We have a new website go to gov.scot

European Higher Education Area and Bologna Process

Logo of the Bologna Process


Background to the Bologna Process

The Bologna Process was intended to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of European higher education and to foster student mobility and employability through the introduction of a system based on undergraduate and postgraduate studies with easily readable programmes and degrees.

EHEA logo






The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) was launched in 2010 with broad objectives to:

  • remove the obstacles to student mobility across Europe, in particular through facilitating recognition of qualifications;
  • enhance the attractiveness of European higher education worldwide; and
  • establish a common framework for higher education systems across Europe based on a Bachelor/ Masters/ Doctoral studies model.

The next decade 2010-2020 will be aimed at consolidating and operationalizing the EHEA in light of very different reactions to, and uneven progress toward, Bologna Process implementation across the EHEA.

At the most recent Ministerial Conference (Yerevan, 14-15 May 2015) the 47 European ministers responsible for higher education agreed to focus on:

  • Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning;

  • Fostering the employability of graduates throughout their working lives;

  • Making our systems more inclusive; and

  • Implementing agreed structural reforms.

Ministers also welcomed Belarus into the EHEA bringing the number of member countries to 48.

Further information including the 2015 Communiqué, the Bologna Policy Forum Statement, the 2012-15 Implementation Report and other key documentation can be found on the EHEA website. A short press briefing with key messages from the 2015 Bologna Process implementation report and outline performance data can be found at PressBriefingForYerevanMCandFourthBPF.docx. The next Ministerial Conference and Bologna Policy Forum will be held in Paris in 2018.

Scottish involvement

A Scottish Government official participates fully in the Bologna Follow Up Group as half of the UK delegation and our Cabinet Secretary for Education led a delegation to Bucharest in 2012. Scotland continues to perform well at the top amongst the now 48 participating countries and there is no doubt that the strong reputation of Scotland within the EHEA reflects the good work of our institutions, staff and students.

The developing EHEA provides an excellent opportunity for Scotland, our institutions, staff and students. It enables us to work collaboratively with our European counterparts and exchange information which will improve the standard of learning and teaching and broaden the range of opportunities open to Scottish students, as well as students from other parts of Europe.

We will continue to encourage members of the Scottish Bologna Stakeholders Group to take part in Bologna-related events across Europe, to promote knowledge and understanding of the Scottish HE system and learn from the good practice of others

EQAR: European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education

In most European countries, higher education institutions or study programmes are subject to regular external review by a quality assurance agency. The European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) is a register of such agencies, including those that substantially comply with a common set of principles for quality assurance in Europe. The Register now features 36 agencies that have demonstrated their substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) through an independent external review.

In 2013 the UK’s QAA - Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education joined the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education. In August 2014 the UK joined EQAR as governmental members and a Scottish Government official will participate fully in EQAR meetings as half of the UK delegation.