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New Zealand seeks to leverage Bologna

New Zealand higher education strives to leverage advantage from its compatibility with the Bologna Process” - such was the message from a recent Bologna Day seminar held in the country’s capital, Wellington. The seminar is the second of its kind, led by the New Zealand Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, involving key stakeholders within the New Zealand tertiary education sector. “Speakers highlighted shared approaches taken by New Zealand and Europe to similar issues in higher education. They also confirmed the extent to which the New Zealand system currently accords with the Bologna Process”, said New Zealand’s Education Counsellor for Europe, Frances Kelly. Participants were interested in enhanced compatibility with Bologna to support the mobility of students, academics and graduates, and the development of international linkages between European and New Zealand higher education institutions.

“New Zealand is already well placed for Bologna compatibility. Its three-level degree structure, its Register of Quality-Assured Qualifications, the quality assurance standards, efforts at increasing participation in higher education, and policies that promote institutional autonomy all align closely with the key elements of the Bologna Process”, said Ms Kelly. In the past, New Zealand has made significant moves to engage further with the Bologna Process:

  • accession to the Lisbon Qualification Recognition Convention;
  • investigating the introduction of a Diploma Supplement; and
  • verifying the comparability of Ireland’s National Qualifications Framework and New Zealand’s Register of Quality Assured Qualifications.

With New Zealand using Bologna to meet its domestic needs and to leverage off components of the process to develop its own domestic practices and processes, new light is shed on the external dimension if the Bologna Process well beyond 2010.

New Zealand Ministry of Education