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Bologna Process and its use in the Holy State University


In the Holy State University we are using similar educational guidelines as in universities in the United States and European Union. To ensure similarity in education, we adhere to the provisions and principles of the Bologna Process, accepted by American and European educational institutions.  



Holy State University is accepting and following all provisions, purposes and processes required by the "Bologna Process" (European level) and North American educational systems. In addition to that, each department and each faculty member of the Holy State University striving to follow all rules of the American Educational System and “Bologna Process” and to go beyond the required procedures to assure highest quality of education in order to confer degrees that are equal to European and American standards. 


From public educational resources


The purpose of the Bologna Process (or Bologna Accords) is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention.


It is named after the place it was proposed, the University of Bologna, with the signing in 1999 of the Bologna declaration by Education Ministers from 29 European countries. It was opened up to other countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe; further governmental meetings have been held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007), and Leuven (2009).


Before the signing of the Bologna declaration, the Magna Charta Universitatum had been issued at a meeting of university rectors celebrating the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna – and thus of European universities – in 1988. One year before the Bologna declaration, education ministers Claude Allegre (France), Jürgen Rüttgers (Germany), Luigi Berlinguer (Italy) and Baroness Blackstone (UK) signed the Sorbonne declaration in Paris 1998, committing themselves to "harmonizing the architecture of the European Higher Education system".


It is a common misconception that the Bologna Process is an EU initiative. The Bologna Process currently has 47 participating countries, whereas there are only 27 Member States of the EU. While the European Commission is an important contributor to the Bologna Process, the Lisbon Recognition Convention was actually prepared by the Council of Europe and members of the Europe Region of UNESCO.




Current signatories and thus members of the "European Higher Education Area" are::

  • from 1999: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.from 1999: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
  • from 2001: Croatia, Cyprus, Liechtenstein, Turkey
  • from 2003: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Holy See, Russia, Serbia, Macedonia
  • from 2005: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
  • from May 2007: Montenegro
  • from 2010: Kazakhstan


This makes Monaco and San Marino the only members of the Council of Europe which did not adopt the Bologna Process (although they might consider joining once France and Italy have implemented it). All member states of the EU are participating in the Process. Other countries eligible to join the initiative are Belarus.


The following organizations are also part of the follow-up of the Process: ESU, EUA, EURASHE, EI, ENQA, UNICE as well as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNESCO. Other networks at this level include ENIC, NARIC and EURODOC.




The basic framework adopted is of three cycles of higher education qualification. As outlined in thee Bergen Declarationnof 2005, the cycles are defined in terms of qualifications and European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (of 2005, the cycles are defined in terms of qualifications and European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits:

  • 1st cycle: typically 180–2401st cycle: typically 180–240 ECTS credits, usually awarding a Bachelor's degree. The European Higher Education Area did not introduce the Bachelor with Honours programme, which allows graduates with a "BA hons." degree (e.g. in UK, USA, Canada) to undertake doctoral studies without first having to obtain a Master's degree.
  • 2nd cycle: typically 90–120 ECTS credits (a minimum of 60 on 2nd-cycle level). Usually awarding a Master's degree.
  • 3rd cycle: Doctoral degree. No ECTS range given.


In most cases, these will take 3, 2, and 3 years respectively to complete. The actual naming of the degrees may vary from country to country.


One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1,500–1,800 hours of study. The new model comes closer to the North American and Japanese systems. It gives greater weight to practical training and to intensive research projects. The way credits are measured reflects how hard a student has worked. The new evaluation methods reflect not only a student's performance on exams, but also his or her lab experiments, presentations, hours spent on study, innovation capacities, and so forth.




The Bologna Process was a major reform created with the claimed goal of providing responses to issues such as the 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, globalized, and increasingly complex societies with the most demanding qualification needs.


Academic aspects


The requirement of 60 ECTS per year assumes that 1,500–1,800 hours are used by student per year. However, the Bologna Process does not standardize semesters.


Effects by state


Contrary to popular belief, the Bologna Process was not based on a European Union initiative. It constitutes an intergovernmental agreement, between both EU and non-EU countries. Therefore, it does not have the status of EU legislation. Also, as the Bologna Declaration is not a treaty or convention, there are no legal obligations for the signatory states. The extent of participation and cooperation is completely voluntary.


Although the Bologna Declaration was created outside and without the EU institutions, the European Commission plays an increasingly important role in the implementation of the Process. The Commission has supported several


European projects (the Tuning project, the TEEP project) connected to quality assurance etc. Most countries do not currently fit the framework – instead they have their own time-honored systems. The system will have an undergraduate and postgraduate division, with the bachelor degree in the former and the master and doctoral in the latter.


In mainland Europe five year first degrees are common. This situation is changing rapidly as the Bologna Process is implemented.


Depending on the country and the development of its higher education system, some introduced ECTS, discussed their degree structures and qualifications, financing and management of higher education, mobility, etc. At the institutional level, the reform involves higher education institutions, their faculties or departments, student and staff representatives and many other participants. The priorities varied from country to country and from institution to institution.


Bologna declaration


The Bologna declaration (Joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education convened in Bologna on the 19th of June 1999) is the main guiding document of the Bologna process. It was adopted by ministers of education of 29 European countries at their meeting in Bologna in 1999.

It proposed a European Higher Education Area in which students and graduates could move freely between countries, using prior qualifications in one country as acceptable entry requirements for further study in another.


The principal aims agreed were:

  1. "Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees". That is to say, countries should adopt common terminology and standards
  2. "Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate. Access to the second cycle shall require successful completion of first cycle studies, lasting a minimum of three years. The degree awarded after the first cycle shall also be relevant to the European labor market as an appropriate level of qualification. The second cycle should lead to the master and/or doctorate degree as in many European countries."


The Bergen meeting subsequently refined the second point, and produced a three-cycle framework of qualifications, which in the UK terminology (adopted, at least partially, by many European countries) would be Bachelor for a first degree of three years, Master for subsequent study, and Doctor for a degree which has "made a contribution through original research that extends the frontier of knowledge by developing a substantial body of work".

The Bologna declaration has later been followed up a series of meetings between EU ministers. Each meeting has produced a communiqué based on their deliberations. To date these include the Prague communiqué (2001), the Berlin communiqué (2003), the Bergen communiqué (2005), the London communiqué (2007),  the Leuven & Louvain-la-Neuve communiqué (2009).


The Bologna Ministerial Anniversary Conference 2010 in Budapest and Vienna was held in March 2010. It issued the Budapest-Vienna Declaration.


The communiqués indicate that progress is being made towards the Bologna Declaration's aim of a European Higher Education Area, however such an area is not universally accepted as being a desirable outcome.

According to the Budapest-Vienna declaration, the next Ministerial Meeting will be hosted by Romania in Bucharest on 26–27 April 2012.





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