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“Three Cycle System in the Framework of Bologna Process”, Summer School, Yerevan, Armenia, 2008 The Bologna Process 1999-2008 - path of continuous development. Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis , Bologna expert, Lithuania. Beginning.

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Algirdas vaclovas valiulis bologna expert lithuania l.jpg

“Three Cycle System in the Framework of Bologna Process”,Summer School, Yerevan, Armenia, 2008The Bologna Process 1999-2008 - path of continuous development

Algirdas Vaclovas Valiulis,

Bologna expert, Lithuania

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At the Lisbon summit in March 2000, European Union leaders set out a new strategy to modernize Europe.

During the meeting the Heads of State or Government launched a "Lisbon Strategy" aimed at making the European Union the most competitive economy in the world and achieving full employment by 2010.

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This strategy rests on three pillars:

  • An economic pillar preparing the ground for the transition to a competitive, dynamic, knowledge-based economy.

  • A social pillar designed to modernise the European social model by investing in human resources (education and training) and combating social exclusion (active policy for employment).

  • An environmental pillar draws attention to the fact that economic growth must be decoupled from the use of natural resources.

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The mid-term review held in 2005 showed that the objectives to become muddled and that the results achieved had been unconvincing.

In February 2005 EC refocused the Lisbon Strategy making growth and employment in Europe the immediate target.

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  • If the EU makes the right economic reforms now, it can secure (in the context of globalisation) a prosperous, fair and environmentally sustainable future for Europe.

  • It can put Europe in a strong position to cope with demographic changes that will mean more older people and fewer young people of working age in European societies.

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Two main targets were put:

  • total (public and private) investment of 3% of Europe’s GDP in research and development by 2010;

  • an employment rate (the proportion of Europe’s working age population in employment) of 70% by the same date.

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An Introduction

The Bologna Process is the process of creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and is based on cooperation between ministries, higher education institutions, students and staff from 46 countries, with the participation of international organisations.

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The Bologna Declaration:an explanation

The Bologna Declaration is a pledge signed 1999 by 29 European countries to reform thestructures of their higher education systems in a convergent way.

It is a commitment freely taken by each signatory country to reform its own highereducation system or systems in order to create overall convergence at European level.

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The Bologna Declaration:an explanation

The Bologna process aims at creating convergence and, thus, is not a path towards the“standardisation” or “uniformisation” of European higher education.

The fundamentalprinciples of autonomy and diversity are respected.

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The Bologna Declaration:an explanation

The Declaration reflects a search for a common European answer to commonEuropean problems.

The processoriginates from the recognition that in spite of theirvaluable differences, European higher education systems are facing common internal andexternal challenges.

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The Bologna Declaration:an explanation

The Bologna Declaration is not just a political statement, but a bindingcommitment to an action programme:

  • the adoption of a common framework of readable and comparable degrees, implementation of the Diploma Supplement;

  • the introduction of undergraduate and postgraduate levels in all countries, withfirst degrees no shorter than 3 years and relevant to the labour market;

  • ECTS-compatible credit systems;

  • a European dimension in quality assurance;

  • the free mobility of students, trainees, graduates, teachers, researchers and HEI administrators.

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The Bologna Declaration:an explanation

The Declaration wants to increase the international competitiveness of the European system of highereducation.

The signatory countries explicitly expresstheir goal to ensure that the European higher education system acquires aworldwide degree of attractiveness equal to Europe’sextraordinary cultural andscientific traditions.

The Declaration invites European institutions to compete more resolutely than in the past for students,influence, prestige and money in the worldwide competition of universities.

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From Declaration to implementation

The 29 signatory countries committed to attain the Declaration’s objectives will “pursuethe ways of intergovernmental cooperation”, in collaboration with higher educationinstitutions and associations.

Ministers have agreed to meet regularly in order toassessprogress achieved and to agree on new steps to be taken.

They have also established a specific follow-up structure with a mandate to prepare the assessment documents and to facilitate and coordinate the action needed to advance thegoalsof the Bologna Declaration.

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The Position of European Commission

A Commission (2006) urges Member States to press on with the modernisation of Europe’s universities.

The aim is to increase universities’ contribution to the Lisbon Agenda for more growth, and more and better jobs.

Europe’s 4000 universities have enormous potential, much of which unfortunately goes untapped because of various rigidities and hindrances.

The Commission is urging Member States to free up the EU’s substantial reservoir of knowledge, talent and energy with immediate, in-depth and coordinated change: from the way in which higher education systems are regulated and managed, to the ways in which universities are governed.

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The Position of European Commission

Knowledge and innovation are the engines of sustainable growth in Europe today, and universities are crucial for achieving the goals set out by the European Council. However, there are important weaknesses in the performance of European higher education institutions compared to main competitors, notably the USA.

Although the average quality of European universities is rather good, they are not in a position to deliver their full potential to boost economic growth, social cohesion and more and better jobs.

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From Declaration to implementation

In order to respond to the invitation contained in the

Bologna Declaration, the highereducation community needs to

be able to tell Ministers in a convincing way what kind of

European space for higher education it wants and is willing to


Universities andother institutions of higher education can

choose to be actors, rather than objects, ofthis essential process

of change.

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Timeline of the Bologna Process


  • a common framework of qualifications;

  • a common two-cycle systemMobility of students and teachers;

    1999 Bologna Declaration:

  • easily readable andcomparabledegrees;

  • a system of credits (ECTS);

  • mobility of researchers;

  • European cooperation in quality assurance;

  • European dimension in higher education.

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

2001 Prague Communique:

  • Lifelong learning;

  • Involvement of higher education institutions and students;

  • Promotion of the European Higher Education Area.

    2003 Berlin Communique:

  • Quality assuranceat institutional,national andEuropean level;

  • Inclusion ofdoctoral level asthird cycle;

  • Recognition of degrees andperiods of studies (Diploma Supplement);

  • European framework of qualifications;

  • Closer links between education and research.

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

2005 Bergen Communique:

  • Reinforcement of the socialdimension;

  • Standards andguidelines for quality assurance;

  • National frameworks of qualifications;

  • Award and recognition of joint degrees;

  • Flexible learning paths in higher education.

    2007 London Communique:

    Quality Assurance and a European Register of QualityAssurance Agencies

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

2007 London Communique:

In London, Ministers also:

  • adopted a strategy for the Bologna process in a Global context;

  • took note of the second stock taking report;

  • considered reports on:

    - the social dimension of the Bologna Process and on mobility;

    - portability of grants and loans;

    - qualifications frameworks;

    - a European Register of quality assurance agencies

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The Bologna Process countries 2007

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The Bologna Process countries 2007

Albania; Germany;Poland;


Armenia; Holy See;Romania;

Austria;Hungary;Russian Federation;


Belgium; Ireland;Slovak Republic;

Bosnia-Herzegovina; Italy;Slovenia;


Croatia; Liechtenstein; Sweden;


Czech Republic;Luxembourg;"the former Yugoslav Republicof Macedonia“



Finland;Montenegro;United Kingdom;



At all 46 countries

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

Additional full member:

  • European Commission.

    Consultative members:

  • Council of Europe,

  • The European Students' Union (ESU),

  • European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE),


  • European University Association (EUA),

  • BUSINESSEUROPE - The Confederation of European Business,

  • Education International Pan-European Structure,

  • European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

Applicants to the Bologna Process:

  • Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic);

  • Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus;

  • Israel;

  • Kosovo.

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

Priorities for 2009:

  • mobility;

  • social dimension;

  • data selection;

  • employability;

  • the European Higher Education Area in a global context;

  • stocktaking;

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Timeline of the Bologna Process

Looking forward to 2010 and beyond:

  • As the EHEA continues to develop and respond to the challenges of globalisation, the need for collaboration will continue beyond 2010;

  • The 2010 should mark the passage from the Bologna Process to the European Higher Education Area, as an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to higher education as a key element in making our societies sustainable, at national as well as at European level.

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Picture of Bergen, venue of 2005 ministers summit and Armenia joining to Bologna Process

Thank You for attention


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