Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2003-2005
Conference on the new Generations of Policy Documents and Laws for Higher Education
International Conference on New Generations of Policy Documents and Laws for Higher Education: Their Thrust in the Context of the Bologna Process - Warsaw, Poland 4-6 November 2004.
Organised by UNESCO-CEPES and the Institute of Knowledge Society, in collaboration with the Polish Ministry of National Education and Sport, the EUA-European University Association, the Council of Europe and the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (KRASP).
The conference was attended by 40 international participants from 22 different countries and from partner organisations, 20 participants from Poland, and two observers from the USA. The main objective was to analyse how laws on higher education are reflecting progress towards the objectives of the Bologna Process. Professor Hans de Wit served as General Rapporteur.
Presentations were made on the theme of the conference from 11 different national perspectives, followed by a session featuring comparative perspectives on policy and legislative initiatives for higher education. A comparative analysis was also presented. The presentations and analysis provided relevant information on legal reforms in Europe in the context of the Bologna Process.
Notwithstanding the fact that different countries are at different stages of implementation, there was agreement that most countries have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, legislation enabling achievement of the Bologna goals in the agreed timeframe. At the same time it was recognised that national agendas play a key role in the implementation of the Bologna objectives and in the elaboration of new higher education legislation. Current reforms in national higher education legislation cannot be attributed solely to the Bologna Process. Some were already initiated prior to 1999; in other cases the Bologna Declaration is used as a ‘lever’ for national policy and to solve national problems.
Following the presentations and discussions, one could observe on the one hand a growing convergence in line with the Bologna goals (regarding degree systems, credits and accreditation), and on the other hand a continuation of diversity that will remain. The latter might even be reinforced, in that higher education is still a national responsibility and is defined foremost by national contexts, constraints and priorities.
Participants agreed that the approach to higher education legislation reform by general framework laws is most appropriate. Regulating in detail not only results in inflexibility, it is also in contradiction with the trend to deregulate and provide more autonomy. While legislation is an important aspect of implementation, it cannot take the place of commitment, interaction and trust among the different stakeholders.
It was recommended to the participating countries in the Bologna Process that they implement general framework legislation for higher education instead of detailed regulatory legislation.
It was also recommended that they translate their national policy documents and higher education legislation into English or another major language of the EHEA.
It was recommended to the Bologna Follow-Up Group that it supplements the present stock- taking exercise with one on higher education legislation. This will help to better understand the legal implications of the Bologna Process in different countries, to get a better picture of convergence and diversity in European higher education, to exchange experiences and expertise, and to assist those countries still in the preparatory stage of legislative reforms.
Source: General Report to the Bologna Follow-Up Group to the Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education - Bergen 19/20 May 2005
Bologna Process between Berlin and Bergen
Presentations - Opening of the Conference
Prof. Jerzy Woźnicki, Director of the Institute of Knowledge Society
Dr. Jan Sadlak, Director of UNESCO-CEPES
Presentation of the Policy Documents and National Laws
Czech Republilb Dr. Petr Kolář, Vice-Minister for Higher Education, Research and Development, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
France: Mr. Florent Stora, Head of Unit of European Community Affairs, Ministry of Education, France
Poland: Prof. Jerzy Woźnicki, Director of the Institute of Knowledge Society
Germany: Mr. Dirk Schüller, Head of Division of Higher Education Legislation, Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Norway: Mrs. Toril Johansson, Director General, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Research
United Kingdom: Prof Roderick Floud, President, London Metropolitan University
Italy: Prof. Rinaldo Bertolino, General Representative of the Italian Rectors Conference (CRUI) to Brussels
Austria: Prof. Sigurd Höllinger, Director General for Higher Education, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
The Netherlands Dr. Marlies E. Leegwater, Coordinator University Education, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Hungary Dr. Balint Magyar, Minister of Education
Comparative Perspective on Policy and Legislative Initiatives [for higher education] in the Context of the Bologna Process.
Dr. Dennis Farrington, Adviser to the Rector, South East European University, Tetovo, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
Mr. Christian Tauch, Head, Department of International Relations, German Rectors' Conference (HRK)