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Higher Education Series

Western Balkans Education Ministers meet for discussions on Higher Education Reform

On 27-28 November 2006, the 4th informal conference of Ministers of Education from the Western Balkans took place in Strasbourg..
Delegations from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. UNMIK, Provisional Institutions of Self Government, Kosovo participated in the conference.

Opening the Conference, Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, said: ' Your countries have engaged in the Bologna Process because they believe that: first, excellence in education and research is indispensable for economic and social development; and second, strengthening the European dimension in higher education and encouraging links between universities and people is a powerhouse for European integration and citizenship, for peace and stability’.

All participants at the 4th Informal Conference of Ministers of Education from the Western Balkans engaged in a thorough and constructive discussion of higher education reforms in their countries within the context of the Bologna Process.  Given that many of the challenges are very similar, the delegates agreed upon several regional initiatives, including facilitating recognition of qualifications, intensifying regional co-operation in quality assurance, sharing experiences of developing national qualifications frameworks, including a regional forum, stimulating the development of joint degrees from universities in the region and organising expert-level meetings to address these issues. The delegates also called upon their fellow Ministers of Education in all countries party to the Bologna Process to raise the issue of facilitating the granting of visas for students and academic staff.

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Programme , 27 November 2006.

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Speech by Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary of the Council of Europe

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