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

Working Group on the External Dimension of the Bologna Process

Elaborate and agree on a strategy for the external dimension.
Bologna Process External Dimension report cover London 2007

The Bologna ministers stated in the Bergen Communiqué in 2005 that the European Higher Education Area should be open and attractive to other parts of the world. In order to share experiences with non-European countries within a satisfactory framework, they asked the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) to develop a strategy on the so-called "external dimension" of the Bologna Process.
A BFUG Working Group with representatives from 11 Bologna states and 8 organisations was set up to prepare a strategy document to the BFUG. The BFUG Working Group is chaired by Norway.

Content for Bologna Expert - 18/05/2007
Partagez !

Key outcomes from the Working Group on the External Dimension of the Bologna Process

The BFUG Working Group on the External Dimension was approved by the BFUG in November 2005, chaired by Norway, and was composed of BFUG representatives from eleven countries and eight consultative members.

The Working Group has arranged six meetings and corresponded extensively by e-mail. In addition to this, the use of several subgroups has been of the utmost importance in producing the necessary background documents and proposals for discussion in the group. Working Group members have also participated actively in the three seminars on the external dimension of the Bologna Process arranged during 2006 in the Vatican City, Athens and Oslo. The outcome of the BFUG Working Group is a proposal for a strategy on the Bologna Process in a global setting as well as a proposal for a text for the London Communiqué on this issue.

The whole project has been followed by a rapporteur, Professor Pavel Zgaga from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He has actively contributed to the Working Group meetings and correspondence as well as simultaneously producing documents for the group. Professor Zgaga’s own analyses and reflections, as well as an introduction to the significant historical background of the Bologna Process has been published in a report under the auspices of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Toril Johansson, Chair of the Working Group, Norway

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

Looking out: The Bologna Process in a Global Setting

Looking out: The Bologna Process in a Global Setting - London 2007

This report concerns the elaboration of a strategy for the external dimension as called for by ministers in the Bergen Communiqué (2005). The report is organised in four chapters that cover:

  1. Introduction – the mandate to elaborate a strategy on the external dimension and the composition of the Working Group;
  2. The “External Dimension”: what is this? – roots and historical perspective of the concept, the issue of extending the Process to other parts of the world and the agendas of the “external dimension”;
  3. The “External Dimension”: Echoes of the Bologna Process from world regions – the nature of echoes; echoes from different world regions and their messages;
  4. Conclusions – why does the “external dimension” matter, findings from the three Bologna seminars, elements of the External Dimension Strategy.

There are also three annexes with related documents and an extended bibliography, including a list of Bologna, EU and other related international documents as well as Internet links used or referred to in the text.

Recommandations from the Bologna Official Seminars on the "External Dimension"

Vatican seminar (Vatican City, 30 March – 1 April 2006)
The Cultural Heritage and Academic Values of the European University and the Attractiveness of the Higher Education Area
From Archbishop J. Michael Miller’s Summary and Synthesis of the seminar; Synod Hall, Vatican, 1 April 2006 Bologna Seminar on Academic Values Vatican 2006 - Final report

Athens seminar (Athens, 24-26 June 2006)
Putting European Higher Education Area on the Map: Developing Strategies for Attractiveness
From Pavel Zgaga’s Report on the seminar; Athens, 26 June 2006 Bologna Seminar on Strategies for Attractiveness Athens 2006 - Final report

Oslo seminar (Oslo, 28-29 September 2006)
“Looking out! Bologna in a global setting”
The external dimension of the Bologna Process Conclusions and recommendations by Pavel Zgaga Looking out: The Bologna Process in a Global Setting - London 2007
Oslo, 29 September 2006

Terms of reference

The terms of reference submitted (BFUG7 5d) at the BFUG Meeting in Manchester, October 2005, have been revised in November 2005.

The Working Group is responsible for developing a strategy document on the external dimension of the Bologna Process. Three seminars will be arranged during 2006 in order to give significant input to their work:

  1. A seminar in April 2006 with focus on attractiveness of the EHEA, based on European cultural and historical identity and academic values, hosted by the Holy See
  2. A seminar in June 2006 with focus on information about how the Bologna process operates and what has been achieved so far, the links and interaction with other areas of the world, hosted by Greece
  3. A seminar in September 2006, discussing the draft report, with emphasis on areas that has not been focused on in the previous seminars, e.g. competitiveness and capacity building. The seminar is hosted by the Nordic countries.

An expert will, in collaboration with the Working Group, prepare a report to the Nordic seminar in September. This report will be available to seminar participants and BFUG in August 2006 at the latest.

Together with the outcomes from the three seminars, the report will found the basis for the strategy work of the Working Group.

The Working Group will report regularly to BFUG. Before it finalises its work, a draft strategy document shall be discussed in a full BFUG-meeting.

Published: 18/05/2007 - Last modified: 01/06/2016
Partagez !


The Working Group was composed of BFUG-representatives from 11 countries:
Norway, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, The Holy See, Malta, Portugal, Spain and Sweden
as well as of 7 consultative members:
Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), Council of Europe (CoE), Education International (EI), National Unions of Students in Europe (ESIB), European Commission (EC), European University Association (EUA) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO- CEPES).
The Working Group was later extended to include a member from the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).

EHEA in a Global Setting

At the Ministerial conference in May 2007 in London, Ministers adopted the strategy "The European Higher Education Area in a Global Setting", encompassing the following priorities:

  • improving information on the European Higher Education Area,
  • promoting European Higher Education to enhance its world-wide attractiveness and competitiveness,
  • intensifying policy dialogue,
  • strengthening cooperation based on partnership and
  • furthering the recognition of qualifications.

Strategy for EHEA in a global setting

International Cooperation

Towards Harmonization of the Higher Education System in Europe: Achievements and difficulties of the Bologna Agreement, Mexico City, December 5-6, 2005.

The event was hosted by the Mexican Ministry of Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública) and the European Presidency (British Council) and was mainly designed to provide representatives of Mexican higher education institutions and the ministry with first-hand information on the implementation of the Bologna objectives in Europe.

BFUG8_4e(i) WG External dimension - Mexico conference