For about 25 years, 49 countries* inside and outside the EU have been working to bring their higher education systems closer to each other. How? By putting in place:
the three-cycle structure – Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral studies;
mechanisms for mutual and more automatic recognition of diplomas and qualifications;
measures to ensure the quality of their higher education systems.
With a high number of students and graduates moving abroad for their studies, these steps contribute to making the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) stronger and better. Erasmus+ has been supporting this process through grants offered to identified beneficiaries (mostly education ministries) amounting to about EUR 35 million for the 2014-2025 period.
As we get closer to the next Ministerial Conference on the Bologna process (planned for May/June 2024), it's important to assess what has been achieved by the previous generations of EHEA projects over the past 5 years.
This is why EACEA and EAC held a cluster meeting on 20 and 21 June 2023. The aim of the meeting was to assess the impact of 40 EHEA projects selected in 2018, 2019 and 2021. It focused on key implementation areas of the Bologna process, i.e. quality assurance and automatic recognition; better alignment of the National Qualifications Frameworks; the introduction of more flexible learning paths (e.g. micro-credentials); as well as the importance of upholding EU fundamental values in higher education. In addition, the event showcased the impact of the Bologna process on the higher education systems of Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The synergies with other actions funded under Erasmus+ were further highlighted (e.g. National Academic Recognition Information Centres and the European Universities Alliances).
Overall, the event demonstrated the added value of EU support for the Bologna process. It showed the tangible results produced by the EHEA projects, with high impact at institutional, national and European levels. The lively discussions, the exchanges and the networking among beneficiaries were highly appreciated and made this event a success. A report with the conclusions of the event will be published as a follow-up.
For more information please see:
* The rights of representation of the Russian Federation and Belarus have been suspended as of 11 April 2022. See statement of the Bologna Follow-Up Group on the consequences of the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine.
- Publication date
- 12 July 2023
- European Education and Culture Executive Agency