Work programme 2015-2018

Advisory Group on Revision of Diploma Supplement 2015-2018 - meeting 1

Advisory Group meeting Bucharest, Romania 22/01/2016

First meeting of the advisory group on the Revision of Diploma Supplement.

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The Terms of Reference were discussed and validated.
Terms of Reference Advisory Group Revision of the Diploma Supplement 2015-2018

After brief presentation from the EC, CoE, UNESCO and Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee representatives, the group discussed the general context of the group’s activity:

  • the revision of the Europass together with the revision of the Modernization Agenda
  • the revision of the DS needs to take into account the view of EC, CoE, UNESCO and LRC.

A presentation on the implementation of the Diploma Supplement (DS), based on the 2015 Implementation Report and on the conclusions drawn by the 2012-2015 Working Group on Structural reforms was made by the Bologna Follow-Up Secretariat representative. The conclusions were discussed within the group.
The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process Implementation Report
Report by the Structural Reforms Working Group to the BFUG

As main conclusions:

  • Not all countries issue the DS automatically;
  • Learning outcomes/qualifications are not included or not well defined;
  • The intended audience and purpose are not clear;
  • The DS is not connected with the vocational education;
  • The language used is not very easily understood;
  • There is no common understanding on the intended use of the DS;
  • The current format is not flexible enough;
  • The internationalization component is not included in the DS;
  • There is a need for user guides (for HEIs, employers, etc.) and good practice examples. The DS label was appreciated and should continue;
  • There is an increased need for digitization.

The participants agreed that AG4 should discuss about the possible inclusion within the DS of:

  • internationalization in the DS format (mobilities, double degree);
  • non-formal education and recognition of prior learning.

The European Commission insisted on the importance given to the DS as transparency tool to easier access in terms of work opportunities in the framework of the Innovation agenda 2020 and particularly within the Agenda for new skills and jobs.

EUA and ESU agreed to prepare a short written contribution regarding the DS in the student use perspective.

The European Commission remarked that the EC European skills/competences, qualifications and Occupations (ESCO) initiative may prove useful regarding a better description of the skills in the template that fits with employers’ expectations. Council of Europe underlined that the notion of learning outcomes encompasses skills or competences from an employability perspective.

The Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee representative informed the group that all changes regarding DS template must be submitted to the annual meeting of the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee. An extraordinary meeting could be scheduled.

AG4 underlined that BUSINESSEUROPE should be involved in the work of the AG.

The group agreed on the working methodology and the main focus of the next two meetings.

Source: BFUG Meeting 50 Amsterdam March 2016 - Work progress AG Diploma Supplement Revision

Read more: AG Revision of the Diploma Supplement - Bucharest Jan 2016 - Draft Minutes<

Published: 22/01/2016 - Last modified: 27/07/2017
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Advisory Group

The Advisory Group on the Revision of the Diploma Supplement is mandated to make recommandations to the Council of Europe, the European Commission and UNESCO in reviewing the Diploma Supplement, in cooperation with stakeholders. A proposal for a revision should be presented for consultation to the BFUG by 2017.

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