Pinto Cañon, Gabriel
The Bologna Process and Its Impact on University-Level Chemical Education in Europe.
"Journal of Chemical Education", v. 87
This article presents a description of the Bologna Process, an effort by a consortium of 47 European countries that are trying to standardize the higher education system in Europe. Starting from a non-binding agreement at Europe level (the 1999 Bologna Declaration), it involves a voluntary joint venture for the construction of a European higher education area (EHEA). The process focuses on three major goals: facilitating and improving the mobility of University students and professors, enhancing the attractiveness and employability of higher education in Europe in an increasingly competitive global environment, and building more transparent and more homogeneous structures. This convergence process tries to obtain, across several specific objectives (adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, a common system of credits and grades, quality assurance, promotion of lifelong learning, and others) a comparable, common, coherent and attractive space for the tertiary education sector in Europe by the year 2010. The proposed system of credits, known as ECTS (European credit transfer and accumulation system) promotes a shift from teaching to learning in University education. In this way, the Bologna Process emphasizes students learning outcomes and modern pedagogical methodologies, including active learning. Basic implications in the European system for chemistry education are summarized, including information about a framework bachelors degree program in chemistry called the European Eurobachelor, which is intended to set a standard for chemistry higher education.