Students keen on renewed commitment to Bologna Process

BRUSSELS – The European Students Union (ESU), representing 45 national unions of students from 38 European countries, sees an “increasing lack of commitment to fulfilling even the simplest Bologna goals” and asks for minimum standards to be met in order to have a truly comparable and flexible education system across Europe.

In ESU’s statement on ‘The Bologna Process towards 2012’, the students criticize the ongoing slowdown of the implementation of the Bologna objectives and express their concern about the lack of consultation of national stakeholders, such as student bodies and teacher unions. The statement was adopted at ESU’s 60th Board Meeting, in Tallinn.

Bert Vandenkendelaere, ESU’s Chairperson said:”After a successful start of the Bologna Process, many countries were happy to join the group of participating countries. However, this has often not been followed up by a proper implementation of the action lines. We urge for a minimum set of standards that ensures a qualitative and integrated education system which in turn will facilitate European-wide mobility.”

Endangered usefulness

ESU sees the fact that the responsibility of the implementation of the Bologna Process is being pushed around between higher education institutions, governmental level structures and the European level, as a huge problem endangering the coherence and usefulness of the envisaged Bologna reforms.

Vandenkendelaere: “We ask institutions to continue on the path of reforms that make the learning process more flexible, more student-centred and more adapted to the needs of a highly diversified student body. We have always supported the Bologna reforms, but we now find ourselves forced to ask for stricter rules, as some of the Bologna countries failed to live up to their promises and do not deserve the Bologna label yet.”

Minimum standards and limiting the Bologna label to areas where countries have properly implemented the agreed policy measures are some of the core changes in ESU’s recent position. Among other requests, the students urge for better incentives and monitoring of the Bologna process, more stakeholders involvement, better information provision and support for higher education mobility by the creation of infrastructural, financial and other facilities by the individual countries.

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Published: 17 May 2011


For more information, please contact:
Bert Vandenkendelaere, ESU Chairperson: +32473669892 or bert@esu-online.org 
Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32473669894 or marianne@esu-online.org

Statement on the Bologna Process towards the 2012 Ministerial Conference can be read through this link: http://www.esu-online.org/news/article/6065/488/