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Hamburg, 17 October 2004

Opening up to the wider world. The external dimension of the Bologna Process


In collaboration with the University of Hamburg

The Academic Cooperation Association organised the two-day conference “Opening up to the Wider World: The External Dimension of the Bologna Process”, on 18 and 19 October 2004 at the University of Hamburg, in Germany. The conference hosted ca. 200 participants: representatives from higher education institutions, national rectors’ conferences; national/regional governments and European institutions; European and international intergovernmental organisations and higher education associations.

The conference reviewed the core elements of the Bologna reforms (BMD-structure, ECTS, QA, etc.), guided by the overarching question in which way exactly these reforms would help to improve the reputation and attractiveness of European higher education in the world. In a second step, the conference looked at additional measures, e.g. European-level information and marketing measures in non-European countries, the creation of more internationally attractive programmes, ways to increase mobility into Europe, and the “export” of European higher education “products”. Finally, it took up points raised in the Prague and Berlin Communiqués, such as the role of a common framework of qualifications. “Regional sessions” with experts from non-European countries clarified the impact of the Bologna reforms in other world regions.

This conference was funded with support from the the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The website reflects the views only of the organisers, and the European Commission or the BMBF cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


Sunday, 17 October 2004



City and harbour tour


Registration of participants


Welcome reception and speech by Roland Salchow, State Secretary of the Hamburg, Ministry of Science and Research
Venue: Hamburg Town Hall (Rathaus)

Monday 18 October



Registration and coffee


Short welcome addresses
Jürgen Lüthje, President of the University of Hamburg
Bernd Wächter, Director of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA) 


Keynote speech
Europe on a higher education world map: Is the sleeping beauty waking up?
Peter Scott, President of the Academic Cooperation Association and Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University, England  


Coffee break  

Chair first block
Bernd Wächter, Director of the Academic Cooperation Association


Plenary session
Trends in the building of the European Higher Education Area in a global context
Christian Tauch
, German Rectors’ Conference (HRK)


Plenary session
Quality assurance and accreditation: Confidence-building or multiplication of national, European and global agencies?
Angelika Schade, German Accreditation Council (DAR)

…but how to select the best quality students from a global pool? The growing importance of quality-oriented admission procedures
Jochen Hellmann, University of Hamburg




Plenary session
The three cycle structure, a global reference? Recognition of Bologna degrees beyond the borders of the EHEA
Sjur Bergan
, Council of Europe 


Parallel regional sessionsBologna as a model and cooperation tool for other world regions?


Latin America between the US and Europe: does Bologna open new perspectives?
ChairMaria Esmeralda Almeida-Teixeira, European Commission, tbc.
Salvador Malo, CENEVAL, Mexico


Asia: From importers of education to partners in cooperation?
PresenterKB Powar, Amity Foundation for Higher Learning (former Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities), India


Africa, the forgotten Continent?
ChairUlf Lie, Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU)
Biodun Adediran, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Nigeria


Coffee brea


Round table discussion
How readable is Europe? European and non-European views on the EHEA and the Bologna reforms

ChairUlrich Teichler, University of Kassel, Germany
PanelistsPeter van der Hijden, European CommissionSalvador Malo, CENEVAL, Mexico,
KB Powar, Amity Foundation for Higher Learning, India, Catharine Stimpson, New York University, USA 


End of first conference day 


Conference dinner
Venue: Restaurant Hotel Hafen Hamburg

Tuesday 19 October


Chair second block
Rolf Hoffmann,
Executive Director of the German Fulbright Commission


Plenary session
Marketing Europe – but which Europe? Experience from national marketing campaigns and visions for joint European marketing initiatives
Christian Bode, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)


Plenary session
egional Session: Flexing Muscles? Europe and its competitors USA/Australia

Catharine Stimpson, New York University, USA
Volker Gehmlich, Fachhochschule Osnabrück
Karel Reus, Monash University, Australia


Coffee break 


Parallel workshops


Workshop I
What statistics tell us: mobility flows into Europe
ChairBernd Wächter, ACA

PresenterUlrich Teichler, University of Kassel


Workshop II
Scholarship programmes: are European, national and institutional initiatives enhancing Europe’s attractiveness?
ChairHanneke TeekensNuffic, the Netherlands

PresenterAurora Iglesias, European Commission


Workshop III
Bridges between continents: joint degrees and Bologna structures
ChairVolker Gehmlich, Fachhochschule Osnabrück

PresenterKate Geddie, European University Association



Chair third block
Antoinette Charon, President of the European Association for International Education (EAIE)


Plenary session
Foreign policy and the migration of the highly skilled: the concept of knowledge workers
Pieter van Dijk
The Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic)


Closing speech
Towards a global qualification framework? Bologna as a model for global cooperation in higher education
Peter van der HijdenDeputy Head of Unit for Higher Education for Education, European Commission 


Farewell and final remarks
Bernd Wächter, Director of ACA 


End of conference


Biodun Adediran

Biodun Adediran is Professor of African History and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria. He is also the Director of the University’s Division of Linkages and Sponsored Research.

Before his present appointment, Professor Adediran was at Ife Director of the Institute of Cultural Studies, Member of the Postgraduate Academic Board and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. He was a member of Nigeria’s National Commission for UNESCO and at various times Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, USA and the African Studies Center of the Univerity of Bayreuth, Germany. Professor Adediran has extensive experience in higher education management and has served on several academic accreditation boards in Nigeria. In 2003, he served at the instance of DAAD on an evaluation Mission on higher education in Eastern Africa.

Maria Esmeralda Almeida Teixeira

Maria Esmeralda Almeida Teixeira is principal administrator at the Directorate General EuropeAid of European Commission. She is in charge of the regional programmes for Latin America in the field of Higher Education, namely the Programmes ALFA and AlBan, and has been in this position since 2001.

Ms Maria Esmeralda Almeida-Teixeira graduated from the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, in the area of Chemical Engineering. She holds a Master Degree from the University of London, Imperial College of Science and Medicine in the area of Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics as well as a Doctorate Degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, in the area of Ecological Physics. After having worked as a University Professor, she joined the European Commission in 1987. As an official of the European Commission, she has contributed to the implementation of the Research and Technology Development Framework Programme and to the implementation of the European Environmental Policy. She has been responsible for the Erasmus Thematic Networks in the Directorate-General Education and Culture.

Sjur Bergan

Sjur Bergan is Head of the Department of Higher Education and History Teaching at the Council of Europe (Directorate of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education Directorate General IV – Education, Culture and Cultural Heritage, Youth and Sport).

He joined the Council of Europe in 1991 and has since been involved in most of the Council’s higher education activities, amongst other functions as secretary to the Steering Committee for Higher Education and Research (CDESR) and Council of Europe representative on the Bologna Follow Up and Preparatory Groups. He is responsible for the Council’s activities on recognition and mobility, including the establishment of a joint programme with UNESCO in this area, Co-Secretary of the ENIC Network. Before joining the Council of Europe, Sjur Bergan worked in the administration of the University of Oslo from 1983 until 1991. Sjur Bergan is the editor of Recognition Issues in the Bologna Process (2003) and, with Nuria Sanz, of The Heritage of European Universities (2002).

Christian Bode

Christian Bode is the Secretary General of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). (DAAD is the largest scholarship organisation globally, with more than 200 programmes out of and into Germany, and over 60,000 scholarships per year. It also runs many initiatives to internationalise German higher education, and to increase its global attractiveness).

Christian Bode was educated in law, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Bonn in 1971. Between 1972 and 1982 he held different senior positions in the Federal Ministry of Education and Science. From 1982 until 1990 he was the Secretary General of the German Rectors’ Conference (at the time: Westdeutsche Rektorenkonferenz). Christian Bode is one of the founders of the Academic Cooperation Association, of which he was a Vice-President twice. He was awarded numerous honorary doctorates, for example from the University of Birmingham and the Technical University of Mongolia. He also holds the French title of a Chevalier de l’ Ordre National du Mérite.

Antoinette Charon Waulters

Antoinette Charon-Waulters is in charge of international relations, student affairs and Bologna reforms at the University of Lausanne. Since September 2004, she is President of the European Association for International Education (EAIE). Prior to this appointment, she was EAIE Vice-President for a two-year period.

Antoinette Charon was born and educated in Brussels. She worked as an assistant in Archaeology at the University of Lausanne and became scientific collaborator for the Swiss Archaeology School in Greece in 1978. In 1991, she was fully employed to deal with the international relations of the University of Lausanne, and she has been in charge of student affairs from 2000 onwards. She has worked as a European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) counsellor for the European Commission and the Federal Office for Education and Science (OFES)

Kate Geddie

Kate Geddie is programme officer at the European University Association, working mainly on joint degrees programmes and the EUA joint Masters projects. She joined EUA’s Brussels Office in the autumn 2002, in the framework of a partnership agreement with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). She has stayed on since this experience, becoming a permanent member of staff.

Originally from the Niagara region, she studied Economic Geography at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, and later at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver where she specialized in urban integration issues of highly skilled international migrants. Exchange programmes also enabled her to study in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and Liège, Belgium and gave her a first experience of the benefits of international university cooperation.

Volker Gehmlich

Since 1972, Volker Gehmlich is Professor of Business Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück, Germany. He is course director of undergraduate and postgraduate double degree programmes. He is also the major initiator of the restructuring of the faculty and the whole institution in terms of modularisation and introduction of a credit based system that is coherent with ECTS.

Volker Gehmlich has been involved in EU-programmes since 1978, and for various functions: project co-ordinator, assessor of project applications (e.g. EU-US/ EU-CND), contributor to the design of new initiatives, evaluator and trainer of assessors, EU-expert. He is also active in the Tuning Project, and the author of various publications on the internationalisation of organisations, skill needs, and credit systems in particular.

Jochen Hellmann

Jochen Hellmann is Head of the International Department at the University of Hamburg, a post he has held since 2001. He was educated at the University of Hamburg in Arts in Romance and German Languages and Literature, where he was awarded a PhD in 1991. His main fields of studies are international comparison of university systems, stressing on the European dimension, mobility, university reforms and modernisation of university administration, as well as the introduction of the bachelor master system.

Jochen Hellmann was Department Head for the promotion of ‘Germany as a destination for research and studying’ at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from 1998 to 2001 and Senior Officer for Research Promotion and European mobility programmes in Hamburg from 1993 to 1998). Prior to this, he was officer at the European Liaison Bureau at the University of Hanover and worked as a lecturer for German Language and Literature at Sorbonne University in Paris.

Rolf Hoffmann

Rolf Hoffmann is Executive Director of the German-American Fulbright Commission in Berlin. He has been in this position since 2004.

Born in Cologne, Germany, Rolf Hoffmann studied biological sciences at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA, and the University of Tübingen in Germany where he was awarded a doctoral degree in 1983. After two years as an assistant professor in zoology at the University of Karlsruhe he joined the policy division of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn and later became Deputy Director of their selection division and the Feodor-Lynen Program. In 1990, he joined the newly created German Space Agency (DARA) as head of the international science and business relations policy office. Since 1991 he worked mainly for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in Bonn, first as Programme Director (for North American and European programs), then as Director of the DAAD North America office in New York, with an interim (1999-2000) as Director of the German-American Academic Council in Bonn and Washington, D.C.

In 2001, Rolf Hoffmann was appointed Director of DAAD’s new International Marketing Initiative, which combines GATE-Germany (the German Higher Education Institution’s marketing consortium) and the official Secretariat of the German Government’s Joint Initiative for the International Promotion of Study and Research in Germany.

Aurora Iglesias Ortego

Aurora Iglesias Ortego is programme manager at the European Commission, where she is in charge of the Erasmus Mundus Programme. She has been working at DG Education and Culture since 2002, first at the School Education Unit (Socrates Comenius). She joined the unit in charge of the Erasmus Mundus programme in September. Aurora Iglesias was born in Madrid, where she was educated and later on worked as a secondary school teacher and principal. During her studies, she worked as a teacher in secondary schools in the UK and Germany.

In 1991, the Spanish Ministry of Education sent her to Leipzig to coordinate the teaching of Spanish as a second language in secondary education. She also held lectures and seminars on Spanish Language, Spanish literature and Civilisation in the framework of initial and in-service teacher training programmes at the University of Leipzig.

In 1996, she started working as a translator in the common services of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.

Ulf Lie

Ulf Lie has recently become a Senior Advisor of Norway’s Centre for International University Cooperation in Bergen, after having created this organisation and been its Director until last summer.

Earlier on, he was the Director of the Bergen Student Welfare Organisation and the Chairman the Norwegian Student Welfare Organisations. In a different career, he was a Professor of American Literature at Bergen University, and a Vice-Dean. He held a research fellowship from ACLS to SUNY at Buffalo and published books and articles on poetry, art and literature, discourse analysis and language competence in industry. His recent publications focus on internationalisation, commercialisation, and globalisation of higher education. Ulf Lie also has a distinguished track record in educational development cooperation, in which field he championed many successful projects.

Jürgen Lüthje

Jürgen Lüthje is the President of the University of Hamburg, and has been in this position since 1991.

He was born in Dievenow, Germany, and studied law in Berlin and Bonn. He was a member of the academic staff at Bochum University and worked for the Bundeswissen-schaftsministerium (Federal Ministry of Science), mainly on the first Framework Act for Higher Education. In addition to numerous other publications, he co-authored the Beck Commentary on the Framework Act for Higher Education. He has participated as an expert in numerous hearings for federal and state parliament committees and has offered expert opinions in the proceedings of the Federal Constitutional Court.

Salvador Malo

Salvador Malo is General Director of the National Evaluation Centre for Higher Education (CENEVAL), Mexico’s Centre for the Assessment of Higher Education.

With a degree in physics from the Universidad Nacional de México (UNAM) and a doctorate in physics from Imperial College at the University of London, he first worked at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. After that, he held several positions at Mexico’s Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo (an oil industry-related technical and research center), including Vice-President of Research. He later joined the Mexican Department of Education and initiated several programs to promote development of the sciences in Mexican state universities. His past positions at UNAM include Vice-President for Planning, professor in the School of Sciences and UNAM’s Center for University Studies, as well as Secretary General and Vice-President of Administration. In addition to his duties in these positions, he has been actively involved in international activities. He was a member of the Mexican Task Force Group for Collaboration in Higher Education in North America, and he is a member of the board of the Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration.

Krishnapratap B. Powar

Krishnapratap B. Powar is Founder Director of the Amity Foundation for Higher Learning. From 1993 to 2002, he was Secretary General of the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi. For the last eighteen years Prof. Powar has been an educational administrator, and has made significant contributions to research and policy planning in higher education. He has published in this field fifty papers and is the author of four books including Internationalisation of Higher Education: Focus on India (2003). He has edited fifteen volumes dealing with different aspects of higher education the last being Private Initiatives in Higher Education (2004).

Professor Powar is also a well-known earth scientist who has made important contributions to Himalayan Geology and Environmental Geology. He has been a past Sectional President of the Indian Science Congress and the past Vice-President of the Maharashtra Academy of Science. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India.

Karel Reus

Karel Reus is Manager for International Cooperation in Monash University (Australia). Joining Monash University in 1993 as a senior administrator, Karel took over the budding student exchange program and built that up into the Monash Abroad program. For three years Karel also worked as a manager in the international marketing program at Monash University, with particular responsibilities for Europe, The United States and Indonesia. During 2001-2002 Karel was the manager of the Monash University Centre in London.

Before he joined Monash University, Karel Reus worked as a freelance consultant from 1987 to 1993. During this period, he worked on projects for the Victorian Education Department, the University of Melbourne and liberal arts colleges in the United States. Prior to this, Karel lectured Sociology of Education at the University of Melbourne, and Sociology of Religion at Melbourne’s United Faculty of Theology over a period of eighteen years, and supervised the teacher-training programme at Melbourne University.

Angelika Schade

Angelika Schade is Managing Director of the German Accreditation Council (DAR), and has been in this position since 2001.

She studied Law and Sociology in Münster and Bremen (Germany), as well in Lausanne (Switzerland) and Oñati (Spain). She earned her doctoral degree in 1991 at the University of Bremen, where she worked from 1986 until 1992 as a researcher. After that, she worked for the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) in Frankfurt until 1999. During this time, she also spent nine month as a researcher at the European unit of Eurydice, the information network on education in Europe, in Brussels. From 1999 until 2001, she was head of the accreditation unit at the Central Evaluation and Accreditation Agency (ZEvA) in Hanover.

Peter Scott

Peter Scott is Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University and President of the Academic Cooperation Association. Prior to this he was Pro Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs at the University of Leeds, as well as a Professor of Education and the Director of the Centre for Policy Studies in Education. Before going to Leeds in 1992, he was for sixteen years Editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Peter Scott was educated at the University of Oxford and at the University of California at Berkeley. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Bath, UMIST, the (former) Council for National Academic Awards, Anglia Polytechnic University and Grand Valley State University. He is also a Member of the Academia Europea and of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences.

His research interests are the governance and management of universities and colleges, non-standard access to higher education and the links between further and higher education. Among his publications are The Meanings of Mass Higher Education (1995), Governing Universities (1996), The Globalization of Higher Education (1998) and Higher Education Re-formed (2000), University Leadership: The Role of the Chief Executive (2000), Ten Years On: Higher Education in Central and Eastern Europe (2000) and Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge Production in an Age of Uncertainties (2001).

Catharine Stimpson

Catharine R. Stimpson is Dean of New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science and a University Professor.

Catharine Stimpson was director of the MacArthur Foundation Fellows Program from 1994 to 1997. She has also served as University Professor at Rutgers, where, from 1986 she was Dean of the graduate school and vice provost for graduate education from 1986 to 1992. She is a former chair of the New York State Humanities Council and the National Council for Research on Women, and president of the Modern Language Association. Her many publications include the book Where the Meanings Are: Feminism and Cultural Spaces and the Library of America’s Gertrude Stein: Writings 1903-1932. Educated at Bryn Mawr College, Cambridge University, and Columbia University, she holds honorary degrees from several universities and colleges, including Uppsala, Bates, Hamilton, and the University of Arizona, and has been awarded a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship.

Christian Tauch

Christian Tauch is Head of the International Department of the Germand Rector’s Conference (HRK), a post he has held since 1995.

He is one of the authors of the Trends report on the progress towards the European Higher Education Area, a series of biannual reports produced for Ministerial conferences of the Bologna Process, which maps out the Bologna implementation in each country. He also supported the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in preparing the Berlin Conference of European Ministers of Higher Education in September 2003.

Christian Tauch was born in Tettnang, Germany. He studied history, international relations and literature at the University of Konstanz (Germany) and the University of Massachusetts (US), and taught German language and History at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland). From 1988 to 1991, he was a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence/Italy. Prior to his current position, he was head of the international office at the Technical University of Dresden.

Hanneke Teekens

Hanneke Teekens is presently Director of the Department for International Academic Relations at Nuffic, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education. In this capacity she also heads the Dutch Socrates National Agency.

Hanneke Teekens has an extensive experience of more than 30 years as an educationalist, especially within an international context. She has worked in educational cooperation and assistance programmes, EU programmes and in the field of education management, teacher education and professional training. She has worked as a consultant and manager, often in a co-ordinating role, for the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of programmes and projects in different types and levels of education. She participated in the monitoring of programmes and projects. She conducts international courses in the capacity of course leader on various aspects of international education and intercultural studies. She has experience as a researcher and organiser of international symposia and conferences on education.

Ulrich Teichler

Ulrich Teichler is a professor at the University of Kassel and the Director of its Centre for Research on Higher Education and Work (since 1978). He was a Vice-President of the University of Kassel (1980-82) and he acted as an OECD reviewer of education policies in several countries. Next to EU and internationalisation, his research focused on admission to higher education, international academic recognition, academic staff, implementation of higher education reforms, evaluation in higher education, curricula in higher education, education and social selection, and adult education. Professor Teichler is a member of Academia Europea and a member of the Board of the International Academy of Education. He has been the president or chair of many international research networks. He also received the Research Award of the Council on International Educational Exchange (1997) and the Comenius Prize of UNESCO (1998).

Peter van der Hijden

Peter van der Hijden is Deputy Head of the Higher Education Unit of DG Education and Culture of the European Commission. The Unit is responsible for Socrates-Erasmus and Jean Monnet. Mr. van der Hijden coordinates the EU contribution to the Bologna process, in particular as regards quality assurance, credit transfer (ECTS) and joint degrees.

Peter van der Hijden was born in Sittard in the Netherlands. He studied Law at the Universities of Nijmegen, Leiden and Maastricht before becoming an university administrator at the University of Maastricht, where he worked for ten years. He joined the European Commission in 1991 and, apart from a short period in the Directorate General responsible for Transport, worked mostly in the field of higher education. The development of Erasmus in general, and of Quality Assurance, joint degrees and ECTS in particular, has been focal point of his career.

Paul van der Velde

Paul van der Velde is Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Consultant for the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS). IIAS is a postdoctoral research centre based in the Netherlands. Its main objective is to encourage the study of Asia and to promote national and international cooperation in this field.

Paul van der Velde was educated in the Netherlands, Belgium, United States, and in Taiwan. His main fields of studies are History of Asia, Chinese Art and language. He has worked as a manager for the Asian market, and as a scientific collaborator for the European Expansion History Institute. He has been Head of the Communication Unit and editor of several publications of IIAS. Paul van der Velde is the founder of the Netherlands Association for Asia and Pacific Studies, and is involved in several history associations, foundations and societies, amongst others the International Convention of Asia Scholars.

Pieter van Dijk

Pieter van Dijk is the President of Nuffic, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education and Research, a post he has held since 1991.

After completing a Masters degree at Amsterdam University in Development Sociology, Social Anthropology, Sociological Theory and the History of the Arab World in 1968, his work in the following years concentrated on issues of development cooperation, in organisations such as the Nuffic, the Free University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research. Between 1978 and 1990, he was the Head of Policy Bureau Planning, Evaluation and Multi-Sectoral Programmes at the Royal Tropical Institute/Amsterdam, before he entered the services of OECD, where he served a 10-year term as a principal administrator in the Public Management Service. Before becoming the President of the Nuffic, he was the Director of the Institute for Social Science Research in Developing Countries in The Hague.

Bernd Wächter

Bernd Wächter is the chief executive officer (Director) of the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), a European association of 20 nationally based internationalisation agencies. In this capacity, which he has held since 1998, he bears overall responsibility for the implementation of all ACA policy.

Earlier on (1995 – 1997), he was the Head of the Erasmus Department in the then Socrates and Youth TAO, which implemented the centralised parts of the Erasmus Programme on behalf of the European Commission. Between 1992 and 1995, he headed the German national agency for the Erasmus Programme inside the DAAD, which also had important national information functions for the COMETT, LINGUA and TEMPUS schemes. His experience with internationalisation also relates to the institutional level, through his functions as head of the international office of the Fachhochschule Darmstadt, and as a departmental coordinator of international relations at the Gesamthochschule Kassel. He has also worked for the British Council.

Bernd Wächter has published and lectured widely on issues of Europeanisation and internationalisation of higher education. He is the editor of the ACA Papers on International Cooperation in Education.


University of Hamburg
Edmund-Siemers-Allee 1
D-20146 Hamburg


Recommendations for inclusion in the Bergen Communiqué


University of Hamburg

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

European Commission


In 1999, the Bologna Declaration formulated the objective of “increasing the international competitiveness of the European systems of higher education”. Both Follow-up Conferences in Prague and Berlin reinforced this aspect. The Berlin Ministerial Conference welcomed representatives from other world regions, and emphasised the importance of including non-European actors in future events. Last but not least, the Bologna Follow-up group recommends a discussion on globalisation in their work programme 2003-2005, “as quality assurance and recognition go beyond the European Higher Education Area.”

Bologna is transcending the EHEA’s borders, and enhancing Europe’s attractiveness is gaining ever more importance as a vital driving force behind the Bologna Process. Nevertheless, no major international conference had so far addressed the issue as a separate theme.

Much is hidden behind the title of this ACA conference, “Opening up to the Wider World: The External Dimension of the Bologna Process”. Although mainly regarded as a European intra-governmental process, since its very beginnings, the Bologna Process has had an inherent global or “external” dimension:

  • When European Education Ministers convened in Bologna in 1999 and decided to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010, one of their major motivations was to enhance the attractiveness of European higher education on a global scale. The Bologna Declaration formulated the objective of “increasing the international competitiveness of the European systems of higher education”. It stated the “need to ensure that the European higher education system acquires a world-wide degree of attraction” and “to promote” it on a global scale.
  • Two years later, the Prague Communiqué turned the issue into the additional action line “Promoting the attractiveness of the European Higher Education Area”, and confirmed the “importance of enhancing attractiveness of European higher education to students from Europe and other parts of the world.”
  • At the 2003 Berlin conference, European Education Ministers welcomed the participation of government representatives from other world regions, and their interest in the development of the European Higher Education Area. Also, Ministers linked the Bologna Process to the wider context of the Lisbon Process: They too due account of the strategic objectives agreed upon at the European Councils in Lisbon and Barcelona, aiming at converting the EU into “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world” by 2010 and “a world reference for the quality and relevance of its education and training and the most-favoured destination of students, scholars and researchers from other world regions.” Finally, Ministers encouraged the “co-operation with regions in other parts of the world by opening Bologna seminars and conferences to representatives of these regions”.
  •  Last but not least, the Bologna Follow-up group recommended in their work programme 2003-2005 that “a discussion on globalisation might (…) be useful, as quality assurance and recognition go beyond the European Higher Education Area.”

Enhancing Europe’s attractiveness has remained and over the years even gained in importance as a vital driving force behind the transformation and innovation of higher education in Europe. At the same time, the remarkable changes taking place in Europe have so far been discussed mainly in an intra-European perspective. All actors in the Bologna Process have up to now simply assumed that the structural changes under way will by necessity result in an enhanced attractiveness of our continent on a world-wide scale. As a result, not too much systematic thought has so far been invested on how exactly the reforms are going to achieve this, and in which way they might have to be fine-tuned to attain this aim. In particular, no major international conference has addressed the issue as a separate theme.

The reason for this might be that the Bologna signatory states have so far been more than busy with the implementation of the internal structural reforms, not with the external aspect. Or have they? Do we actually know how many and what kind of activities have been carried out, alongside with the implementation of the Bologna structures, that go beyond the borders of the European Higher Education Area? Are there initiatives to export Bologna, to adapt credit systems to ECTS, to have the European definition of the Bachelor, Master and Doctor recognised worldwide or to use Bologna structures as models for joint degrees? How many students are actually coming to Europe from the rest of the world? To what extent is the aim of creating a transparent and attractive EHEA being achieved, judged from an outsider’s point of view? All these are questions that the Academic Cooperation Association addressed with its two-day conference “Opening up to the Wider World: The External Dimension of the Bologna Process”, which took place on 18 and 19 October 2004 at the University of Hamburg, in Germany.