20 years of Bologna reforms • Profiling Institute

20 years of Bologna reforms • Profiling Institute

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The Bologna reform is 20 years old. It has been very controversial in Germany since its introduction, with opponents and supporters passionately debating it. What happened over the years? 20 years of the Bologna reform – what progress has been made? Where are the problems?


When it comes to looking at 20 years of the Bologna reform, it is first important to look at this Objectives look at the reform. The reform was June 1999 adopted and adopted by 30 countries.

It was before the reform university landscape nested and inconsistent in Germany. Here it was Diploma and Master’s degree, which were difficult to compare with each other and above all internationally. Through the Bologna reform and the transition to Bachelor’s and Master’s fields and degrees it should change.

That was one of the goals Comparability of degrees internationally or pan-European and make the titles easier to understand. Among other things, they would have two main goals international competitiveness and Mobility of students and teachers be caught It should also support mobility more intercultural skills be taught during the course. Plus it was a goal employability increase a link to the labor market take into account. There should be more young people earlier in the labor market and lifelong learning should be encouraged.


The 20 years of the Bologna reform have had positive consequences, but not all goals have been achieved. So it’s still often difficult, whether during a bachelor’s degree or several semesters abroad go or do a master’s degree at another college with a bachelor’s degree.

WHO abroad during bachelor’s studies they usually find it complicated for the courses they took there to actually count as credit points in Germany. Which subjects can be counted and which can’t is mostly difficult at first, so it is necessary to deal with it intensively in advance, which discourages many. Still be International mobility of German students significantly higher than before the Bologna reform. Most internationally mobile students would do so with support the Erasmus programme go abroad.

In Germany, there are certain problems with counting academic achievements from a bachelor’s degree. Will Master’s degree at another university would like to graduate than unanimously, is often confronted with the problem that the bachelor’s degree is not recognized or is only partially recognized. This applies both to students who obtained their bachelor’s degree in another country and to German students who obtained their degree at a non-German university where they would like to complete their master’s degree. It is related to the sometimes high specialization of the courses. In some cases, therefore, master’s students would have to catch up on subjects from their bachelor’s degree.

What Germany as destination country As for international students, look again Well out. In 2017, Germany was the most popular non-English speaking destination for international students, ranking fourth among destination countries.

exam stress

Another point that is often mentioned in connection with the 20-year Bologna reform is the great stress that students are exposed to during exams. That is in bachelor study programs exam after each of the many modules give in order to achieve the required credit points. As a result, students’ exam stress and pressure has increased. This will be Normal period often not observed because many students did not pass the planned exams in a short time and therefore would have to take more semesters. In addition, almost every third student would drop out of bachelor’s studies.

In addition, often the so-called “Teaching Bulimia” criticized what the system leads to. Since there are more tests in a shorter period of time, he has to get the material into his memory as quickly as possible and he does not keep it there for a long time, but for the most part he forgets it again shortly after the test.

Terms & Conditions

In the discussion on the topic of 20 years of the Bologna reform, it also often appears that the framework conditions in the countries are sometimes not uniform. It is uniformly regulated that students 180 credit points must achieve in order to obtain a bachelor’s degree. It is international but not uniform, how many courses it would have to be documented to get that number of credit points. It is also not uniformly regulated how long is the standard period of study for bachelor’s or master’s studies.


On the topic of 20 years of the Bologna reform, many things are mentioned that have not yet been achieved and where action is still needed. However, the reform still exists process and not yet finished. So far, the reform has brought a lot of good, especially with regard to students, which are more in the spotlight today. The change makes it easier to start studying, the course is shorter, you can start working earlier and international mobility is easier and more attractive than before. Unmet goals and difficulties would be further addressed in the process to further expand and multiply the positive impact.

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