Bologna Process in Latvia
The Bologna Process was launched on 19 June 1999, when the ministers of education of 29 European states signed the Bologna Declaration. Currently the number of state parties to the process has reached 47. The Declaration signed by the ministers envisaged that the establishment of a common European Higher Education Area(EHEA) should be completed by 2010, and in 2010 at the Vienna Conference of Ministers it was announced that the Common EHEA has been created, at the same time emphasizing that a lot remained to be done in order to reach all the objectives:
- European higher education system is transparent and reciprocally easy to understand;
• It is organised in three cycles – first (bachelor), second (master) and third (doctor);
- Degrees/diplomas, acquired in one part of the common EHEA, are appropriately recognised in another part of this area – both for continuation of studies and the labour market;
- Graduates are employable in the European labour market;
- Students and teachers alike are able to move freely within the EHEA and are actively using this opportunity.
Due to the Bologna Process higher education is no longer isolated from lifelong learning: knowledge and skills acquired outside studies give credit points, which can be included in the total amount of studies needed to acquire a degree/qualification or master a study module. Simultaneously, those acquiring education through lifelong learning are effectively using the opportunity to master separate higher education programme modules, which they need. Thus, European higher education is attractive on a global scale.
The Bologna Process continues the reforms in higher education that were launched in Latvia already at the end of 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. The reforms in the Latvian higher education already dealt with the majority of aspects set in Bologna Declaration, before it was signed. The Education Law of 1991 already envisaged the introduction of bachelor and master programmes. Currently in practice, the Latvian HEIs offer programmes of the three Bologna cycles.
More information about the Bologna Process in Latvia is available on Bologna Process website (LV).