be available at www.ehea.info (the abbreviation of the EHEA is European Higher Education Area, covers the result of the Bologna Process in the European Higher Education Area).
The next time, as a regular meeting, the ministers meet in Bucharest on the 26th and 27th in April 2012, and there will be more ministerial meetings in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2020.
The deductions of the trends of the Bologna Process
It is not a question any more in Europe if the Bologna reforms come to life or not. The conditions of its materialization have come to the fore of thinking.
Though these reforms get a bigger and bigger attention during the advancement of the Bologna Process, the main challenge remains to communicate the nature of these structural and curricular reforms in a wider range. The lack of attention towards the social communication between the institutions, the authorities, the employers and the citizens goes with the risk that the effects of these reforms vanish and the skills are misinterpreted.
The tools developed to support the Bolognai Process (ECTS, certificate attachements) are not always used in every possible way. That is why the biggest challenge now is providing a deep understanding and a suitable enforcement for everyone. Iti s really important for the educators and undergraduates to think of the educational results becuase that is the way to rethink the curriculum in an adequate depth. We need to know services supporting our undergraduates more and we need to develop them further according to the best interest of all the students. The consultative activities of undergraduates play a main role in widening the participation in the higher education, in increasing the rate of the successfully graduated people and in the preparation of students entering the labour market.
Today many institutions are still held back from implementing the Bologna Process - thus creating improved studental and social services - by the national quality assurance systems, which are expensive and they do not give guarantees to the overall quality development and they do not allow the institution’s ability to respond in a creative way to the expectations of the European knowledge-based society.
The institutions must give a higher priority to lifelong learning while rethinking the traditional curriculum and they must observe it as a central principle during the institution’s strategic improvements.
The European countries could do more in order to support each other in the implementation of the higher education reforms. Although the challenges can be many, every country would get the benefit of broad-based cooperation.
While at the beginning of the Bologna process there was a lot of doubt, it is now clear that the institutions may feel the concept of the European higher education area and they also act in order to move forward as quickly as possible. It is remarkable that this has happened without any kind of central management and binding legal regime.There is no single ’Bolognai coordination centre’, which would know the correct solutions and the know-how, as there is no central monitoring body either. Some people take it as the weakness of the process, but perhaps it would be wise to revise this view in respect of the major reforms that took place in a sector which is often regarded as resistant to the changes and development. As the universities and other higher education institutions have always shown over the course of their long history, they show it again that they not only have the ability to adapt to the changing needs of society but they also play an essential role in sustainable development.
David Crosiner, Lewis Pusres, Hanna Smidt
The universities are forming the European Higher Education Region
(State of play on the Bologna process)
Europen University Association
The ten commandments of the Bologna system
- Creating equal opportunities and breaking down the remaining social, economic and cultural barriers
- Determining higher education goals through the coordination of national and international interests
- Improving the job-finding chance of graduates by means of closer cooperation with the employers
- Assisting the implementation of life-long learning
- Implementing the student-oriented teaching structure
- Coordinationg the aims of education, research and development
- Open-mindedness towards International Affairs
- Developing the mobility of students
- Transparency of the higher education system
- Creating cost-effective teaching methods and structure
The current problems of higher education
- The higher education joined the Bologna process due to political pressure, without thinking it through.
- It has created incomprehensible measures which are unfamiliar with the domestic terminology.
- The number of faculties are unconscious of the system, there are lots of oversized subjects, overlapping topics and many one credit topics are displayed as separate subjects.
- We have such specialities and qualifications which do not offer any job opportunities (3-year course liberal arts specializations), or they are the parts of a given profession (general agriculture, plant-growing agriculture, livestock raising agriculture are separate, etc.)
- The Bologna Process has caused a complete confusion in teacher training. The education certificates did not have equivalence previously either, except the engineer educator diploma where the majority of pedagogical training was built on the total value of engineering studies as opposed to the liberal arts – Hungarian teacher and history teacher diplomas, where the Hungarian teacher received his or her training at the expense of the liberal arts diploma. (see the decree of 111/1977). Due to their content, the prestige of the liberal arts degree or mathematician degree was higher than a teacher’s degree.
- In general, the teacher and educator training followed a system which starts from a common fund and the undergradute could decide to become an instructor, a kindergartner, a primary school teacher or a secondary school teacher as a result of his or her bonding to a given age-group. The initial training could be common for all students and the individual interest and competence of the undergraduates would determine which age-group to specialize in (the different age-groups are given with the control of practiacl teacher’s net and the vocational school background). The development of special skills is separated following the basics of liberal arts and science, and would continue locally in the case of primary school level, while it would continue in the field of the two selected faculty in case of secondary school level. This could be a university-level or universal pedagogue training system. The other possibility for the secondary school branch is getting a full value liberal arts teacher or science teacher major degree, which will be continued by a special training ended by receiving a full valued degree.
- We did not succeed in creating real basic majors which should have transmitted the real basics and should have prepared the students for an independent way of living and should have helped them with job opportunities. This kind of preparation for independent way of living is completely missing today (both personal and social), it is too theoritical, unreal to life-like situations and it does not even calculate with life-age limits. It requires such a serious preparation and competence which is in accordance with an adult’s life experience (psychology, adult education, counselling, social area).
- The current politics is getting its way into the curriculum: this can be seen in the false requirement of the knowledge-based society, EU knowledge, quality insurance and equal opportunity.
- The education policy is untrustworthy, money withdrawal is going on behind the word of quality and European integrity. This is what keeps the Bologna process in motion since half of the funds is going to non-academic majors.
- The tendering system is an implied support for the favoured ones and for those producing defficiency.
- The most ourtrageous forms of money withdrawal is the PPP programme and the obligation of public procurement.
- The MAB (Hungarian Accreditation Committee) cannot cope with the integrational opportunity, it is self-interested and has a confused ideas, see common training.
- The current appointment practice also hurts the independence of universities and the institutional autonomy (university teacher, faculty establishing and faculty starting requirement system).
- The eligibility of the PhD decree in teaching is not consistent with the requirements of MAB (Hungarian Accreditation Committee) (degree acquired in accredited doctoral schools, while there are constrains in disciplinary teaching work).
- The university autonomy in awarding degrees has not been clarified yet (see academic doctor versus PhD).
- The pedagogical aspect cannot dominate over the bureaucratic aspect in the otherwise correct credit- and cascading educational system (separate entrance exam for every level, even though career controlling should be done by the pedagogical work of the institution).
- The head quota financing goes with the expense of quality, the working of the institution depends on the number of undergraduates.
- Financing is uneven: a PhD degree faculty member worths the same as undergraduates.
- It is not the large number of students but the above two reasons which are the responsible for quality degradement.
- The career guidance system of higher education is completely missing (see also the consequences of the bureaucratic system).
- The practical training is often not realistic, does not reflect real-life situations (the pedagogical training being perhaps the only exception).
- The admission system is unsolved, it does not serve the interests of the undergraduate or the institution, thus being a lucky-bag.
- Secondary and primary school preparedness is incomplete and it is unclear who will execute the supplementation.
- The two levels of school leaving exam cannot be levelled and understood.
- Fundamental confusion on the scale of values on all fields: legal categories are mixed with pedagogical ones, and philosopical (scale of value) ideas with social sicence ones.
- Social sciences are servants of the politics, this is reflected in almost every field of intellectual training.
Prof. Dr. Barkó Endre, (2010)