What is Bologna Process?
Started with the ‘Bologna Declaration’ published in 1999 by the European Union, the Bologna Process is a process of restructuring in order to create a comparable, transparent and highly competitive EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA (EHEA).
Who is Involved?
The process launched in 1999 as a regional initiative gained a global character as of today with the participation of dozens of countries who follow the process in order to use it in their higher education systems, in addition to the 47 member countries. The membership with the process is not tied to an agreement between governments/countries. The documents published within the framework of Bologna Process are not legally binding. The process is a structure in which membership is a voluntary decision made by each country and countries have right to accept the objectives envisaged in the Bologna Process or not.
What are the Objectives of the Bologna Process?
The main objective of the Bologna Process is to foster mobility of citizens of countries located in European higher education area for employment or higher education in order to make Europe attractive both for higher education and job opportunities for people in other regions of the world. The thing that is not desired to be achieved in the European Higher Education Area is converting education systems of the member states into a uniform system of higher education. The intention is to allow the diversity of national systems and universities to be maintained while improving transparency between higher education systems, as well as implements tools to facilitate recognition of degrees and academic qualifications, mobility, and exchange between institutions and hence increasing employment.
What are the Basic Action Lines of the Bologna Process?
10 ‘Action lines’ of the Bologna Process developed over years:
1. Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable higher education diplomas and/or degrees (Diploma Supplement is developed for this purpose)
2. Transition to a system essentially based on three cycles of higher education consisting of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees
3. Implementation of European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)
4. Ensuring and promoting mobility of students and academics
5. Creation and promotion of quality assurance system network in higher education
6. Promotion of the European dimension in higher education
7. Encouraging lifelong learning
8. Ensuring active participation of higher education institutions and students in the process
9. Promotion of the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area
10. Establishment of a synergy between the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area and promote doctoral programmes
What is the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)?
ECTS makes teaching and learning more transparent and facilitates the recognition of studies (formal, non-formal, informal) across Europe. The system is used across Europe for credit transfer (student mobility) and credit accumulation (learning paths towards a degree). ECTS also aids curriculum design and quality assurance. The system allows for the transfer of learning experiences between different institutions, greater student mobility and more flexible routes to gain degrees. It also aids curriculum design and quality assurance. Institutions which apply ECTS publish their course catalogues on the web, including detailed descriptions of study programmes, units of learning, university regulations and student services.