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Germany: the long road to Bologna

Germany’s long transition to the Bologna degree structure finally seems to be drawing to a close. The country had already started to introduce Bachelor and Master degrees before the Bologna Declaration – at first on a trial basis. But it did not abolish the old degrees, thus creating two degree structures.

The country’s rectors’ conference, the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK), recently reported that 82% of all programmes on offer at German universities and colleges now lead to a Bologna degree (data from autumn 2010). In terms of enrolment, the picture is different. Slightly more than half of all students (53%) are now enrolled in Bachelor or Master programmes, and only 30% of graduates earned a Bologna degree. But enrolment in the “Bologna degree” programmes amongst new entrants is high, with over three quarters in a Bachelor or Master programme. In a few years, this will be have a significant effect on total enrolment and graduations, too. After almost one and a half decades, Germany is getting there.

German Rectors’ Conference