The Bologna Process:
a stock-taking analysis and a strategic approach to further promote its ideas and aims
1.1. European cooperation in the field of education: an overview3 1.1.1. EU action in education3
1.2. Why is education so important?4
2. THE BOLOGNA PROCESS7
2.1. Aims and key concepts7
2.2. Main developments7
2.3. Bergen: a mid-term review8
2.4. What has changed?9
2.5. What remains to be done?10
3. A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO FULLY ACCOMPLISH THE PROCESS12
3.1. General considerations12
3.2. Strategic approach13
3.2.1. Inclusion of all stakeholders13
3.2.3. Enhance cooperation16
3.2.4. More resources17
3.2.5. Emphasis on quality17
3.2.6. Evaluation process17
3.2.7. Better training for teachers and higher education staff17 3.2.8. New technologies and creative solutions18
3.2.9. Build synergy with other on-going processes18
3.2.10. After 2010?18
We must cherish our rich heritage and cultural diversity
in contributing to a knowledge-based society As higher education is situated at the crossroad of research, education and innovation, it is also the key to Europe's competitiveness.
European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education
Bergen Communiqué, 19-20 May 2005
1.1. European cooperation in the field of education: an overview
Education in Europe has both deep roots and great diversity. While it is a primary concern in all European countries, the structures and systems of education differ considerably. In the Treaty of Rome (1958), no mention was made of this field, which was gradually introduced during the 1970s, when education ministers decided to create an information network, Eurydice, for a better understanding of educational policies and systems throughout the various Member States. Later, in 1986, the Erasmus programme (currently part of the Socrates progamme) was launched, allowing not only for information exchanges but also for student exchanges. Yet it was only in 1992 with the Maastricht Treaty that education became formally recognised as an area of EU responsibility. In accordance with Articles 149 and 150 of the Treaty, the role of the EU is to "contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their actions". Therefore, the EU does not have a real common education policy, but, under the subsidiarity principle, it promotes cooperation between the Member States, which preserve their rights in establishing the content of teaching and the organisation of their education systems.
1.1.1. EU action in education
The EU has developed specific programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Youth, Tempus) aimed at boosting cooperation and providing support in the fields of education, training and youth, each with different content, scope and measures. The EU also acts through legislation (recommendations, communications, pilot projects, etc.) promoting cooperation between the Member States on policy issues. This form of action has been gaining importance over the last few years, in particular since the Lisbon Council in 2000, which introduced the "open method of coordination". This new tool allows Member States to make their national policies converge and obtain common objectives but respecting their differences. The common objectives in the area of education have been set out in a Report adopted by the Council in 2001 and they are: Better quality of education and training systems;
Make lifelong learning more accessible;
Make education and training systems more outward-looking as regards the rest of the world.
1.2. Why is education so important?
The ambitious goal set in the Lisbon Strategy (2000) to make Europe by 2010 "the...