At European level, the normative framework develops through the orientation coming out from the conferences of European ministers of Higher Education carried out every two years. Each conference concludes with a Declaration or Communiqué that includes advances achieved and establishes the priorities for the two following years.
Declarations and Communiqués
|2018||Paris||This Ministerial Conference was held in Paris on May 24-25. It was opened to registered European Higher Education Area (EHEA) delegations and included a Bologna Policy Forum that was an opportunity to pursue a dialogue between EHEA and non-EHEA countries. It aims at increasing the mobility of students and staff thanks to common concrete tools such as European credits transfer system (ECTS), structuration of the studies into three cycles and quality assurance of higher educatio. The Paris Conference was an opportunity to reinforce the cooperation between countries for a better future of higher education. The Communiqué stresses the necessity to improve the implementation of fundamental values, especially democracy, since the standards of higher education convey notions of peace and freedom!|
|Yerevan||The Yerevan Communique that was adopted highlights four key priorities, where the quality and relevance of teaching and learning is now set as the "main mission of the EHEA". In addition to quality, the other two points concern employability and inclusiveness – illustrating how the values in the process have a dual attention on social cohesion while promoting the interests of the labour market as well. While teaching and learning have been put to the forefront, structural reforms remain one of the four key objectives, where degree structure, credits system, quality assurance standards and guidelines, as well as various cooperation in mobility and joint degrees are highlighted as the "foundations of the EHEA". The new version of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher EducationArea was approved at the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan, held on 14 and 15 May 2015.|
|2012||Bucharest||Sets out, among others, the following priorities for action by 2015: establish conditions that foster student-centred learning, innovative teaching methods and a supportive and inspiring working and learning environment, while continuing to involve students and staff in governance structures at all levels; allow EQAR-registered quality assurance agencies to perform their activities across the EHEA, while complying with national requirements; work to enhance employability, lifelong learning, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills through improved cooperation with employers, especially in the development of educational programmes; ensure that qualifications frameworks, ECTS and Diploma Supplement implementation is based on learning outcomes; encourage knowledge-based alliances in the EHEA, focusing on research and technology.|
|2009||Leuven||In the Leuven Communiqué of 2009 the Ministers identified these priorities for the coming decade: social dimension (equitable access and completion); lifelong learning; employability; student-centred learning and the teaching mission of higher education; education, research and innovation; international openness; mobility; data collection; multidimensional transparency tools; and funding.|
|2007||London||Focus should now be on: promoting the mobility of students and staff, as well as developing measures for evaluating this mobility; evaluating the effectiveness of national strategies on the social dimension in education; developing indicators and data for measuring progress regarding mobility and the social dimension; examining ways to improve employability linked to the three-cycle degree system and lifelong learning; improving the dissemination of information about the EHEA and its recognition throughout the world; and continuing to take stock of progress towards the EHEA and developing the qualitative analysis in this stocktaking.|
|2005||Bergen||The Bergen Communiqué noted that significant progress had been made concerning the objectives of the Bologna process. By 2007, the ministers would like to have made progress in the following areas: implementing references and guidelines to guarantee quality, as proposed in the ENQA report (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education); introducing national qualification frameworks; awarding and recognising joint degrees, including at doctorate level; and creating opportunities for flexible pathways for training in higher education, including the existence of provisions for the validation of experience.|
|2003||Berlin||At the 2003 Berlin conference, the ministers responsible for higher education adopted a communiqué that included doctorate studies and synergies between the EHEA and the European Research Area (ERA) in the Bologna process. They underlined the importance of research, research training and the promotion of interdisciplinary research to maintain and improve the quality of higher education and strengthen its competitiveness. They called for increased mobility at doctorate and post-doctorate level and encouraged the institutions in question to enhance their cooperation in the spheres of doctorate studies and training of young researchers.|
|2001||Prague||The Prague Communiqué added the following actions to the Bologna process: lifelong learning, an essential element of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), to increase economic competitiveness; the involvement of higher education institutions and students; the ministers underline the importance of involving universities, other higher education establishments and students to create a constructive EHEA; promote the attractiveness of the EHEA among students in Europe and in other parts of the world.|
|1999||Bologna||The Declaration reflects a search for a common European answer to common European problems. The process originates from the recognition that in spite of their valuable differences, European higher education systems are facing common internal and external challenges related to the growth and diversification of higher education, the employability of graduates, the shortage of skills in key areas, the expansion of private and transnational education, etc. The Declaration recognises the value of coordinated reforms, compatible systems and common action.|
In the Berlin Communiqué (2003) the Ministers of the Bologna Process signatory states invited the ENQA through its members, in cooperation with the EUA, EURASHE, and ESIB, to develop "an agreed set of standards, procedures and guidelines on quality assurance and to explore ways of ensuring an adequate peer review system for quality assurance and/or accreditation agencies or bodies." AQU Catalunya, as an ENQA full member, was involved in this process.
In the Bergen Communiqué (2005), the Ministers adopted the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (revised and approved at the Ministerial Conference in Yerevan, held on 14 and 15 May 2015).
For use by higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, the ESG are divided into three parts that together form the basis for a European quality assurance framework:
- Standards and guidelines for internal quality assurance
- Standards and guidelines for external quality assurance
- Standards and guidelines for quality assurance agencies
PDF Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (2015)ENQA's ESG have been published in different languages.