SCHES, December 4, 2003

By Mary Wells,2014-05-07 12:33
23 views 0
SCHES, December 4, 2003

The Bologna Process: SCHES AGM, December 5, 2003

    This dossier gives an overview of the Bologna Process its history, its principal strands, what it might mean in 2004 and beyond. In particular, what might be the

    outcomes when it becomes subsumed in the Lisbon Agenda.

Bologna action lines

[Sorbonne Declaration, 1998]

Bologna Declaration, 1999

1. Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees

    2. Adoption of a system essentially based on two cycles

    3. Establishment of a system of credits

    4. Promotion of mobility

    5. Promotion of European cooperation in quality assurance

    6. Promotion of the European dimension in higher education

Prague Communiqué, 2001

7. Lifelong learning 8. Higher education institutions and students

    9. Promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area

     [ERASMUS MUNDUS now approved: first call in spring 2004]

Berlin Communiqué, 2003

    10. European Higher Education Area and European Research Area two pillars of

    the knowledge based society

From Berlin to Bergen (2005): three immediate priorities, to be monitored by

    Follow-Up Group

    1. Cooperation in quality assurance: ENQA [ ] to oversee

    elaboration of common methodology and of peer review system for national

    quality agencies

    2. Two [three] cycles of provision: Bachelors and Masters [+ Doctoral]

    3. Recognition of qualifications and of periods of study


    Bologna compliance

    What should be the response of UK universities?

? appropriately tiered provision within ECTS bands:

    Bachelors [180-240] + Masters [90-120] = at least 300 ECTS in 5 f-t years

? facilitation of mobility on-course, between courses, lifelong; for students,

    staff, researchers

? European dimension in curriculum e.g. business, law, environmental studies,

    etc; access to language tuition; input from European partner institutions

? transparency instruments:

    ECTS European Credit Transfer System

    Diploma Supplement

    European CV


    European Language Portfolio

    European Computer Driving Licence

    See also The Tuning Project

? lifelong learning: appropriate provision and infrastructure inc. AP[E]L

? quality assurance mechanisms appropriate to all the above, as well as to course

    design with European partners on bilateral or consortial bases outside the EU-

    funded programmes; note that QAA procedures have historically handled only

    vertical collaborative links (franchises, validations, accreditations, etc), rather

    than horizontal ones


Bologna and the EU

    ? legal status and bases

    Bologna: intergovernmental; not legally binding

    EU: complementary competence; subsidiarity and proportionality

    ? country numbers

    Bologna: 40 to date, inc. Russia

    EU ambit: 15 MSs + 10 accession + 3 EEA + 3 ‘acceding’ = 31

    […] the place of higher education in the overall Lisbon strategy goes far beyond

    the programme of structural reform initiated by the Bologna Declaration. The

    role of the universities covers areas as diverse and as vital as the training of

    teachers and that of future researchers; their mobility within the Union; the place

    of culture, science and European values in the world; an outward-looking

    approach to the business sector, the regions and society in general; the

    incorporation of the social and citizen-focused dimensions in

    courses. [Communication from the Commission ‘Education & Training 2010:

    the success of the Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms’, (Draft joint interim

    report on the implementation of the detailed work programme

    on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe)

    {SEC(2003) 1250}]

The Bologna Process and the Lisbon Agenda are parallel series which inform each

    other. They spring from contrasting ideological inspirations for Bologna read Delors, for Lisbon read Blair. Yet with enlargement they will effectively merge. In the

    medium term, the only third country and Bologna-signatory with a large HE system

    will be Russia; to soften this anomaly, the Commission envisages a new TEMPUS-

    PLUS Programme to run from 2006. For the majority of Bologna countries, aspects of

    HE provision are likely increasingly to fall within the regulatory framework of the

    integrated internal market.

The Lisbon Agenda

    ? Lisbon Council 2000: the most dynamic knowledge-based economy

    competitiveness, high employment, social cohesion

    ? Stockholm Council 2001: three strategic goals quality, access, openness to

    the wider world; 13 ‘concrete’ objectives identified

    ? Barcelona Council 2002: European education and training a world

    reference by 2010

    ? Copenhagen ministerial meeting 2002: the Copenhagen Declaration a

    convergence process for VET parallel to Bologna and fused with it 3

    The European Commission

    ? DG EAC: Education-Training 2010

    funds transnational working groups (inc. UK representative, in most cases

    from DfES) on the concrete objectives of education systems; these were

    set up in 2001 and empowered by the open method of coordination:

    Teacher training

    Basic skills

    Language learning


    Maths, science and technology

    Best use of resources


    Making learning more attractive and strengthening links with working life


    Guidance and counselling

    Lifewide learning (non-formal and informal)


     Most have published interim reports, prompting DG EAC to prepare an …

    Alarm call to Spring Council 2004: Lisbon targets at risk


    ? Investment in education inadequate more private capital needed,

    esp in HE

    ? Dramatic shortfall in basic skills

    ? Participation / retention rates in compulsory education are too low

    ? Lack of progress in lifelong learning [who pays?]

    ? Insufficient graduates in maths/sciences plus gender imbalance

    ? DGs RTD, SANCO fund research; at ?17.4b, the RTD budget is the third

    largest, after CAP and the structural funds


    EMPL, … TRADE: all have, or could have, considerable agency in HE. In

    addition to regional HE programmes (e.g. ALFA) and aid programmes

    (external, and internal via the structural funds), actual or proposed EU

    legislation impinges on UK HE to a significant extent intellectual property, recognition of professional qualifications, access by third country students and

    researchers. The weak legal base (even in the slightly augmented version in

    Art.III 182 of the Draft Constitutional Treaty) does not imply lack of activity

    or ambition. The Commission has a powerful influence on HE now, of course, strengthened by its commitment to the Bologna Process.


    The future…

? enlargement[s] 2004, 2007 …

? new Commission 2004

    ? ratification of Draft Constitutional Treaty 2004 …

? mid-term review of progress in education relative to Lisbon Agenda, 2005

? Bergen 2005

? European Higher Education Area + European Research [and Innovation] Area

    = Europe of Knowledge 2010

    ? increasing regulation of HE in enlarged internal market …

    Once Bologna is in place, there will be by definition structural

    convergence of HE systems in Europe. Mobility will be easier and will be

    encouraged by free movement of labour in the enlarged market. Cross-border

    service delivery and other forms of consortial activity will likewise be

    stimulated. Private providers will be encouraged to participate more widely;

    many of them will be for-profit ventures.

    This development will raise questions concerning the status of HE (a service

    of general interest?) and the admissibility of state aid to institutions and to


    The convergence triggered by Bologna leaves untouched two very significant

    manifestations of diversity course contents and funding regimes. It is

    conceivable that marketisation will bring confusion to the latter while

    enhancing the former. Much may depend on the fate of the Draft

    Constitutional Treaty, which offers significant legislative scope in the areas of,

    for example, services of general interest and academic qualifications.

    Howard Davies +32 2 234 77 31, +44 20 7753 5798

    London Metropolitan University, Rondpoint Schuman 6, Box 5, B-1040 Brussels


Report this document

For any questions or suggestions please email