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Bologna Process

In order to explain the Bologna Process one must start with the so-called Sorbonne Declaration. In May 1998, the European Ministers in charge of higher education of France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany signed the Sorbonne Declaration on the "harmonisation of the architecture of the European Higher Education System" at the Sorbonne University in Paris.[1] Other European countries subscribed to the Declaration later. In June 1999, 29 European Ministers in charge of higher education met in Bologna to lay the basis for establishing a ↑European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by 2010 and promoting the European system of higher education world-wide. While confirming their support to the general principles laid down in the Sorbonne Declaration, they agreed to focus on the following six action lines of the Bologna Process:[2] -  Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees; -  Adoption of a system with two main ↑cycles (undergraduate/graduate); -  Establishment of a system of credits (such as ↑ECTS); -  Promotion of ↑mobility by overcoming obstacles; -  Promotion of European cooperation in ↑quality assurance; -  Promotion of the ↑European dimension in higher education. Convinced that the establishment of the EHEA would require constant support, the European Ministers decided to meet again after two years. Meanwhile, there have been three Follow-up Conferences in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003) and Bergen (2005). The next conference will be held in London in May 2007. In the Prague Communiqué (2001), three additional action lines were introduced:[3] -  ↑Lifelong learning; -  Higher education institutions and students; -  ↑Promoting the EHEA. In the Berlin Communiqué (2003), another action line was introduced:[4] -  ↑Doctoral studies and the synergy between the EHEA and the ↑European Research Area (ERA). The ↑social dimension of higher education is seen as an overarching or transversal action line.[5]

[1] Sorbonne Joint Declaration: Joint declaration on harmonisation of the architecture of the European higher education system, by the four Ministers in charge for France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, Paris, the Sorbonne, May 25 1998; URL: http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/Docs/00-Main_doc/980525SORBONNE_DECLARATION.PDF (9.5.2006).

[2] Cf. Bologna.

[3] Cf. Prague.

[4] Cf. Berlin.

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