On 12 and 13 February 2009, the Prague Congress Centre hosted a meeting of the Bologna Follow-Up Group. The meeting
brought together ninety representatives from 40 member countries of the European Cultural Convention and from seven
The meeting was opened by Deputy Minister for European Affairs Jakub Dürr. In his speech he highlighted the importance of the Bologna Process for higher education and set it against the backdrop of the Czech EU Presidency as one of its key priorities given the significance of higher education for other priority areas, namely competitiveness and equal opportunities. The meeting was chaired by Věra Šťastná from the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, head of the Follow-Up Group during the Presidency.
Today, higher education faces a number of new challenges, which include the social dimension of education and social inclusion and also life-long learning. Despite the current financial crisis, higher education should become a priority at national as well as European level.
During its two-day meeting the Group dealt with reports from eight working groups that engaged in data collection on the level of completion of priorities in 2007 - 2009 and other areas, such as mobility, student support etc. The Follow-Up Group also discussed the organisation of the Bologna Policy Forum that will follow the ministerial conference in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve. This forum is a response to the interest of countries outside the European Cultural Convention in the Bologna Process (e.g. USA, Canada and Australia) and it will enable the ministers from the countries of the Bologna Process to meet with their counterparts from other countries and discuss future cooperation.
The main objective of the Follow-Up Group meeting is to prepare a proposal for a communiqué from the ministers who will discuss the future of college education in the next decade at the conference in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve in April.
The half-day seminar on classification of colleges that followed the meeting of the Follow-Up Group also aroused much interest.
The next meeting of the Follow-Up Group of the Bologna Process will take place in Prague at the end of March.
Information about the programme of the conference available here.Mgr. Tomáš Bouška
tiskový mluvčí MŠMT pro CZ PRES
tel.: +420 257 193 426
fax: +420 257 193 753