EHEA and the Bologna Process

The Bologna Process is a voluntary higher education reform process that aims to reform and internationalise higher education systems and institutions on the basis of a set of key values. The Bologna Process launched in 1999 when the ministers of education of 29 countries met to discuss the future development of higher education in Europe, resulting in the Bologna Declaration. It is one of the main voluntary processes at European level and is now implemented in 48 countries that define the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The main goals of these member countries are to increase staff and student mobility, and to facilitate employability.

In Yerevan in May 2015, the education ministers identified four key priorities for the future of the Bologna Process and the EHEA:

  • enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching;
  • fostering the employability of graduates throughout their working lives;
  • making our systems more inclusive;
  • implementing agreed structural reforms.

Supporting the implementation of European Higher Education Area reforms

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched in 2010 as an integral part of the Bologna Process to ensure greater comparability and coherence between Europe’s higher education systems, and as a means of promoting mutual recognition of qualifications, demonstrating transparency of systems and supporting the mobility of staff and students across higher education in Europe.

The British Council, working with the UK Higher Education International Unit, as part of a European Commission initiative and with support from the Department for Education, developed a project with a team of UK EHEA experts to support the implementation of EHEA reforms. The project includes a series of workshops on priority areas for the UK.

The workshops were held across the UK from October 2015 until February 2016 on the following themes:

  • Joint Degrees and Bologna tools; 
  • Student Mobility and employability; and
  • Strategic partnerships, capacity building and student-centred learning.

As part of the project, a report (1.3MB) by EHEA expert John Reilly was published on the three sets of EHEA workshops. The report, useful to universities and colleges, links UK policy initiatives to the EHEA and Bologna Process, and extracts the themes of resources, risk, employability, benefits and competences across the workshops.

To review all the workshop presentations and resources please visit the British Council's higher education website.