Editor's note

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 30.07.2021, 03:53

Bologna process: 20 successful years

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 18.07.2019.Print version

The Bologna Declaration, signed in 1999 by 29 European ministers of higher education, has had a big impact on education in Europe. The declaration set in motion an unprecedented and ambitious process of pan-European integration in an area traditionally marked by diversity of national systems.

The Declaration underlined fundamental values of higher education: academic freedom, institutional autonomy and contribution to growth and welfare with the intention to create a European Higher Education Area with a common degree structure in Europe, strengthening quality assurance and making recognition of qualifications and periods of study easier. 

The Bologna process has been focusing on education openness, structural changes and cooperation which has been a follow-up from universities’ own declaration of European higher education values in 1988, the so-called Magna Charta Universitatum.

The latter was signed by around 400 European university rectors; since then about 500 more universities around the world joined the process.

The Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory is considering an update of the original charter to reflect changes in the education sector and its relation to society’s needs and skills modernisation.

 Reference: Stølen S. and  Gornitzka Å. The Bologna Process needs to go back to basics. –University World News. 6 July 2019, in:


The Bologna process has undoubtedly contributed to shaping the higher education landscape in Europe and the member states; however, after 20 years of policy coordination in Europe, the Bologna process needs re-thinking and re-assessment.

Some alarming trends appeared recently, which challenge the basic values of higher education.  The marketisation and commercialization of universities has become a dangerous trend: however, it is fundamental for the education process that students are neither customers nor clients in modern universities.

The universities shall enroll and involve students in the national learning communities, which shall be a measure of success in national education policies.

Existing system of a “single financing” in major universities shall be changed as well in order to be more reflective and responsive to contemporary needs with a diversification of universities’ sources of revenue.  

The way forward for Baltic States, other European universities and the European Higher Education Area has to be in line with approaches initially proposed in the Bologna Process; although with the attention to modern changes in digital society too.

More on the European education policy in my article:



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