Higher Education and Research

Contribution of the Council of Europe to the Bologna Process in 2006


In 2006 the Higher Education and Research Division continued its work with the steering bodies of the Bologna Process in the areas of the recognition of qualifications, support and advice to new member countries, and specific dimensions of the Process including governance, public responsibility, democratic citizenship and culture and the social dimension of higher education.
Through the ENIC and NARIC Advisory Networks, the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee and other related bodies, the Council of Europe contributed to improving the quality of the process associated with the recognition of foreign qualifications. In early 2006, the ENIC Bureau, the NARIC Advisory Board and the Bureau of the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee elaborated draft guidelines for national action plans and submitted them to the BFUG for consideration. The BFUG adopted the Guidelines at its meeting in Vienna in April 2006.
The 2006 plenary session of the Steering Committee on Higher Education and Research (CDESR) was held in Strasbourg on September 21 – 22, 2006. Among other things, the plenary session adopted a Statement on the contribution of higher education to intercultural dialogue and held an extensive debate on unresolved issues in the Bologna Process.


Fora and conferences in 2006:
On 22 – 23 June 2006 a Forum on Democratic Culture in Higher Education was organized at Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg in cooperation with American partners as well as the EUA. The Forum adopted a Declaration which, among other things, calls on higher education institutions and actors to organize activities to promote democratic culture, co-ordinating them through the web site established as a follow up to the Forum: http://dc.ecml.at/.
On 19 - 20 September, the third Council of Europe Forum on Higher Education took place in Strasbourg and focused on “Legitimacy of Quality Assurance in Higher Education: The Role of Public Authorities and Institutions”. The EUA and ENQA contributed to the preparation of this Forum.
As part of the Russian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe, on 2 – 3 November, the Council of Europe and the Russian University of People’s Friendship will organize a conference on the role of students in making the European Higher Education Area a reality.
In late 2006 the Council of Europe will organize in Strasbourg two informal Ministerial conferences focusing on the Bologna Process: one on 27 – 28 November for the countries of South East Europe and one on 12 – 13 December for the five countries that acceded to the Bologna Process in 2005. They will outline key issues in the Bologna Process and aim to assist participating countries in their preparation for the Ministerial conference in London in May 2007.


Other activities in 2006 have included:
• an advisory mission on the reform of higher education legislation in “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (Ohrid, 13 – 14 January)
• an advisory mission on the reform of specific aspects of higher education legislation in Albania (Tirana, 16 – 17 January)
the launching conference for work on a new Master Plan for higher education in Albania (Tirana, 22 – 23 March)
• co organization, with the Austrian Presidency of the Bologna Process, a meeting of the countries that acceded to the Bologna Process in 2005 as well as Albania on the activities of the Process in the period 2005 – 2007 and the functioning of the BFUG and the working groups;
• a national conference on qualifications frameworks (Tirana, 19 – 20 July).


Publications in the Council of Europe Higher Education Series:
Recognition in the Bologna Process: Policy Development and the Road to Good Practice (Andrejs Rauhvargars and Sjur Bergan, eds) which presents the proceedings, outcomes and recommendations from the conference on improving the recognition of degrees and study credit points in the EHEA (Riga, December 2004)
Higher Education Governance between democratic culture, academic aspirations and market forces (Jürgen Kohler and Josef Huber, eds.), which presents the results of the Council of Europe Higher Education Forum on Governance and Higher Education, September 2005.
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