Bologna - Georgia
The Bologna Process
The Bologna Declaration was signed in 1999 by ministers responsible for higher education from 29 European countries. However its origins lay a year further back in the Sorbonne Conference and Declaration of 1998 held by 4 European countries (France, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy).
A common vision
In Bologna the Ministers of Education agreed on a common vision of a European Higher Education Area. They found that this vision was politically relevant for their own countries and translated it into the operational goals listed in the Bologna Declaration.
The key elements of the European Higher Education Area envisaged at that time were:
- European countries with different political, cultural and academic traditions would engage in cooperation to reach a shared objective;
- European students and graduates would be able to move easily from one country to another with full recognition of qualifications and periods of study, and access to the European labor market;
- European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) would be able to cooperate and exchange students/staff on bases of trust and confidence and also of transparency and quality;
- European governments would fit their national higher education reforms into a broader European context;
- Higher Education (HE) in the European region would increase its international competitiveness, as well as enter into dialogue and improve cooperation with HE in other regions of the world.
In the past 18 years the Bologna Process, through voluntary convergence and an intergovernmental approach, has led to the construction of the main pillars of the European Higher Education Area:
- A common framework, which includes the overarching Framework for Qualifications of the EHEA, a common credit system (ECTS), common principles for the development of student-centered learning, the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance, a common Register of QA Agencies, a common approach to recognition, and a common body of methodologies and sustainable achievements produced by European HEIs.
- A number of common tools, namely, the ECTS Users’ Guide, the Diploma Supplement, the Lisbon Recognition Convention.
From the Sorbonne Declaration to the European Higher Education Area
With the simplest definition, the Bologna Process aims to create the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) by harmonizing academic degree standards and quality assurance standards throughout Europe for each faculty.
The Bologna Process is one of the main voluntary processes at European level, as it is now implemented in 48 states, which define the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher-education qualifications.
Every two or three years there are Ministerial Conferences organized in order to assess the progress made within the EHEA and to decide on the new steps to be taken.
Georgia is the member of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) from 2005.
The Bologna Follow-Up Group – BFUG
The Bologna Follow-Up Group - BFUG - is the executive structure supporting the Bologna Process in-between the Ministerial Conferences. It is in place since autumn 1999.
The overall follow-up work is supported by a Secretariat, provided by the country hosting the next Ministerial Conference.
Between 1 of July 2015 and 30 June 2018, the Secretariat of the Bologna Follow-up Group is held by France, as organizer of the next 2018 EHEA Ministerial Conference.
The BFUG is entrusted with:
- preparing the Ministerial Conferences, policy forums;
- overseeing the Bologna Process between these;
- and taking forward matters that do not need to be decided by the Ministers or that have been delegated by the Ministers.
BFUG membership is based on the membership of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA currently has three categories: member, consultative member and partner.
- EHEA/BFUG Member: the members are the 48 countries and the European Commission
- Consultative member: this is a non-voting category of members who represent stakeholder organisations and other institutions that have a European scope to their work and are instrumental in the implementation of the Bologna Process -BUSINESSEUROPE, EI-IE (Education International), Council of Europe, ENQA (The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), ESU (The European Students' Union), EUA (The European University Association), UNESCO, EURASHE (The European Association of Institutions in Higher Education) and European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR).
- Partner: organisations that wish to be associated with the Bologna Process/the BFUG but are not included in the Consultative member category.
- Further technical experts, such as Eurostat, Eurostudent or Eurydice may be associated to the BFUG and invited to events upon specific request.
Bologna Follow-up group and board meetings 2017-2018
BFUG Board meeting Oslo, Norway 30/03/2017
BFUG Meeting Gozo, Malta 24/05/2017 - 25/05/2017
BFUG Board meeting Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation 26/09/2017
BFUG Meeting Tartu, Estonia 09/11/2017 - 10/11/2017
BFUG Board meeting Belgrade, Serbia 24/01/2018
BFUG Meeting Sofia, Bulgaria 05/02/2018 - 06/02/2018
BFUG Board meeting Belgrade, Serbia 15/03/2018
BFUG Meeting Sofia, Bulgaria 24/04/2018 - 25/04/2018
BFUG Meeting Paris, France 24/05/2018