The Bologna Process
The Bologna Process stems from the Bologna Declaration, initially signed by the Higher Education Ministers of 29 European countries in June 1999. 46 countries are now signatories, and the Declaration has strongly influenced developments in higher education across Europe.
The Engineering Council has followed the development of the process closely, and has worked with the government and higher education bodies to ensure that the standing of UK engineering degrees is maintained within the European Higher Education Area. It also participates actively in European conferences and seminars on various aspects of Bologna.
The UK Higher Education Europe Unit has produced a general guide to the Bologna Process.
Bologna and UK Engineering degrees
A major objective of the Bologna Declaration is to promote mobility of both students and academics within Europe, by removing structural obstacles arising from differences between national systems. This does of course present challenges for individual countries.
An important issue for UK engineering education has been to establish that the MEng integrated Masters degree is clearly recognised as a second cycle degree within the European Higher Education Qualifications Framework (FQ-EHEA), as well as other Masters degrees such as MSc. This has now been achieved through the verification of the UK higher education qualification frameworks as compatible with the FQ-EHEA. A fuller explanation of the issues can be found in the Engineering Council factsheet on the Bologna Process.
The Bologna Process has led to a number of subject-based initiatives to identify and assure the outcomes of higher education, such as the EUR-ACE® framework standards for the accreditation of engineering programmes.