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On the road towards a European Degree – ongoing feasibility assessment

Shortly before the summer break, the PPMI consultancy organised on behalf of the European Commission a workshop on the concept, nature and value-added of a European Degree. This workshop opened a series of discussions on the feasibility of the so-called European Degree, as underpinned by the December 2017 and May 2021 Council Conclusions.  

The ongoing feasibility study, which is coordinated by the PPMI consultancy and involves a number of European experts in joint programmes, quality assurance and accreditation, will consist of a series of stakeholder workshops, surveys, and interviews, and is driven by the Commission’s wish to push forward developments in removing the remaining obstacles to the award of transnational degrees and to create a globally-recognised degree, as a synonym of excellence and a transdisciplinary approach to tackling social challenges. The feasibility study is striving to offer responses to various questions arising in this context, such as  

  • What should be the characteristics of the European Degree? 
  • How could this be linked to Bologna tools? 
  • What are different possible scenarios? (e.g. a quality label, a new qualification for joint degrees, a degree delivered by a new EU body, etc.). 

ACA actively participated in the stakeholder consultations over summer, welcoming the efforts to remove the very real obstacles to international strategic collaboration in the joint provision of education and feeding its input in these strategic and practical discussions.  

From ACA’s perspective, for this concept to begin to crystallise, it is essential to be able to define the potential benefits and added value of the European Degree in comparison to already existing degrees and quality labels (e.g. the CeQuInt – Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation – label, awarded by the European Consortium for Accreditation, the European Institute of Innovation and technology – EIT label, the Erasmus Mundus joint degrees, the degrees awarded by the European institutions such as the College of Europe or the European University Institute, etc.) and not in its own. It is also essential to better understand if there is a real need for this degree from an ‘end user’ perspective – students and employers. Finally, one of the main questions remains if such an upgrade is feasible, given the past experience in facing the challenges related to the practical award of such degrees collaboratively and internationally.