Work programme 2012-2015

Seminar on Second Bologna cycle

Other relevant event Zagreb, Croatia 12/04/2013

Organized by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports and the University of Zagreb within the framework of Irish and Croatian co-chairmanship of the Bologna Follow-Up Group.

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Purpose /envisaged outcome

In line with the Bucharest Communiqué and the issues identified regarding the Bologna second cycle (diversity in terms of nomenclature of awards, forms and duration of courses or possible progression routes), the purpose of the seminar is to examine the possibility of establishing ‘possible common principles for Master programmes in the EHEA’. The seminar will address issues related to coherence and transparency of the second cycle qualifications, possibilities of progression between university-based and professional programmes in the context of binary systems with the emphasis on the establishment and implementation of qualifications frameworks as a possible solution to questions of recognition and transparency of such degrees.

Background and Objectives

As stated in the Bucharest Communiqué high quality second cycle programmes are a necessary precondition for the success of linking teaching, learning and research. The Seminar builds on the previous work of the EUA by addressing the question of coherence and transparency of the second cycle qualifications, focusing on various and sometimes questionable forms of degree structure deviating from the Master degree being the major, though not only, academic award within the second cycle.

EUA Survey on Master Degrees and Joint Degrees in Europe

While keeping wide diversity and simultaneously increasing readability, the Ministers of higher education agreed in Bucharest to explore further possible common principles for master programmes in the EHEA, taking account of previous work. Therefore, taking into account agreed objective of making second cycle degrees more readable and comparable between European countries, the purpose of the Seminar is to boost discussions and examine a possibility of establishing possible common principles for Master programmes in the EHEA serving as the basis for the improvement of doctoral education.

Issues to be raised here relate to examination of learning outcomes - based study programmes as a way of recognizing quality differences in terms of demonstrable competences acquired after obtaining various second cycle qualifications. On the other hand entrance requirements in terms of competences required to enroll into a study programme need to be discussed together with good examples of sustainable and flexible solutions.

Furthermore, in the context of binary systems distinguishing between university-based programmes and professional programmes, the Seminar will also focus on possibility of progression between the two (for example, to what extent and under what conditions is a route leading from Professional Bachelor degree to Academic Master degree opened and acceptable in different European countries).

In this context, a notion of establishing and implementing qualifications frameworks will be explored. In that respect, the learning outcomes descriptors as determined in national qualifications frameworks corresponding to the Bologna second cycle generic descriptors as envisaged in the QF-EHEA and to the descriptors of the EQF level 7 should reveal and make national specificities more recognizable thus removing some of the complexity of the system and subsequently enabling recognition of qualifications.

The issues outlined above will be taken upon as drives for rethinking ways of providing common reference points for making Master programmes in the EHEA more readable and transparent.

Published: 12/04/2013 - Last modified: 20/07/2016
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Name of the person attending the event: Ani Hovhannisyan – Member of the Bologna Secretariat
Contribution made: Report of the seminar

Related documents

1. Agenda and presentations abstracts
2. Introduction to policy debate on second-cycle qualifications
3. Seminar on the 2nd Bologna cycle, by EUA
4. University Second Cycle Qualifications: Lessons Learned and Future Challenges
5. Overview of the various types of “Bologna second cycle programmes” (NFQ Level 9 in Ireland)
6. Professionally oriented second cycle qualifications
7. Obstacles and challenges for the automatic recognition
8. Finding path toward automatic recognition
9. Masters Degree Characteristics, by QAA
10. Report of the International Seminar on the 2nd Bologna Cycle

Seminar on Second Bologna cycle - All documents