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Bologna Process

The Bologna Zone

The Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European countries designed to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher education qualifications. Through the Bologna Accords, the process has created the European Higher Education Area, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention. It is named after the place it was proposed, the University of Bologna, with the signing of the Bologna declaration by Education Ministers from 29 European countries in 1999, forming a part of European integration.

It was opened up to other countries signatory to the European Cultural convention,[1] of the Council of Europe; further governmental meetings have been held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2007), and Leuven (2009).

Prior to the signing of the Bologna declaration, the Magna Charta Universitatum had been issued at a meeting of university rectors celebrating the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna – and thus of European universities – in 1988. One year before the Bologna declaration, education ministers Claude Allegre (France), Jürgen Rüttgers (Germany), Luigi Berlinguer (Italy) and Baroness Blackstone (UK) signed the Sorbonne declaration[2] in Paris 1998, committing themselves to "harmonising the architecture of the European Higher Education system".

The Bologna Process currently has 47 participating countries and 49 signatories.[3]


  • Signatories 1
  • Rejected countries/entities 2
    • Kyrgyzstan 2.1
    • Israel 2.2
    • Kosovo 2.3
  • Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area 3
  • Criticism 4
  • Effects by state 5
    • Andorra 5.1
    • Austria 5.2
    • Belarus 5.3
    • Croatia 5.4
    • Denmark 5.5
    • Finland 5.6
    • France 5.7
    • Georgia 5.8
    • Germany 5.9
    • Greece 5.10
    • Hungary 5.11
    • Iceland 5.12
    • Ireland 5.13
    • Italy 5.14
    • Kazakhstan 5.15
    • Lithuania 5.16
    • Republic of Macedonia 5.17
    • Malta 5.18
    • Moldova 5.19
    • Montenegro 5.20
    • Netherlands 5.21
    • Norway 5.22
    • Poland 5.23
    • Portugal 5.24
    • Romania 5.25
    • Russia 5.26
    • Serbia 5.27
    • Slovenia 5.28
    • Spain 5.29
    • Sweden 5.30
    • Switzerland 5.31
    • Turkey 5.32
    • Ukraine 5.33
    • United Kingdom 5.34
      • England and Wales 5.34.1
      • Scotland 5.34.2
  • Bologna Process seminars 6
  • See also 7
  • Notes and references 8
  • Bibliography 9
  • External links 10


The countries signed up to the Bologna Accord, who are thus members of the "European Higher Education Area":[4]

While all member states of the EU are participating in the Process, the European Commission also is a signatory in its own right. This makes Monaco and San Marino the only members of the Council of Europe which did not adopt the Bologna Process. The other country eligible to join the initiative is Belarus.

The following organisations are also part of the follow-up of the Process: ESU, EUA, EURASHE, EI, ENQA, UNICE as well as the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Other networks at this level include ENIC, NARIC and EURODOC.

Rejected countries/entities

Five countries or entities applied to be included in the Bologna Process, but have been rejected so far.[5]


Although the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the Lisbon Recognition Convention in 2004, it is not a State party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe, and there is – as far as is known – no consideration of expanding the geographical scope of this Convention. It therefore seems clear that the Kyrgyz Republic is not eligible to join the Bologna Process under the criteria defined in Berlin.


Israel is not a party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe, although it has observer status. Hence, Israel participates in the meetings of the Council of Europe's Steering Committees under the European Cultural Convention – such as the CDESR – as an observer. While Israel is not a part of geographical Europe, it is a part of the UNESCO Europe Region. Israel is also a signatory party to the Lisbon Recognition Convention. Under the criteria defined in the Berlin Communiqué, Israel is not eligible for access to the Bologna Process.


Kosovo is not a party to the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe. Its status under public international law as a province of the Republic of Serbia that has recently unilaterally seceded is disputed, although several states have recognised Kosovo as a state (108 of 193 UN member countries, 23 of 27 EU member countries). Therefore, Kosovo cannot become a member of the Bologna Process for the time being.[6]

Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area

The basic framework adopted is of three cycles of higher education qualifications. The framework of qualifications[7] adopted by the ministers at their meeting in Bergen in 2005 defines the qualifications in terms of learning outcomes. These are statements of what students know and can do on completion of their degrees. In describing the cycles the framework makes use of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS):

  • 1st cycle: typically 180–240 ECTS credits, usually awarding a bachelor's degree. The European Higher Education Area did not introduce the Bachelor with Honours programme, which allows graduates with a "BA hons." degree (e.g. in UK, Australia, Canada) which in some jurisdictions (UK, Australia) may enable graduates to undertake doctoral studies without first having to obtain a master's degree.
  • 2nd cycle: typically 90–120 ECTS credits (a minimum of 60 on 2nd-cycle level). Usually awarding a master's degree.
  • 3rd cycle: doctoral degree. No ECTS range given.

In most cases, these will take 3–4 years for a bachelor's degree, 1–2 years for a master's degree, and 3–4 years for a doctoral degree, respectively to complete. The actual naming of the degrees may vary from country to country.

One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1,500–1,800 hours of study.


Chris Lorenz of the VU University Amsterdam has argued that:

"the basic idea behind all educational EU-plans is economic: the basic idea is the enlargement of scale of the European systems of higher education, ... in order to enhance its 'competitiveness' by cutting down costs. Therefore a Europe-wide standardization of the 'values' produced in each of the national higher educational systems is called for." Just as the GATS propose educational reforms that would effectively erode all effective forms of democratic political control over higher education, so "it is obvious that the economic view on higher education recently developed and formulated by the EU Declarations is similar to and compatible with the view developed by the WTO and by GATS."[8]

In 2011, Slavoj Zizek referred to the agreement as "an attack on the public use of reason" and "the end of intellectual life as we know it".[9]

Effects by state

The Bologna Process constitutes an intergovernmental agreement, between both EU and non-EU countries. Therefore, it does not have the status of EU legislation. Also, as the Bologna Declaration is not a treaty or convention, there are no legal obligations for the signatory states. The (extent of) participation and cooperation is completely voluntary.

Although the Bologna Declaration was created outside and without the EU institutions, the European Commission plays an increasingly important role in the implementation of the Process. The Commission has supported several European projects (the Tuning project, the TEEP project) connected to quality assurance etc. Most countries do not currently fit the framework – instead they have their own time-honoured systems. The Process will have many knock-on effects such as bilateral agreements between countries and institutions which recognise each other's degrees. However, the Process is now moving away from a strict convergence in terms of time spent on qualifications, towards a competency-based system. The system will have an undergraduate and postgraduate division, with a bachelor's degree in the former and a master's and doctorate in the latter.

In mainland Europe five-year plus first degrees are common. This leads to many not completing their studies; many of these countries are now introducing bachelor-level qualifications. This situation is changing rapidly as the Bologna Process is implemented.

Depending on the country and the development of its higher education system, some introduced ECTS, discussed their degree structures and qualifications, financing and management of higher education, mobility programmes etc. At the institutional level the reform involved higher education institutions, their faculties or departments, student and staff representatives and many other actors. The priorities varied from country to country and from institution to institution.


In Andorra, state awarded degrees can have the following levels:

  • First Cycle Degree: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Second Cycle Degree: Master’s Degree
  • Third Cycle Degree: Doctor’s Degree

The University of Andorra[10] have adapted all its university classroom studies to the European Higher Education Area, in accordance with the Bologna Agreement. The workload of the different degrees is counted in European credits, with a European equivalent of 180 credits (3 years) for undergraduate degrees and 120 European credits (2 years) for the second cycle degrees.


The situation in Austria is similar to that in Germany: the traditional "lowest" undergraduate degrees are the Magister (FH) and the Diplom (FH), which are designed to take three or four years; the "lowest" graduate degrees are Magister and the Diplom-Ingenieur, which typically fulfill a thesis requirement (including final examination and thesis defence) and can be obtained after at least four to six years of study. However, beginning with the year 2000, many curricula have already been converted into separate bachelor's (Bakkalaureat, although this term will be replaced by bachelor's in most studies by 2007) and master's (Magisterstudium) programmes, with nominal durations of six semesters (three years) and three to four semesters (1.5–2 years), respectively. With few exceptions (e.g. studies of human and veterinary medicine), all university curricula will be remodeled to this format within the next years.

Enrollment in a doctoral programme generally requires a master's level degree in a related field. The nominal duration of doctoral programmes is two or three years, but the actual time to graduate varies considerably and is generally longer than that.



In Croatia, the implementation of the Bologna Process started in the academic year 2005/2006. The existing academic degrees were generally transformed like this:

  • The degree granted with a diploma was transformed into a baccalaureus (in Croatian: prvostupnik) and the programmes were usually shortened from 4 years to around 3.
  • The degree granted with a magisterij was mostly eliminated or transformed into a master's degree, achieved after two additional years of study.
  • The degree of doktorat (PhD, remains, but it can be received after 3 more years, i.e. 8 years in total.

Therefore, the typical length of studies is now 3 years for a bachelor's degree or Baccalaureus, then 2 years for a master's or magistar, and then 3 years for "doctor of science" or doktor znanosti. In local use, there is a distinction in titles between vocational degrees and academic degrees at the baccalareus level (the academic degrees holders add univ. before their title, denoting a university programme). A distinction is also made between engineering programs and other programs at levels below PhD – engineering program graduates append engineer (inženjer – ing.) to their title. It is not yet officially clear how those differences map to the arts and science differentiation present in the Anglo-American system. It is expected that most faculties issuing engineering degrees will translate them as science degrees.

There are several notable exceptions:

  • The first higher education degree in economics still lasts four years, while the master's degree in economics is obtained after an additional one-year (this refers to University of Zagreb's Faculty of Economics and Zagreb School of Economics and Management).
  • 4 (BA) + 1 (MA) system also applies to Artistic studies (Fine arts & music).
  • Medicine and other related studies do not assign a baccalaureus degree and instead assign a first professional medical degree. They last six years, unlike all the other programs, and they award graduate MDs (doktor medicine).

The translation system put into law for holders of the old degrees, however, recognises that they were more comprehensive then the scaled down programs that are replacing them in the new system and thus the translation goes as follows:

  • diploma holders translate into master's (magistar inženjer for engineering diploma holders and magistar for others)
  • the old master's degree holders title is grandfathered into the new system (magistar znanosti – master of science) and is considered and intermediate title between the new master's degree and a doctor's degree for local use, and is expected to go into disuse as the title holders either gain a PhD (which is available under mostly generous terms compared to new master's) or with their demise, since there is no way to gain the title under the new system.
  • doctor's degrees are not translated, but rather remain the same as in the old system

In May 2008 around 5000 students protested against the ineffective implementation (weak funding, imprecisely defined new rules etc.), and consequent poor results of the Bologna reform.[11]


Denmark took the first step to introduce the 3+2+3 system outside GB and USA as early as in 1971 through a Society of Danish Engineers working group "Education Management" headed by Dr. Hans Bruno Lund and later in 1984–85 through another Federation of Danish Industries working group also headed by Dr. Lund.

Before the adaptation to international standards, the lowest degree that would normally be studied at universities in Denmark was equivalent to a master's degree (Kandidat/cand.mag). Officially, bachelor's degrees have always been obtained after 3 years' university studies, but very few choose to stop at this stage[12] without the additional 2 years required to obtain a master's degree. Various medium-length (2–4 years) professional degrees have been adapted so they now have status as professional bachelor's degrees (3½ years).


In the Finnish pre-Bologna system, the higher education was strictly divided between the universities and polytechnics. In universities, the degrees were divided in most fields into a three-year bachelor's degree kandidaatti, which was followed by the two-year higher master's degree maisteri. In these fields, the Bologna Process causes no changes. The degrees retain their former domestic names but in English usage, Bachelor and Master are used to describe the degrees.

In the field of engineering, the universities did not offer bachelor's-level degrees, but only a 5½-year master's program (diplomi-insinööri). This program has now been divided into a three-year bachelor's-level degree tekniikan kandidaatti and a two-year master-level degree diplomi-insinööri, for which the English names are Bachelor of Science (Technology) and Master of Science (Technology), respectively.[13] A corresponding change has also been made in the military higher education, where the officer's degree was divided between a bachelor's and master's program. The Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, which have offered bachelor's degree level engineering programmes, have since legislative changes in 2005 started to offer master's degree programmes.[14] Some Master of Engineering (insinööri (ylempi AMK)) programmes are also taught in English.[15]

Only medicine and dentistry retain their non-standard degree structure, where the Licentiate – higher than master's, less extensive than Doctor of Medicine or Dentistry degree – serves as the basic degree. A six-year program of at least 360 ECTS credits leads directly to the degree Licenciate of Medicine (lääketieteen lisensiaatti). There is an intermediate title (but curiously, not an academic degree) of lääketieteen kandidaatti, and there is no master's degree. Licentiates of Medicine may continue to doctor's degree or even finish it before graduating as a Licenciate.

The degrees from polytechnics are considered bachelor's degrees in international usage. However, in domestic usage, bachelors transferring from polytechnics to universities may be required a maximum of 60 ECTS credits of additional studies prior emabarking the master's level studies. In conjunction with Bologna Process, the polytechnics have obtained the right to award master's degrees. However, such programs remain rather minor phenomenon. The polytechnic master's degree does not qualify for doctoral studies.

The Finnish postgraduate education retains its non-standard two-level degree structure. The Licenciate's degree (lisensiaatti) may be undertaken after circa two years' postgraduate study. This degree requires the coursework of the doctoral degree but has much less stringent thesis requirements. The doctor's degree, with a full dissertation, takes about four years to complete. Most Finnish universities encourage their post-graduate students to skip the intermediate licenciate degree.

In grading, Finnish universities may use their own 5-point system (0 fail, 5 best), which can be criterion-referenced rather than norm-referenced, and where ECTS points given are not affected by the grade.


In France the baccalauréat is awarded at the end of secondary education and allows students to enter university.

Prior to LMD reform which implemented the Bologna process, it was followed by a two-year Diplôme d'études universitaires générales (DEUG), followed by a third year, the Licence. The Licence was the equivalent of a UK bachelor's degree.

After the Licence, students could choose to enter the Maîtrise, which was a one-year research degree. The Maîtrise could be followed by either a one-year vocational degree, the Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées (DESS), or a one-year research degree, the Diplôme d'études approfondies (DEA).

  • The DEA was a preparation for a doctorate, and can be considered equivalent to an M. Phil.. After the DEA, students could pursue a doctorat (PhD), which takes at least three years.
  • The DESS was created in 1975 for students who have already completed their fourth year degrees. It was intended to be a university doctorate degree with a more practical approach – instead of research – and included the production of a paper of about 120 pages which was defended in front a jury of three international specialists in that very field. The mini-thesis was then kept in the libraries of the University issuing the DESS; whereas a copy of each PhD thesis is distributed by its author to every French university library.

Higher education in France is also provided by non-university institutions dedicated to specific subjects. For example, the Diplôme d'ingénieur (engineering diploma) is awarded to students after five years of study in state-recognized Écoles d'ingénieurs, especially the Grandes Écoles (such as Mines, Centrale, ENAC,...). Degrees from these schools are generally favoured over university degrees due to their selective admissions procedures. In contrast, certain public universities are legally obliged to accept any students who have passed High School.

The baccalauréat and the doctorat are unchanged in the new Bologna system, known in France as "LMD reform", but the DEUG and the old licence have been merged into a new, three-year Licence. The Maîtrise, DESS, and DEA have also been combined into a two-year master's degree, which can be work-oriented (master professionnel) or research-oriented (master recherche).

The Diplôme d'ingénieur degree is still separate from the university degree but students with such a degree may lawfully claim a master's degree as well.[16]

Strikes occurred in France in 2002–2003[17] and 2007[18] against the LMD reform. Strikes were more related to the under funding of the French universities since May 1968, than to the Bologna Process itself. The two main students’ organisations object some aspects of the application to the French scheme but welcome the European process, which aims to facilitate full grade in various universities.


bachelor's degree (4 years) and then earn the master's degree (1–2 years) while preserving the old 5–6 year scheme. In the Soviet times the only degree was Specialist, which is discontinued by now.

Cycles of Higher Education in Georgia are divided: First cycle – bachelor's degree (240 credits); Second cycle – master's degree (120 credits); Third cycle – doctor's degree (180 credits);

Medicine, dental medicine and veterinary medicine (300–360 credits) lead to the qualification equal to master's degree as they are integrated education programs.[19]



Greece joined the Bologna Process from the very beginning in 1999. Since 2007, more intensive steps towards the establishment of the European Higher Education Area were completed.


In Hungary, the Bologna system is applied to those who started their university education in or after September 2006. From this year, only 108 majors are available for selection (instead of more than 400 in the previous year), out of which six are exempt from the Bachelor vs. Master division: lawyer, physician, dentist, veterinary, pharmacist and architect.

According to an online poll[20] (query date: 24-FEB-06) of the National Tertiary Education Information Centre 65% of the voters thought it was unnecessary to adopt this system. The new system provides much less guarantee for students to get a practically useful master's degree because many of them will finish their education after the three years' bachelor's education; also students are supposed to take up more unrelated subjects in the first three years at several majors, due to the much more reduced number of majors.[21]



In Ireland bachelor's degrees are commonly three to four years in duration. Master's and Doctoral degrees are broadly similar to those in the UK. Bachelor's degrees are also first cycle qualifications. A master's degree is always a postgraduate degree, either taught or by research. The generic outcomes for Irish degrees are laid out in the National Framework of Qualifications published in 2003. In 2006 Ireland became the first country to verify the compatibility of its national framework with the overarching framework of qualifications for the EHEA.[22]


Italy fits the framework since the adoption, in 1999, of the so-called 3+2 system. The first degree is the Laurea triennale that can be achieved after three years of studies. Selected students can then complete their studies in the following step: two additional years of specialization which leads to the Laurea Magistrale.

The "Laurea" corresponds to a bachelor's degree while the "Laurea magistrale" corresponds to a master's degree. Only the Laurea magistrale grants access to third cycle programmes (Post-MA degrees, doctorates or specializing schools), that last 2 to 5 years (usually completing a PhD takes 3 years). However, it is now established that there is just a unique five-year degree "Laurea Magistrale Quinquennale" (Five-Year Master of Arts) for programmes such as Law (Facoltà di Giurisprudenza), Arts (Accademia di Belle Arti) and Music (Conservatorio di Musica). The title for BA/BS undergraduate students is Dottore and for MA/MFA/MD/MEd graduate students is Dottore magistrale (both abbreviation in Dott./Dott.ssa or Dr., meaning Doctor). This title has not to be confused with the PhD and Post-MA graduates, whose title is Dottore di Ricerca (Research Doctor or Philosophy Doctor).

In the current Italian education system, it is possible to distinguish two kinds of master's degree: "Laurea Magistrale" (120 ECTS) which allows to access to third cycle programmes and "Master universitario" (at least 60 ECTS) which can be divided into 1st level master's degree (second cycle) and 2nd level master's degree (third cycle). A 1st level master's degree is accessible by a first cycle degree and "does not allow access to PhD and to 3rd cycle programmes, since this type of course does not belong to the general requirements established at national level, but it is offered under the autonomous responsibility of each university",[23] whereas a 2nd level master's degree is accessible by a second cycle degree.



Republic of Macedonia





The Netherlands differentiates between HBO (higher professional education, or polytechnical education) and WO (scientific education, or research universities).

The old HBO has moved to the Bachelor's/Master's system. It generally requires four years of education to obtain a bachelor's degree at these institutions (i.e. Bachelor of..., instead of BA, BSc and LLB[24]). After these four years, graduates can apply for a master's program at a university. These master's programs generally require one to two years to complete. For a HBO bachelor's graduate, he/she may have to pass one year of pre-master's education, meant to bridge the gap between his/her (professionally orientated) HBO study and (research orientated) WO study in order to be admitted to a WO Master's programm (which may grant degrees such as MA, MSc and LLM,[25] There are also some HBO master's studies (granting the title Master of..., other than MA, MSc and LLM).

In respect to WO, previously there used to be a "kandidaats" (1–2 year) followed by three or four years of further studies to obtain a "doctoraal" degree (drs., ir. or mr.); not to be confused with the title Doctor (Dr.) which requires the writing of a dissertation and several scientific publications and it is the European equivalent to the PhD degree. This system has been replaced with first a "propedeuse"-diploma after completion of the first year, and then the "tweede fase structuur" with a bachelor's degree after two years and afterwards a master's which requires one, two, or three years of study (depending on the field of study, e.g. most master's take 1 year, technical master's usually require 2 years of study and for a med or veterinary med. student the master's will take 3 years). A master's degree (or a "doctoraal" degree) is a requirement for promotion (promotie), i.e. doing research at a WO faculty in order to get the degree of Doctor (Dr.), or PhD. A HBO faculty cannot grant the title Doctor (Dr.).

Following the 'Strategische Agenda Hoger Onderwijs, Onderzoek en Wetenschap' ('Strategic Agenda Higher Education', policy for Dutch Higher Education up to 2025) the difference between HBO and WO will gradually fade the upcoming years, although HBO will remain professionally orientated (at universities of applied sciences) and WO will still be used for (research) universities. In some cases, depending on the field of study, HBO's are allowed to award BA, BSc, MA and MSc degrees. For more information on HBO, WO and degrees in The Netherlands, visit the Academic degree page on WorldHeritage.




Due to the pan-European Bologna Process, after 2005 new licenciatura (university and polytechnic institutions of Portugal. They were previously a 4- to 6-year programme, equivalent to 300 ects. They now consist of a first study cycle (3 years) offered by Portuguese institutions of higher education, and they are the only requirement for any applicant who wishes to undertake the second study cycle (2 years) which awards a master's degree. Some new Bologna courses are integrated 5-year programmes or more, awarding a single master's degree (joint degree), a common practice in medicine, a 6-year programme, and some other fields taught at the universities. In engineering, despite the use of two separated cycles, one can only be a full chartered engineer after gaining a master's degree (2nd cycle of study). The new master's degrees attained after 5 or 6 years of successful study corresponds to the same period of time of many old undergraduate degrees known as licenciatura. The new licenciatura attained after 3 years of successful study corresponds to the time duration of the old bacharelato which is a discontinued degree formerly awarded by polytechnics, in use between the 1970s and early 2000s, roughly equivalent to an extended associate's degree. Both the old and new master's degrees are the first graduate degree before a doctorate, and both the old and new licenciatura degrees are undergraduate degrees.

Before the changes, the licenciatura diploma (4 to 6-year course) was required for those applicants who wished to undertake (the old) master's and/or doctorate programs but admission was reserved for those with a licenciatura degree with a grade over 14 (out of 20). After the changes introduced by the Bologna Process, the master's degree is conferred at the end of a programme roughly equivalent in time duration to many old licenciatura programmes. However, the Bologna Process was developed in order to improve the education system to one based on the development of competences rather than on the transmission of knowledge. Its goal was the development of a reformed and modernized system of easily readable and comparable degrees, aimed to simplify comparison between qualifications across Europe through a total reorganisation of curricula and teaching methods in every new cycle of study. The flexibility and transparency provided is oriented to enable students to have their qualifications recognised more widely, facilitating freedom of movement around a more transparent EHEA (European Higher Education Area) which is based on two main cycles: undergraduate (1st cycle of study) and graduate (2nd cycle of study); as well as providing postgraduate degrees (3rd cycle of study) for advanced applicants aiming the doctorate degree.

As of 2007, critics allege that this was not achieved as many institutions relabelled their old licenciatura as the new master's without making any substantial alteration to the curriculum. The changes that created 3 to 6 years licenciaturas and master's degrees that correspond to between 4 and 8 years of study in the previous model have generated considerable confusion among some people and institutions. It is also alleged that many of those master's degrees offered by certain institutions were not designed to prepare the students for further study (3rd cycle).



The Russian higher education framework was basically incompatible with the Process: the generic "lowest" degree in all universities since Soviet era is the Specialist which can be obtained after completing 5–6 years of studies. Since the mid-90s, many universities have introduced limited educational programmes allowing students to graduate with a bachelor's degree (4 years) and then earn a master's degree (another 1–2 years) while preserving the old 5–6 year scheme. In October 2007 Russia enacted a move to two-tier education in line with Bologna Process model.[26] The universities inserted a BSc diploma in the middle of their standard specialist programs; transition to real MS qualification has not been completed yet.

It is worth mentioning that even though Specialists are eligible for post-graduate courses (Aspirantura) as are masters, bachelors are not. The Specialist degree is now being discontinued, so new students don't have this option. In most of the universities bachelor's and master's degree education is free of charge though you can also find some state and private universities that charge a fee for master or both degrees.[27][28]); Right now the labor market doesn't understand BSc diplomas and their qualification but some universities changed the program to be similar to "classic" education, and MS stage remains mandatory for most graduates.[29]





A bill proposing new regulations in the field of Higher Education was presented to Parliament in 2005. The new system came into force in July 2007. In the new system of degrees there will be two degrees of different lengths in each cycle.

Cycle Swedish English Length (undergraduate) Length (postgraduate)
1 Högskoleexamen University Diploma 2 years N/A
1 Kandidatexamen Bachelor's degree 3 years Högskoleexamen + 1 year
2 Magisterexamen Master's Degree, 1 year (sometimes called "Swedish master's degree") 4 years Kandidatexamen + 1 year
2 Masterexamen Master's Degree, 2 years 5 years Kandidatexamen + 2 years, or magisterexamen + 1 year
3 Licentiatexamen Degree of Licentiate N/A Kandidatexamen or higher + 2 years
3 Doktorsexamen Degree of doctor N/A Kandidatexamen or higher + 4 years

Students might not always be offered all of the combinations above for obtaining a degree. For example, the högskoleexamen is not offered for most educations, and many educations require students to obtain the kandidatexamen before obtaining a magisterexamen or a masterexamen. Most third cycle programmes require the student to have obtained at least a magisterexamen before being allowed to enroll, although the legal requirement is only the kandidatexamen.

All degrees and qualifications are described using learning outcomes.

In July 2007, a new system of credits compatible with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, ECTS, was introduced, where one academic credit point (högskolepoäng) in the new system corresponds to one ECTS credit point, or two thirds of a credit point in the old system (poäng).

Some Swedish universities have decided to introduce the ECTS standard grading scale for all students, while others will only use it for international students. However, since so called criterion-referenced grading is practiced instead of relative grading in the Swedish educational system, the 10%, 25%, 30%, 25% and 10% distribution of the students among A, B, C, D and E will not be obeyed.

Some universities have decided to only give grade Failed or Passed (F or P) at certain courses, for example internship and thesis projects, or at some assignments, for example laboratory exercises.




United Kingdom

England and Wales


Bologna Process seminars

Several Bologna Process seminars have been held as of October 2008.

The first seminar devoted to a single academic discipline was held in June 2004 in Dresden, Germany: its title was "Chemistry Studies in the European Higher Education Area".[30] The same seminar also approved Eurobachelor.

  • Recent seminars
  • Bologna Seminar Archive

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ (Later version of Prof. Lorenz's paper, with hyperlinks:
  9. ^
  10. ^ Outstanding features – Universitat d'Andorra. Retrieved on 2013-09-05.
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ TKK – Tutkintojen ja tutkinto-ohjelmien vieraskieliset nimet Accessed: 9 May 2011
  14. ^ Finnish governmental decree 423/2005 on degrees at Universities of Applied Sciences Accessed: 21 June 2009
  15. ^ Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences – Master's Degrees Accessed: 21 June 2009
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Strikes against private fundings of Universities in France
  19. ^
  20. ^ Országos Felsőoktatási Információs Központ Archived 20 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ – Italian academic degrees
  24. ^ About BPhil see the following note.
  25. ^ . Although it is not recognised by the Dutch state, Dutch universities may still grant the degree MPhil, next to granting a degree as MA or MSc next to the MPhil degree, so that the graduate may still get a recognised degree. [1]
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Многие вузы, например, такие как МГУ, ГУУ, РАНХиГС, предоставляют возможность обучаться в магистратуре только на платной основе."
  28. ^ "Магистратуру сделали платной в 50 вузах"
  29. ^
  30. ^ eurodoctorate (PDF 140KB)


  • Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, "Motivation zur Weiterbildung: Master- und Bachelor-Abschlüsse in den USA", Diskussion Musikpädagogik, vol. 29, pp. 33–35, 2006.

External links

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