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:
- a three-cycle system compatible with the overarching framework of qualifications of the EHEA and first and second cycle degrees scaled by ECTS,
- compliance with the Lisbon Recognition Convention,
- quality assurance in compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area.
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:
Thematic Peer Group A on Key Commitment 1 (a three-cycle system compatible with the overarching Qualifications Framework of the EHEA and first and second cycle degrees scaled by ECTS)
Specific thematic indications include topics such as:
- self-certification of the national qualification frameworks the overarching Qualifications Framework of the EHEA,
- complete implementation of the ECTS User’s Guide,
- short cycle higher education,
- multiple purposes and use of the qualifications frameworks by the stakeholders,
- study programmes outside of the Bologna three-cycle structure,
- relationship between the qualifications frameworks and quality assurance.
Thematic Peer Group B on Key Commitment 2 (national legislation and procedures compliant with the Lisbon Recognition Convention [LRC])
Specific thematic orientations indicated include topics such as:
- establishing the legal framework to allow the implementation of the LRC,
- establishing the distribution of work and responsibilities among the competent institutions that have the right knowledge and capacity to carry out recognition procedures,
- achieving automatic recognition,
- recognition of alternative pathways,
- qualifications held by refugees,
- optimising the potential of digital technology for the recognition agenda and the Diploma Supplement.
Thematic Peer Group C on Key Commitment 3 (Quality Assurance in compliance with the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area)
Specific thematic orientations include topics such as:
- legislative framework in line with the ESG (introducing changes),
- ensuring effectiveness of internal quality assurance arrangements, including the use of QA results in the decision-making process and quality culture as well as links to learning and teaching,
- the role and engagement of stakeholders in internal and external QA (students, teachers, employers) and
- Cross-border QA and European Approach to accreditation of joint programmes.
Updates from the BICG to the BFUG
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)
BFUG Meeting 67 Helsinki November 2019 (under item 5.1 Bologna Implementation Coordination Group)
BFUG Meeting 69 Kyiv March 2020 (under item 5.1 Bologna Implementation Coordination Group)
BFUG Meeting 71, online, hosted by Croatia June 2020 (under item 5.5 Bologna Implementation Coordination Group)
Board Meeting 72, online, hosted by United Kingdom (Scotland) September 2020 (under item 7.3 Bologna Implementation Coordination Group)
BFUG Meeting 73, online, hosted by Germany September 2020 (under item 6.3 Bologna Implementation Coordination Group)
BICG Meetings 2021-2024
BICG Meetings 2018-2020