A delegation of EURASHE participated in the 2015 EHEA Ministerial Conference and the 4th Bologna Policy Forum on 14-15 May 2015 in Yerevan (Armenia). The conference gathered the EHEA ministers and the stakeholders’ organisations in the Bologna Process for a state of the art higher education reform conference, and fixed the agenda for the coming years, whereas additional non-EHEA Ministers and stakeholders also participated in the 4th Bologna Policy Forum.
During the various sessions, including a panel contribution, EURASHE highlighted important topics for professional higher education for the coming years. These were laid out in our policy paper ‘Making European Professional Higher Education a Key Player in the Development of a Fastly and Unpredictably Changing Society‘ and address the growing relevance of professional higher education; the implementation of the revised ESG; sustainable employability and lifelong learning; open mobility and recognition; new media; and research, development and innovation (RDI).
The communiqué of the conference calls on all parties to “renew our original vision and consolidate the EHEA structure” in order to achieve the goals set out and respond to the challenges ahead for Europe and higher education. Further the parties should, in the coming years, work on “enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching”, “fostering the employability of graduates throughout their working lives”, “making our systems more inclusive” and “implementing agreed structural reforms”. The ministers also adopted the revised Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), the European Approach for Quality Assurance of Joint Programmes, and the revised ECTS Users’ Guide, as an official EHEA document.
In addition, following the acceptance of Belarus as a member of the EHEA, the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) and Belarusian authorities “will work together on developing and implementing a roadmap for higher education reform in Belarus in accordance with the values, principles and goals of the EHEA”.
Finally the 4th Bologna Policy Forum statement reads that priority will be given to “developing national qualifications frameworks”, “developing cooperation in quality assurance”, “improving the multual recognition of qualifications”, and “cooperating in developing and implementing credit transfer system”.
Prof Orphanides EURASHE President EHEA Ministerial Meeting, Yerevan, 14 15 May 2015 via YouTube