In the Bologna Declaration a number of significant objectives were formulated to reinforce and clarify the position of European Higher Education and to continue developing a strong knowledge society and economy.
In order to realize those objectives, the Bologna Declaration underlined the need to “Promote a European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to develop comparable criteria and methodologies”.
The Communiqué of the last follow up conference in Bergen was more explicit about co-operation in quality assurance, stating “We underline the importance of cooperation between nationally recognised quality assurance agencies with a view to enhancing the mutual recognition of accreditation or quality assurance decisions.”
The question is: what is the signification of ‘’mutual recognition of accreditation ‘’ and how should we take up the challenge set in the Bergen Communiqué?
The European Consortium for Accreditation (www.eca.net) intends to achieve mutual recognition of accreditation decisions in around 2007 and develop here fore a pathway and methodology. The consortium will go even farther and set up collaboration with some ENIC/NARICs in order to go to automatic recognition of qualifications.
The whole discussion about mutual recognition is a discussion of quality but also one of references and frameworks: qualification levels (bachelor or master), orientation (scientific versus professional) and domain specificity.
In the presented paper we try to develop some ideas concerning the approach of the mutual recognition problems.
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