The Bologna Declaration is a pledge by 29 countries to reform the structure of higher education systems in a coordinated manner, which makes it a key document in the development of higher education in Europe.


In 1999 it was signed by 29 countries that committed themselves to achieving the objectives of the Declaration and coordinating its policies.Bologna acts as a quality assurance system for universities and colleges throughout Europe. A key element of the European Higher Education Area, it is a foundation that helps educational institutions to strengthen the competitiveness and the attractiveness of their academic offerings while allowing them to continue to supply the same academic and professional guarantees. Planned by the government and built from the ground up by the protagonists of the educational community, quality is the backbone of this new European university edifice. This system guarantees citizens an extensive catalogue of accredited qualifications that have been approved and registered with objective and transparent criteria.


What is the European Higher Education Area?

Following the Bologna Declaration, a European Higher Education Area was created with the goal of promoting mobility and increasing job opportunities for European citizens.


What is an ECTS credit?

The ECTS is the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System that makes curricula across Europe more transparent and facilitates the recognition and validation of studies. The ECTS thus allows universities and colleges to more easily understand each other when handling transcripts of international students. Each ECTS credit is equivalent to 25 hours, of which (as a rule) approximately 50% correspond to classes and 50% to an independent study conducted by the student.


How is this new education system structured?

The new structure of university education is completely different from before. In the place of a 2-cycle system that includeddiplomatura and llicenciatura (combined BA and MA) degrees, today it is a 3-cycle system is based on 4-year grau (bachelor’s) degrees, followed by master’s and PhD degrees.


What are the branches of knowledge?

The new degrees are associated with one of the five branches of knowledge (Sciences, Health Sciences, Engineering and Architecture, Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Law). Each Grau (bachelor’s) degree must contain a certain number of credits dedicated to general studies and a certain number of credits dedicated to specific training in that degree’s particular branch of knowledge.


What is the European Diploma Supplement?

The European Diploma Supplement (DS) is a document that accompanies a higher education diploma, customized for each student, which is used to provide more information about each academic degree program. It is especially necessary for completing studies abroad. As stated in the European Commission document:


“The purpose of the supplement is to provide sufficient independent data to improve the international ‘transparency’ and fair academic and professional recognition of qualifications (diplomas, degrees, certificates etc.). It is designed to provide a description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies that were pursued and successfully completed by the individual named on the original qualification to which this supplement is appended.”


What are the admission requirements for master’s or doctoral programs?

To be eligible for a master’s program students must already have a bachelor’s degree, and to get into a doctoral program students must already have a master’s degree or have completed 60 ECTS of any Official Post-Graduate Program.

What do you need to know about the Bologna Process?