By joining the EABHES Community, educational institutions can guarantee:
- enhanced international recruitment and reputation, due to their participation in the Bologna Process and compliance
with European standards,
- competitive graduate employment rates due to the international recognition of their programmes,
- quality assurance of academic programmes and school management due to EABHES auditing and supervision services for Accreditation,
- stability and sustainable development derived from the solid operational framework that is created based on the holistic and collaborative approach of EABHES Accreditation,
- student mobility due to to international recognition of ECTS credits, and
- contribution to pedagogical innovation and academic excellence through the EABHES Community, the place to share best practices and facilitate international dialogue in education.
1.2 THE BOLOGNA PROCESS, EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA (EHEA) AND THE ECTS SYSTEM
During the last decades of the 20th century, Europe saw a rapid increase of student mobility demand as a result of the launching and popularisation of the Erasmus Programme. Individual institutions faced numerous obstacles to successfully facilitate mobility because of the differences between academic traditions and study plans of the organisations and countries involved. As a response, European governments and higher education institutions got together to conceptualise a series of educational structural reforms in order to increase cooperation and facilitate student mobility and mutual recognition of study programmes. These reforms were initiated in the Bologna Declaration signed in 1999 and materialised in the Bologna Process. The main objectives of the Bologna Process are:
- promotion of student mobility,
- enhancement of graduate employability, and
- enhancement of the European higher education system competitiveness through cooperation.
As a result of this collaboration, in 2010, the 48 signee states and the European Commission launched the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), the decision-making space for the Bologna Process action lines. All EHEA participants agree and commit to:
- implement a common three-cycle higher education system (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies);
- ensure mutual recognition of study programs through a common credit system (ECTS);
- cooperate to guarantee quality assurance.
In order to harmonise the different higher education systems and to facilitate the implementation of the three-cycle system, the European Qualifications Framework of EHEA (QF-EHEA) was introduced. The QF-EHEA establishes the certificate and diploma recognitions obtained for the different learning levels associated with the 3 cycles. It is an overarching framework that links the qualifications frameworks of different European countries with the goal of making qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems (1).