A major shift in the Bologna process at Athens meeting
ATHENS – The bi-annual meeting of the Bologna Follow-up Group was held in Athens, Greece, from 18 to 19 April and hosted by the Greek presidency of the Council of the European Union. This meeting proved to be highly eventful and possibly a starting point of major shifts in the Bologna process.
The participants clearly expressed a need to rethink and improve the Bologna process, in addition to their talks on the policy proposals and reports presented at the meeting. All areas of the Bologna process, both the structure and policy areas, need to be reviewed and suggestions for improvement proposed by the Bologna Follow-Up Group before the upcoming ministerial conference of the Bologna process in Yerevan in 2015.
Cost sharing and tuition fees
The European Commission presented preliminary outcomes of their report on “cost-sharing” that will be published at the end of May. This report will mainly address the issu of tuition fees, where ESU has raised concerns about the methodology used in the report as well as the long-term impact of the suggestions raised at the meeting.
European Standards and Guidelines
In addition to this, reports of working groups were presented and the quality of joint degrees discussed as well as the European Standards and Guidelines (ESGs), which are to be revised again due to concerns of the European Commission and a couple of states despite having a wide-ranging agreement among countries.
The so-called E4 group presented its proposal for revised ESGs in April and consists of the European Students’ Union (ESU), European University Association (EUA), European Associations of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) and the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). This group will now gather all additional comments to its proposal on the revised ESGs.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.