The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is the result of the political will of 48 countries which, step by step, have built an area on common values and using common tools.


These 48 countries implement reforms in higher education on the basis of common key values – such as academic freedom, institutional autonomy and the participation of students and staff in higher education governance. Through this process, known as the Bologna Process, countries, institutions and stakeholders continuously adapt their higher education systems making them more compatible and strengthening their quality assurance mechanisms.

The Process officially started in 1999 with the signing of the Bologna Declaration. On 19 June 1999, 29 countries signed this declaration in Bologna (hence the name of the entire Process). 
 

 The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) website
 

The Declaration sets out the following goals:

  • adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees
  • adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate
  • establishment of a system of credits, such as in the ECTS system
  • promotion of mobility by overcoming obstacles to the exercise of free movement by students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff
  • promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance
  • promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education 

 

The Council of Europe’s contribution to the Bologna Process 

The Council of Europe’s contribution to the establishment of the European Higher Education Area focuses on: 

  • the Council of Europe’s work on the recognition of qualifications, in particularthrough the ENIC network (in collaboration with UNESCO) and the Lisbon Recognition Convention; 
  • active participation in the steering bodies (the Bologna Follow-Up Group and Board) and in related events (as speakers or general rapporteurs); 
  • assistance and support to countries having recently joined the EHEA, through bilateral and regional co-operation;  
  • cross-cutting issues and aspects such as fundamental values, public responsibility for higher education and research, higher education governance, the social dimension of higher education and research and the values and roles of higher education and research in modern complex societies; 
  • contribution to working groups such as those on structural reforms, the review of the Diploma Supplement and the roadmap to accompanying the accession of Belarus to the EHEA. 
     

Documents

Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education (Berlin 19 September 2003)

Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education  (Bergen, 19-20 May 2005)

Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education (London, 18 May 2007)

Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education (Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, 28-29 April 2009)

Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education (Budapest and Vienna, 11-12 March 2010)

Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education (Yerevan, 14-15 May 2015)