New Bologna countries’ ministers met in Strasbourg
Ministers of Education from Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine met on 12-13 December 2006 at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg to discuss the state of implementation of Bologna reforms and upcoming challenges in their countries. The four countries and Azerbaijan, which unfortunately could not be present, are those countries who joined the Bologna Process most recently in 2005 in Bergen (Norway). ESIB participated in the conference as observing organisation.
The main issues under discussion have been Quality Assurance in Higher Education, the establishment of Qualifications Frameworks and the upcoming London Ministerial Summit in May 2007, including the Stocktaking carried out by the Bologna Follow-up Group beforehand.
In their conclusions, Ministers addressed such important issues as the need for sound and independent Quality Assurance procedures, the necessity to lift obstacles to student and staff mobility and the requirement to tackle the Social Dimension of the European Higher Education Area. It requires special attention not only by Ministers of Education that particularily for students from these 5 countries too restrictive and unnecessarily bureaucratic procedures for visa delivery, especially of Western European countries, are still a major obstacle to mobility. In addition to that the four countries committed themselves to closer co-operation within the Black Sea Network, for instance in the area of Quality Assurance.
The conference conclusions and further documentation are available in English and Russian from the Council of Europe’s website .