Bologna Process

At a ministerial conference held in Bologna, 31 ministers from 29 countries concluded the Bologna Declaration, which was aimed at creating a European Higher Education Area by 2010 and harmonizing the European university system.

The Bologna Declaration sets out a number of objectives to achieve these goals:

  • Adoption of a system of comprehensible and easily comparable degrees, supported by the introduction of the diploma supplement
  • Adoption of a three-cycle system (Bachelor– Master – Doctorate/PhD)
  • Establishment of a system of credits, similar to that used in the ECTS model
  • Promotion of mobility for students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff
  • Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance
  • Promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education
  • Creation of a European area of higher education and research

These objectives were more precisely defined at the biennial follow-up conferences held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007) Leuven (2009)and Budapest/Vienna (2011). The meetings were also a forum for tracking the member states’ progress towards achieving the targets, identifying problem areas, and discussing further milestones in the implementation of the Bologna Declaration. The following priorities have been identified for the coming years:

  • Accreditation and quality assurance
  • Recognition of ECTS credits
  • Social aspects and Social dimension
  • Developing joint degrees
  • Removing obstacles to mobility
  • Lifelong learning
  • Student-centred learning
  • Expanding the Bologna Process

So far 48 countries have signed the Bologna Declaration. The introduction of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System and the Diploma Supplement for degree programmes at all Austrian Universities of Applied Sciences is enshrined in the University of Applied Sciences Studies Act. The Bachelor/Master structure has already been implementedfor the majority of University of Applied Sciences degree programmes.

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