Comparability, compatibility and coherence

Bologna Process
European Higher Education Area, 2010-2012

“The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched along with the Bologna Process’ decade anniversary, in March 2010, during the Budapest-Vienna Ministerial Conference.

As the main objective of the Bologna Process since its inception in 1999, the EHEA was meant to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe. Between 1999 – 2010, all the efforts of the Bologna Process members were targeted to creating the European Higher Education Area, that became reality with the Budapest-Vienna Declaration of March, 2010. The next decade will be aimed at consolidating the EHEA and thus the current EHEA permanent website will play a key role in this process of intense internal and external communication.”

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Learning from Bologna

The Bologna Process for U.S. Eyes: Re-learning Higher Education in the Age of Convergence
Adelman, Clifford
Institute for Higher Education Policy. 2009

The title of this document is a deliberate play on the title of the biennial reports on the progress of Bologna produced by the European Students’ Union, “Bologna With Student Eyes.” It is a way of paying tribute to student involvement in the Bologna reforms, and marking a parallel student working participation in the state system “Tuning” study groups in the U.S. This monograph, an expansion of the previous Bologna Club essay, draws on hundreds of documents in 8 languages, interviews with principal actors in 9 countries, and suggestions from two rounds of European reviewers, to bring to a broad academic audience in the United States an analysis of what European higher education authorities, academic leaders, faculty, and students have learned over the first decade of their considerable efforts, particularly in the challenging matters of: (1) student learning outcomes (set in what are called “qualification frameworks”); (2) the relationship of these frameworks to credits and curriculum reform; (3) the construction of new paths to student participation in higher education, including refinement of “short-cycle” degrees analogous to our Associate’s, and combinations of e-learning and part-time status; (4) the reflection of all of this in the documentation of student attainment called “Diploma Supplements,” and the expansion of this documentation in a lifelong “Europass’ (5) the establishment of a “zone of mutual trust” through an all-encompassing culture of quality assurance, and an international accreditation register; and (6) consolidating and hence clarifying the myriad of academic credentials offered across 46 countries into common “cycles,” which, in combination with qualification frameworks, a common credit system, and quality assurance, assures the recognition of degrees across national borders. These highlights help clarify, for North American readers, what Bologna is and what it is not. Some of them are extraordinarily relevant to challenges that face U.S. higher education, and are particularly applicable to accountability and access issues–in ways we simply have not considered. This document urges us to learn something from beyond our own borders that just might help us rethink our higher education enterprise. Thirteen Chapters comprise this report. They are: (1) A Tapestry of Change; (2) The Core of Bologna, Line I: Qualification Frameworks; (3) The Core of Bologna, Line II: Qualification Frameworks from the Ground-Up: the “Tuning” model and its Analogues; (4) The “Bologna-Code:” Learning Outcomes and Competences; (5) The Core of Bologna, Line III: The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS); (6) The Core of Bologna, Line IV: Closing the Loop with The Diploma Supplement; (7) Coda to the Accountability Loop: Quality Assurance; (8) The Core of Bologna, Line V: A Different Kind of Visit With Degree Cycles; (9) The Social Dimension of Bologna: Providing Multiple Pathways; (10) The External Dimension: Bologna Faces the World; (11) The Larger Language Landscape; (12) Bologna 2020: What is Left to be Done?; and (13) What Should the U.S. Learn?: Epiphanies for Our Eyes. Appended are: (A) Our European Colleagues; Our Translation Assistance; (B) 2007 Status of Core Bologna Features and Enabling Legislation in 46 Countries; and (C) Institutions from Which Diploma Supplements Were Received and Examined. (Contains 14 figures and 4 tables.) [For the document, “Bologna with Student Eyes, 2007,” see ED500451.]