">
PDF Print

The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries designed to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher education qualifications. Through the Bologna Accords, the process has created the European Higher Education Area, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention. It is named after the place it was proposed, the University of Bologna, with the signing in 1999 of the Bologna declaration by Education Ministers from 29 European countries. It was opened up to other countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention, of the Council of Europe; further governmental meetings have been held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007), and Leuven (2009).

436px-Bologna-Prozess-Logo.svg  

Before the signing of the Bologna declaration, the Magna Charta Universitatum had been issued at a meeting of university rectors celebrating the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna – and thus of European universities – in 1988. One year before the Bologna declaration, education ministers Claude Allegre (France), Jürgen Rüttgers (Germany), Luigi Berlinguer (Italy) and Baroness Blackstone (UK) signed the Sorbonne declaration[2] in Paris 1998, committing themselves to "harmonising the architecture of the European Higher Education system".

 The Bologna Process currently has 47 participating countries. While the European Commission is an important contributor to the Bologna Process, the Lisbon Recognition Convention was prepared by the Council of Europe and members of the Europe Region of UNESCO.

Since the mid-90s, Ukraine took steps to reform its education frameworks to be consistent with the Bologna Process. By the mid-2000s, most Universities granted lower bachelor's degrees (about 4 years) and higher master's degrees (about 6 years). In the Soviet times the only degree was Specialist, which has now been discontinued. Masters are eligible for post-graduate courses. The post-graduate system (Aspirantura) has not been reformed, with Candidate of Sciences and Doktor nauk degrees being granted.

The basic framework adopted is of three cycles of higher education qualifications . The framework of qualifications adopted by the ministers at their meeting in Bergen in 2005 defines the qualifications in terms of learning outcomes. These are statements of what students know and can do on completion of their degrees. In describing the cycles the framework makes use of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS):

1st cycle: typically 180–240 ECTS credits, usually awarding a bachelor's degree. The European Higher Education Area did not introduce the Bachelor with Honours programme, which allows graduates with a "BA hons." degree (e.g. in UK, USA, Canada) to undertake doctoral studies without first having to obtain a master's degree.

2nd cycle: typically 90–120 ECTS credits (a minimum of 60 on 2nd-cycle level). Usually awarding a master's degree.

3rd cycle: doctoral degree. No ECTS range given.

In most cases, these will take 3, 2, and 3 years respectively to complete. The actual naming of the degrees may vary from country to country.

One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1,500–1,800 hours of study. The new model comes closer to the North American and Japanese systems. It gives greater weight to practical training and to intensive research projects. The way credits are measured reflects how hard a student has worked. The new evaluation methods reflect not only a student's performance on exams, but also his or her lab experiments, presentations, hours spent on study, innovation capacities, and so forth.

In much of continental Europe, the previous higher education system was modelled on the German system, in which there is a clear difference of vocational and academic higher education. This mostly has an impact on the old engineer's degrees. The conflation of the two types of degrees can be counterproductive in the following cases:

The vocational three-year degrees are not intended for further study, so those students who also want to advance to a master's degree will be at a disadvantage.

The master's degree effectively becomes the minimum qualification for a professional engineer, rather than the bachelor's degree.

The academic three-year degrees prepare only for continuing towards master's, so students who enter the workforce at that point will not be properly prepared. Yet they would have the same academic title as the fully trained vocationally educated engineers (see: Fachhochschule).

 The end-result of the change is that the agreements between professional bodies will require reevaluation in some cases as qualifications change.

 The requirement of 60 ECTS per year assumes that 1,500–1,800 hours are available per year. However, the Bologna Process does not standardize semesters, which means that if the summer break at the university is long, the same material has to be crammed into a shorter study year. Also, there have been accusations that the same courses have been simply redefined e.g. 1.5 times shorter when the local credits were converted to ECTS, with no change in course content or requirements. This effectively increases demands with nothing to compensate. The extent of this issue alone is such that in some countries, for example Norway, one ECTS point is defined as 20 hours study, while in The Netherlands, it is defined as 28 hours. These readily available definitions essentially prove that the "ECTS point" is not standard at all.

 It can readily be argued that a process that standardises titles but not the content of the qualification creates a disadvantage for all candidates that take part in studies other than those requiring minimum effort, because their degrees have artificially been set equal to other qualifications that previously would have been judged on their own merits. Meanwhile, because of the differences between the philosophies and attitudes surrounding higher education in various countries the prescribed length of the study can mean different things in different states (or at different institutions within the same state, in fairness). In some countries, all candidates complete studies in the same time, with the better students potentially finishing sooner, while elsewhere, the "length" of the course is traditionally the shortest possible time to completion, unattainable by some, or even most as explained in the case of Finland below.

The Bologna Process has been implemented concurrently with other reforms, which have been attached as "riders" to the implementation itself. These reforms go far beyond the minimum provisions necessary to implement the Bologna Process, and include introducing tuition fees, overhauling departments, and changing the organization of universities. These reforms have been criticized as unnecessary, detrimental to the quality of education, or even undemocratic.

For example, in Finland, the official goal was to improve students' performance and to enable them to gain diplomas faster by introducing stricter standards. However, students appear to feel that the workload has increased, and the new standards lead to micromanaged and too narrow curricula[citation needed]. The Bologna Process is said to lead to universities being "diploma factories". Also, for example at Helsinki University of Technology, most students (85%) fail to achieve the official goal of 120 credits in two years – the average is 81 credits. The number of students failing to achieve the minimum credits to receive student benefit has risen 40% following the implementation of the Process.

Since the mid-90s, Ukraine took steps to reform its education frameworks to be consistent with the Bologna Process. By the mid-2000s, most Universities granted lower bachelor's degrees (about 4 years) and higher master's degrees (about 6 years). In the Soviet times the only degree was Specialist, which has now been discontinued. Masters are eligible for post-graduate courses. The post-graduate system (Aspirantura) has not been reformed, with Candidate of Sciences and Doktor nauk degrees being granted.

 
Ukrainian (CIS)English (United Kingdom)



Our Schools

  • Youtube
  • Facebook

Conferences 2012

Map of visits

Реклама Google