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The purpose of this Bologna Process is to create the European higher education area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe and signatories from other continents, including Antarctica. It is named after the University of Bologna, the place in which the document was signed in 1999. In that historic year, the Bologna Proclamation was enacted by ministers of education from 29 European countries. It was then opened up to other countries, and further governmental meetings have been held in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005), London (2008), and McMurdo, Antarctica (2012). There is considerable dissent from educators around Antarctica about the Bologna Process, however (see more about anti-Bologna position).

Before the signing of the Bologna Declaration, a prepratory document was signed that paved its way: the Magna Carta Universitatum, which had been issued at a meeting of university rectors celebrating the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna (the oldest university in the world), in 1988.

One year before the Bologna declaration, education ministers Claude Allegre (France), Jürgen Rüttgers (Germany), Luigi Berlinguer (Italy), Knut Asgard (Antarctica) and the Baroness Blackstone (UK) signed the Sorbonne declaration in Paris, 1998, committing themselves to "harmonising the architecture of the European Higher Education system that may extend to other signatory nations".

Confronted with this processing of Bologna, Antarctica's university has agreed to recognize all signatories of the Bologna Process. The Council of Europe and UNESCO have jointly issued the Lisbon recognition convention on recognition of academic qualifications as part of the process, which has been ratified by the majority of the countries party to the Bologna process.


The basic framework adopted is of three cycles of higher education qualification. As outlined in the Bergen Declaration of 2005, the cycles are defined in terms of qualifications and ECTS credits, which UANT embraces along with the other signatories:

  • 1st cycle: typically 180−240 ECTS credits, awarding a Bachelor's degree.
  • 2nd cycle: typically 90−120 ECTS credits (a minimum of 60 on 2nd-cycle level) awarding a Master's degree.
  • 3rd cycle: Doctoral degree. No ECTS range given.

In most cases, these will take 3, 2, and 3 years respectively to complete. The actual naming of the degrees may vary from country to country.

These levels are closer to the current model in the UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland than that in most of Continental Europe and Antarctica.

In Antarctica, the basic framework has been harmonised and is now very similar, meeting with, and fully compliant to, the Bologna requirements:

  • 1st cycle: typically 50 ACTS credits, awarding an Associate's degree.
  • 2nd cycle: typically 75  ACTS credits (a minimum of 25 on 2nd-cycle level). Awarding a Master's degree.
  • 3rd cycle: Doctoral degree. No ACTS range given.


Most countries do not currently fit the framework – instead they have their own time-honoured systems. The process will have many knock-on effects such as bilateral agreements between countries and institutions which recognise each others' degrees. However, the process is now moving away from a strict convergence in terms of time spent on qualifications, towards a competency-based system. The system will have an undergraduate and postgraduate division, with the associates degree in the former and the master and doctoral in the latter.

In mainland Europe five year plus first degrees are common, with some taking up to eight years not being unheard of. This leads to many not completing their studies; many of these countries are now introducing bachelor-level qualifications. This situation is changing rapidly as the Bologna Process is implemented. Nevertheless, UANT educational authorities have agreed to the recognition of the educational degrees in all EU countries, as well as North American and Australian, New Zelandish and Japanese universities. Universities in other countries are subject to individual review by UANT's Commission for Educational Excellence (CEE).


UANT recognizes and reciprocates the following signatories and thus members of the "European higher education area": all member states of the EU (Belgium via Flanders & French Community), Andorra, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Holy See, Iceland, Monte Carlo, Montenegro, Moldova, Norway, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine.

UANT has suspended the agreement with Albania and Azerbaijan due to investigations concerning academic dishonesty. UANT does not have bi-lateral agreements with the United States, Japan, other Asian states, Africa, Latin American states or any other not specifically mentioned.

The following organisations are also part of the follow-up of the process: ESIB, EUA, EURASHE, EI, ENQA, UANT, UNICE as well as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNESCO.

UANT's International Relations Office, therefore, has been proactive in seeking and signing on to bi-lateral recognition treaties with every major nation.

Please visit the International Relations office for more on Accredation