19 june 2019

20th anniversary of the Bologna Declaration

20th anniversary of the Bologna Declaration











The 19th June 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the signature of the Bologna Declaration, an initiative that would decisively shape the European higher education by forging a path for better intergovernmental cooperation and leading towards the development of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area.

The Bologna Declaration was signed on 19th June 1999 by 29 European countries, Portugal included, by the Portuguese Education Minister at that time Prof. Eduardo Marçal Grilo. The signatory countries have committed themselves to the creation of the European Higher Education Area through the following objectives: adopting a system of academic degrees of easy equivalence and the Diploma Supplement; setting up a system based on two stages: graduate and postgraduate; creating a credit system; supporting mobility; and promoting cooperation among partners to ensure quality assurance and system improvement.

The Bologna Declaration was the result of a long process in which cooperation between higher education systems and institutions became a common European goal, since 1988, when the Magna Carta Universitatum was signed during the celebration of the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna. Subsequently, in 1998, the Ministers of France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom signed the Sorbonne Declaration, paving the way for the Bologna Process by challenging other European countries to move towards educational reforms with a focus on mutual recognition, mobility, and employability as key instruments to consolidate Europe's position in the world.

Since then, the process has been open to other countries through the European Cultural Convention, the Council of Europe and governmental meetings held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007), Louvain (2009), Budapest and Vienna (2010), Bucharest (2012), Yerevan (2015) and Paris (2018). The Bologna Process has left its imprints on the promotion of mobility, the recognition of academic qualifications, the comparability and quality assurance between higher education systems, and a set of other common tools and principles.

Over these twenty years, the reforms introduced by the European Higher Education Area have deepened the convergence between countries and academic communities, making Europe an attractive destination for students, researchers, and teachers from all over the world. Its evolution is also visible through the accession of 19 additional countries, making it currently composed of a total of 48 countries.

For more information, visit the website of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area: http://www.ehea.info/pid34135/accueil.html