Teachers are now official partners in the Bologna Process on higher education
The Education International (EI) Pan-European Structure has today been recognised by the Bergen Ministerial Conference (19-20 May 2005) as a consultative member of the Bologna Process aimed at developing a European Higher Education Area. This participation is an official recognition of teachers and their unions as actors of the Bologna Process.
"We underline the central role of higher education institutions, their staff and students as partners in the Bologna Process. Their role in the implementation of the Process becomes all the more important now that the necessary legislative reforms are largely in place, and we encourage them to continue and intensify their efforts to establish the European Higher Education Area," says the Ministerial Declaration adopted in Bergen by 45 Ministers of Higher Education.
Paul Bennett, Chairperson of the EI Standing Committee on Higher Education and Research, said EI looked forward to contributing fully to the process over the coming two years. He also stressed: "I hope that our own integration at the highest level of the process will promote fuller integration at the national level."
The Bologna Process aims to establish by 2010 a European area of higher education formed by 45 countries, achieving full student mobility and mutual recognition of credits and degrees. This will no doubt affect academics, researchers and staff working in the higher education sector.
Launched in 1999, the Bologna Process did not immediately involve the organisations representing higher education staff on both national and European levels, although the European Student Organisation and the European University Association were already engaged in the debate. Academics are now officially represented through EI.
Education International represents over 3 million academic and research staff worldwide, of whom approximately 650,000 live and work in the geographical area now included in the ‘Bologna’ Process.