Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Bologna implementation in Germany: Progress on all fronts

A few months ahead of the ministerial conference and Bologna policy forum to be held in April in Bucharest, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) presented a new report taking stock of the implementation progress of the Bologna process in Germany in 2009-2012. This 27-page document was prepared for the Bundestag (the German national parliament) by the federal government and the Kultusministerkonferenz (the Conference of State Ministers of Cultural Affairs). The preparation of the report was also supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the accreditation council, the student union and other higher education stakeholders.  The report covers all major aspects of higher education that are captured in the Bologna framework, inventorying the state of the degree structure reform, access to higher education, employability of graduates, quality assurance, national qualification framework, recognition of qualification, lifelong learning, academic mobility and the social dimension. The text describes the overall implementation progress as “good” and highlights the achievements across all dimensions of the Bologna process. For example, by winter semester 2011/12, 85% of some 15 000 degree courses in Germany have been transformed into the new Bachelor and Master programmes, compared to 75% in 2009; and the number of freshmen increased by 22% between 2009 and 2011. 
With regard to academic mobility, the document reconfirms the country’s ambitious target, which sets out that by 2020 a minimum 50% of graduates have to obtain some study-related experience abroad (internship or a language course), while 20% have to study at least one semester abroad. Meanwhile, the following mobility-related progress was made in 2009-2012: 
  • every third graduate studied abroad for a certain period, and more than a quarter of these were abroad for more than three months; 
  • the number of students whose study abroad was funded with Bafög assistance increased fourfold; 
  • the number of German students participating in the Erasmus programme almost doubled; and 
  • the share of foreign students in the total student body in Germany now amounts to 11%.
Finally, the report addresses specific challenges that arise within the broad themes of quality assurance, the social dimension, diversity and employability of the student body, internationalisation, etc. and outlines areas of future work. BMBF (in German) Bologna implementation report (in German)