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In the Bologna Declaration (1999), the adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate, is seen as a core aim of the ↑Bologna Process. In the Declaration it is stated that "access to the second cycle shall require successful completion of first cycle studies, lasting a minimum of three years. The degree awarded after the first cycle shall also be relevant to the European labour market as an appropriate level of qualification. The second cycle should lead to the ↑master and/or doctorate degree as in many European countries."[1] The first cycle usually ends with a ↑Bachelor degree. In the Berlin Communiqué (2003), the European Ministers considered it necessary to include the ↑doctoral studies as the third cycle in the Bologna Process. They called for "increased ↑mobility at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels and encourage[d] the institutions concerned to increase their cooperation in doctoral studies and the training of young researchers"[2]. In the Bergen Communiqué (2005), the overarching ↑qualifications framework in the ↑European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was adopted.[3] This framework comprises the above mentioned three cycles, generic ↑descriptors for each cycle based on ↑learning outcomes and ↑competences, and credit ranges in the first and second cycles. The European Ministers committed themselves to elaborate national frameworks for qualifications compatible with the overarching qualifications framework in the EHEA by 2010, and to having started work on this by 2007.[4]
Related term:
↑ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System

[1] Bologna, p. 3.

[2] Berlin, p. 7.

[3] Cf. Qualifications.

[4] Cf. Bergen, p. 2.

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