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Mid-term review of Bologna at Bergen conference

The aim of the Bologna process is to create a common European Education Area within 2010. On 19-20 May in Bergen, halfway to the headline goal, Ministers responsible for higher education from 40 countries will meet with representatives from the EU Commission and other relevant actors to discuss the Bologna progress.

15/02/2006 :: The outcome of 13 seminars held across Europe over the past year – which have noted the implementation of the ten Action Lines established in previous meetings on the Bologna process - will act as key basis for discussion.

Minister for Labour and Employment François Biltgen of the Luxembourg Presidency, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture and Multilingualism Ján Figel, and Norwegian Minister of Education and Research Kristin Clemet will open the ministerial conference.

The main focus of the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) in the two years after the Berlin conference in 2003 has been on Quality Reform, which includes the implementation of quality assurance and the introduction of an overarching framework for qualifications of the European Higher Education Area. These aspects will be central in the assessment process of national progress by participating states.

National reports submitted on the various members’ progress have been reviewed by BFUG in March and April prior to the conference in Norway – looking at the status for implementation of a common European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), quality assurance initiatives, and efforts made to increase the mobility for students and educators.

Recommendations from the Copenhagen-held conference on Qualification Frameworks in January this year, stated the need for Ministers to grant the BFUG authorisation to “elaborate criteria and procedures for a self-certification system for national framework of qualifications where quality assurance is included”, indicating a potential for the Norwegian deputy-chaired BFUG to gain an increased mandate in the development of a European Higher Education Area.

The Bergen-held conference is the third of its kind, taking place after the Bologna Declaration in 1999, where its signatures decided to establish a coherent and cohesive European Higher Education Area.

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Bergen will be hosting the Ministerial conference where the European Higher Education Area will be in focus. Photo: Ministry of Education and Research

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