ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA: PROGRESS MADE BETWEEN 2005 AND 2007
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Progress in establishing the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) is measured every two years. This article summarizes the 2007 stocktaking, which was based upon 12 quantifiable indicators and qualitative analysis of the national reports of the 45 participating countries. The findings of this stocktaking were cross-checked with those of EURYDICE, the European University Association (EUA) and the European National Student Association's (ESIB) surveys on the same period. The greatest progress was observed in the areas where structural changes were needed: the degree system, external quality assurance, introduction of the European Diploma Supplement and European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). Areas yet to be developed are national qualifications frameworks, improving the quality of culture within higher education institutions, recognition practices of degree study credits in general and recognition of prior learning in particular. Most of the less developed areas need a change in culture and attitude, which is a more time-consuming process than making structural changes. Several of them are linked to introducing a learning outcomes-based approach and should therefore be dealt with in an integrated way.
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