Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2005-2007

Stocktaking Working Group

Bologna Process Stocktaking report cover London 2007

Report from a working group appointed by the Bologna Follow-up Group to the Ministerial Conference in London, May 2007.

Content for Bologna Expert - 18/05/2007
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Key outcomes from the Stocktaking Working Group

In their Bergen Communiqué, Ministers requested the continuing and widening of the stocktaking process. In the fields of the degree system, quality assurance and recognition of degrees and study periods, stocktaking had to include several new issues such as reflecting on three cycles rather than two, implementation of national qualifications frameworks, Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA, as well as the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

Stocktaking had to be widened to include several new areas: flexible learning paths in higher education, procedures for the recognition of prior learning, and awarding and recognition of joint degrees.

The Stocktaking Working Group drew up, and BFUG approved, a list of twelve indicators 6 covering most of the above issues, and proposed to cover in the text of the stocktaking report those aspects that were not appropriate to be reflected in the scorecard. According to the Ministers’ statement that the work on the first three priority areas should be largely completed by 2007, the criteria for stocktaking indicators in these areas were made more demanding to measure the success against the final goals rather than checking whether the work had been started. In order to have comparable information from all countries, the Working Group prepared a template for national reports.

WG Stocktaking - Template National Reports - May 2006

National Reports

The main sources of information for stocktaking were the national reports and Eurydice. For the recognition issues, national action plans on recognition were used as well. The outcomes were cross-checked with the results of EUA Trends V study and ESIB survey, Bologna With Student Eyes.

Eurydice National Trends 2006-2007
EUA Trends Report V
Bologna With Student Eyes 2007

The main outcomes of stocktaking are the following:

  • There is a good overall progress since 2005.
  • The greatest progress since 2005 is observed in the areas of student participation in quality assurance, access to the next cycle, implementation of a two-cycle degree system and the implementation of national systems for external quality assurance.
  • The main areas where more efforts are needed are: implementation of national qualifications frameworks, international participation in quality assurance and recognition of prior learning. In some areas, some of the reality is hidden within the apparently very good results.
  • High scores in the implementation of Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance testify
    that most countries have started implementation. At the same time, such aspects as establishing a genuine quality improvement culture, external review of quality assurance agencies and international involvement throughout quality assurance will require time and effort to be completed.
  • The good results in implementation of ECTS confirm that most countries are now widely using ECTS for both credit transfer and accumulation. Yet, a much smaller number link credits with learning outcomes.
  • While it appears from national reports and action plans on recognition that legislation is largely compliant with the letter of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, further work is needed at international and national level as there are huge variations in approaches to recognition at both national and institutional level that may not fully embody the spirit of the Convention principles.

Andrejs Rauhvargers, Chair of the Stocktaking Working Group, Latvia

Source: Bergen to London 2007 - Secretariat Report on the Bologna Work Programme 2005-2007
Bologna Process between Bergen and London

Outline of the 2007 stocktaking report

This report on the Bologna Process stocktaking was prepared for the London Ministerial meeting in May 2007. The report has three parts.

  • Part 1 explains the background to the 2007 stocktaking exercise, linking it to the findings of the 2005 stocktaking report and to the Bergen Communiqué. It also describes the methodology that was used in the 2007 stocktaking.
  • Part 2 includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of the stocktaking results.
  • Part 3 draws conclusions about progress towards achieving the goals that were set by the Ministers in Bergen and makes recommendations for the future based on the analysis of the 2007 stocktaking results.

There are three main findings from the 2007 stocktaking:

  1. There has been good progress in the Bologna Process since Bergen.
  2. The outlook for achieving the goals of the Bologna Process by 2010 is good, but there are still some challenges to be faced.
  3. Stocktaking works well as an integral part of the Bologna Process strategy.

Bologna Process Stocktaking London 2007

Terms of reference

In order to realise the objectives set by the Ministers, the Working Group shall:

  1. Identify the key issues to be addressed through the stocktaking exercise as well as the methodology to be used in this exercise; 
  2. Collaborate with partner and other organisations in order to maximise the use of data sources;
  3. Define, where appropriate, the structure of a separate questionnaire to be used in the stocktaking should this be required;
  4. Prepare a structure for the national contributions to the stocktaking to be submitted by member States; and
  5. Prepare a report for approval by the BFUG in advance of the London Conference in 2007.

The Working Group will be supported in its task by the Secretariat, and shall draw on expertise as it considers appropriate.

The Group shall submit reports to the BFUG, and shall make its draft reports and other relevant documents accessible for all BFUG members on the web.

EUA shall participate in the work for stocktaking through delegating an expert.

The working group can decide to select more organizations to participate as experts in its meetings.

Published: 18/05/2007 - Last modified: 06/09/2016
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Prof Andrejs Rauhvargers (Latvia)

Marie-Anne Persoons (Belgium - Flemish Community)
Heli Aru (Estonia)
Uta Grund (Germany)
Foteini Asderaki (Greece)
Sverre Rustad (Norway)
Camelia Sturza (Romania, replaced Prof Vasile Isan) Darinka Vrecko (Slovenia)
Prof Aybar Ertepinar (Turkey)
David Crosier (European University Association) Stéphanie Oberheidt (Eurydice European Unit) Ann McVie (Bologna Secretariat)

Expert appointed to assist working group
Cynthia Deane (Options Consulting)


The work on the 2007 Bologna Process stocktaking was supported by the European Commission, both through the Socrates Programme and by facilitating analysis of data from the ‘non-Socrates’ countries by Eurydice European Unit. The Working Group would like to thank Eurydice and the European University Association (EUA) for supporting their representatives’ participation in the Working Group. This ensured that the stocktaking was informed by the results of Eurydice Focus on the Structure of Higher Education in Europe and the EUA Trends V studies. We also thank the Council of Europe for its generous support.