With the Paris Communiqué, "a structured peer support approach based on solidarity, cooperation and mutual learning" was adopted. In the work plan of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for 2018-2020, peer support focuses on completing the implementation of three key commitments:
To this end, the BFUG has established a coordinating body, the Bologna Implementation Coordination Group (BICG), to organise three Peer Groups, one for each key commitment.
The BICG is composed by Austria (Co-chair), Bulgaria (Co-chair), Croatia (Co-chair), Italy, the European Commission, EUA, EURASHE and one Co-chair of Working Group 1 on Monitoring.
The Peer Groups themselves, each chaired by three countries, agree on further actions aimed at fostering, improving and speeding up implementation in the participating countries and report to the BICG which makes a summary report to the BFUG on progress achieved prior to the Rome Ministerial Conference in 2020.
In September 2018, the BFUG formally established the following three Thematic Peer Groups based on the interests and needs indicated by the BFUG members and Consultative members in a survey conducted during the summer of 2018:
Specific thematic indications include topics such as:
Specific thematic orientations indicated include topics such as:
Specific thematic orientations include topics such as:
BFUG Meeting 63 Vienna September 2018 (under item 8. BICG update: composition of peer groups)
BFUG Meeting 65 Bucharest April 2019 (under item 6. Update from the BICG)
1. First Meeting of the BICG in Brussels on 5 June 2018
The group discussed the mandate and deliverables of the BICG, on the basis of the Terms of Reference adopted at the Ministerial Conference. The BICG further discussed the concept of peer support and agreed on its next concrete steps.
2. Second Meeting of the BICG in Brussels on 30 August 2018
The survey results were presented and the Thematic Peer Groups were established according to the country’s and consultative members’ willingness to co-chair and participate in the various groups. The BICG established 3 Peer Groups, one on each of the three Key Commitments. Member countries and organisations in the Peer Groups are encouraged to form smaller thematic groups (3-6 members) within the larger Peer Group, to work on specific themes which contribute to the outcomes of the entire Peer Group.
3. Third Meeting of the BICG in Vienna on 28 September 2018
The BICG and the new Co-chairs of the Thematic Peer Groups met to speak about the organisation and management of the Peer Groups and sub-groups. The networking activity that took place during the BFUG meeting was evaluated and the next steps were planned.
The following Co-chairs for the Thematic Peer Groups were approved by the BFUG:
4. Fourth Meeting of the BICG in Brussels on 22 October 2018
The results achieved during the networking sessions at the BFUG meeting in Vienna and the final composition of the Thematic Peer Groups (TPGs), where almost all BFUG members participate in at least one of them, were presented. The dates and practicalities of the first Peer Group meetings were announced and the BICG discussed the Thematic Peer Groups work plans and further organization. The project proposals for the umbrella projects were presented and discussed with the EACEA representatives.
5. Fifth Meeting of the BICG in Vienna on 26 February 2019
The Thematic Peer Groups' Co-chairs reported back from their first meetings held in December and January and organisational issues, like communication, reporting, assessment of outcomes and management of the groups were discussed to improve the present and future work of the BICG .
6. Sixth Meeting of the BICG in Brussels on 16 September 2019
The BICG met to discuss the current state of art of the group, the first draft report to the BFUG, its content and structure, both of the BICG as well as of the TPGs. BICG also discussed the future of the peer approach after 2020 and agreed that this should be part of the report prepared by the BICG to the BFUG for the Ministerial Conference as one of the recommendations to the EHEA Ministers. The Thematic Peer Groups' Co-chairs reported on the state of play, preparation of the reports and update on the projects in the respective TPGs.