About Bologna Commission

What is Bologna Process?

Bologna Process is a reform process that came into existence in the year 2010 intending to constitute European Higher Education Area. It is an extraordinary process collaboration of many international institutions and 47 countries. (The number of countries increased to 46 with the independence of Montenegro and reached 47 with the participation of Kazakhstan to the process.) Membership to the process does not depend on any agreement among governments/countries.

The manifestos published within the framework of Bologna Process do not have official bindingness. The process is a constitution to which each country participates in with their free will and the countries have the freedom to disagree the objectives determined by Bologna Process.

The citizens of the countries taking place in the European Higher Education Area may travel around Europe easily with the purpose of receiving higher education or working. Europe is intended to be made attractive for higher education and working opportunities. 

The most undesirable thing in European Higher Education Area is to turn educational system of member countries into a monotype one. What is aimed for European Higher Education System is to balance variety and unity. Higher education systems are aimed to be comparable among themselves by preserving their peculiarities and make them compatible to each other. In this way, it is planned to ease the mobility from a country or higher education system to another and thus to increase student and staff mobility and employment.

How did Bologna Process Start?

The root of Bologna Process goes back to the year 1998 in which Sorbonne Declaration published after the meeting hold in Sorbonne and to which Ministers of Education of France, Italy, Germany and England participated in. With this declaration, the idea of constituting a joint higher education area in Europe came into existence for the first time. However, Bologna Process was initiated with in the year 1999 with the signing and publishing of Bologna Declaration by the ministers in charge of higher education of 29 European countries. The six articles of the main objectives of Bologna Process were indicated on this declaration. Here are the objectives:

  1. To constitute higher education diplomas and/or degrees that are easily understood and compared to each other. (to develop Diploma Supplement Application with this purpose),
  2.  To initiate two-phased degree system in higher education such as undergraduate and master degree,
  3. To apply European Credit Transfer System,
  4. To provide and popularize student and academic staff mobility,
  5. To constitute and popularize quality security systems network,
  6. To enhance European dimension in higher education.

What happened after the year 1999?

Two years after the publication of Bologna Declaration, with the purpose of pursuing and Bologna Process and determine its  the priorities for the years to come, ministers in charge of higher education of 32 European countries came together in Prague on 19th of May, 2001 with the participation of three new comers  including our country. (Turkey, Croatia and Sothern Cyprus)

Three more objectives were included to the objectives of Bologna Process in Prague:

  1. To encourage Lifelong Learning,
  2. To provide active participation of students and higher education institutions to the process,
  3. To make European Higher Education Area attractive.

In the year 2003, Ministers of Higher Education of 33 European countries came together in Berlin included the tenth  objective titled  “Bringing a synergy between “European Research Area (ERA) and European Higher Education Area (EHEA) in Bologna Process and doctoral studies.”. They also determined 3 primary areas indicated below to be realized before Bergen Conference in 2005 with the purpose of speeding up the process in the member countries and determining the current situation:

·         Two-phased degree structure (such as Undergraduate and Master Degree)

·         To make higher education periods recognize with higher education diplomas and/or degrees.

·         Quality Assurance

During the conference in Berlin 7 more countries participated in Bologna Process (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Vatican Republic, Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia and Andora) and the number of countries in total reached 40.

During Ministers of Education of Europe Conference that was delivered on the fourth time on 19th and 20th of May, 2005 in Norway, with the participation of 5 more countries the number of countries in total reached 45. During this meeting, 4 priority areas aimed to be realized were determined. Here are these priority areas:

  1. To bring a synergy among European Association of Quality Association, European Higher Education Area and European Research Area,
  2. To strengthen the social dimension of Bologna Process.
  3. Student and Academic Staff Mobility,
  4. To make European Higher Education Area attractive.

During the meeting, preparation of a Stocktaking Report to determine the applications and developments in the member countries concerning 4 main issues indicated below that are expected to be realized until the year 2007 was also decided:

  1. The application of “Quality Assurance Standards and  its Application Principles” developed by  Association of Quality Association (ENQA) for European Higher Education Area ,
  2. Applications of national proficiency frameworks,
  3. Joint higher education programs including doctoral programs,
  4. To constitute flexible education methods in higher education.

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