European Higher Education Area

The Bologna Process has its origins in the Bologna Declaration of 1999 and aims at establishing a coherent, compatible and more comparable system regarding European higher education. Originally signed by 29 European states, the declaration is now implemented by 48 states.

The overarching goals are the establishment of a three cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), quality assurance and the comparability and easier recognition of study periods and degrees. In putting these goals into practice, instruments such as the diploma supplement and the introduction of a credit system based on ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) provide an important basis. Accordingly, transparency and an increased mobility are central objectives of the Bologna Process.

Every third year the Bologna Process is evaluated in ministerial conferences. The European Higher Education Area was officially launched at the anniversary conference in 2010 (Budapest-Vienna Declaration). During the eight ministerial conference in Yerevan, Armenia, in May 2015 following four main areas of focus were defined:

  • enhancement of the quality and relevance of teaching and learning
  • maintenance of the employability of graduates over the course of their whole working life
  • focus on more inclusion within the education systems
  • implementation of the structural reforms agreed on 
     

The legal requirements regarding the realisation of the Bologna Process are determined by the state. The responsibility of the actual implementation, however, is up to the respective institute of higher education. The Salzburg University of Applied Sciences has introduced the bachelor and master system in all its degree programs. This is an important component in making the higher education landscape more international and it furthers the recognition of degrees.

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