Bern, 24.05.2018 - After attending the 20th anniversary celebrations to mark the signing of the Sorbonne Declaration in the building after which it was named, State Secretary Mauro Dell’Ambrogio will attend the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Ministerial Conference in Paris on 24 and 25 May, also known as the Bologna follow-up conference. He will lead the Swiss delegation consisting of Madeleine Salzmann, head of the University Coordination Unit of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education, Jean-Marc Piveteau, president of Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and Josef Stocker, a Swiss Student Union representative.
The Conference should lead to the adoption of the Paris Communiqué by the 48 member states. The communiqué will recall the fundamental values on which the EHEA is based, such as the autonomy of higher education institutions, and underline the desire to strengthen the area. Emphasis will be placed on developing the quality of learning and teaching, and on the potential of digitalisation. As confirmed in the 2018 Bologna Process Implementation Report, reforms are well advanced in most countries, particularly in Switzerland, but progress has slowed in recent years, and significant differences exist within the European Higher Education Area. A peer support approach is envisaged to improve implementation of the key elements, namely the three-cycle system, compliance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention and quality assurance.
The next conference will take place in Italy in 2020. Between ministerial conferences, the Bologna Follow-up Group has the task of ensuring the continued development of the process. In the second half of the year, the group will for the first time be co-chaired by Switzerland and Austria.