European Higher Education Area Conference opens in Paris on 24 May



Gerry O'Sullivan

Posted: 23 May, 2018

Education Ministers from the 48-country European Higher Education Area are meeting in Paris on 24-25 May for a two-day conference. They will discuss progress in improving higher education systems and enabling students to move more freely across national borders under the so called Bologna process. The latest Bologna Implementation report, shows that progress has been made, notably in implementing the three cycle Bachelor-Master-Doctorate degree structure. However, it also points to the lack of lifelong learning provision in many countries, and the fact that disadvantaged learners across Europe still face barriers to accessing and succeeding in higher education.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, will deliver an address on the opening day. Ahead of the conference, he said: “The Commission’s vision is of a Europe in which learning, studying and doing research will not be hampered by borders. That is why we aim to build on the solid achievements of the European Higher Education Area and work towards a European Education Area by 2025. Our ambition is to enable EU Member States to intensify and accelerate their cooperation in areas such as mobility, language learning, innovation and mutual recognition of diplomas, and thus also to provide a new impetus for the Bologna process.”

At the conference, Ministers will define new priorities for years ahead. Among others they will focus on better access for under-represented and vulnerable groups to higher education, transnational cooperation in higher education and research and innovation.

On 22 May, the Commission presented its proposal for Automatic Mutual Recognition of Diplomas and Learning Periods Abroad, Language Learning, as well as plans for a European Student Card as part of a broader push to boost learning mobility. 

More information on the Bologna process including a brochure entitled ‘The EU in support of the Bologna Process’ published today can be found here.