At its meeting on 12 June 2018, the Board of the European University Association (EUA) welcomed the new political momentum of the Bologna Process resulting from the Ministerial Conference in Paris (23-25 May) and the adoption of the Paris Communiqué. The Board now urges European rectors’ conferences and universities to use this new-found impetus to take the Process forward both at national and institutional level.
The Paris Communiqué refers to a whole set of vital and highly relevant priorities for higher education, including university values, innovation in learning and teaching, the social dimension and sustainable development. This time, however, they are addressed in a more assertive and detailed fashion. For example, regarding implementation, a mechanism will support individual countries in improving in the three key-commitment areas: recognition, quality assurance, and the three-cycle system.
A long section of the Communiqué is on learning and teaching, including the impact of digitalisation. The Bologna Process acknowledges the role and responsibility of institutions in innovation and transformation. However, it is still to be seen how the Bologna Process itself can provide added value to this. Success may depend on its ability to tap knowledge and experience created by networks of institutions and associations all over Europe. For the first time, the Sustainable Development Goals are mentioned in the Communiqué, also in view of the exchanges between the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and other parts of the world.
The President and Board members strongly encourage EUA’s members to contribute to the further consolidation of the European Higher Education Area through both general policy development and concrete initiatives, such as the Association’s own work in the flagship Learning & Teaching Initiative. They further call on the national rectors’ conferences to promote the reform process with their national ministries. Ahead of Ministerial Conference EUA had also issued a statement that provided recommendations for the further development of the EHEA and the Bologna Process.
EUA and its members are proud of the Paris Communiqué and the achievements of the Bologna Process. They look forward to working with all partners, including policy-makers, students and other sectoral organisations, to meet the ambitious commitments set for its further development and hence shape the future landscape of European higher education.