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)
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)
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 the art of the Thematic Peer Groups, the first draft final report to the BFUG and its content and structure, both on the BICG as well as on the TPGs. The BICG also discussed the future of the peer approach after 2020 and agreed to include a recommendation to the EHEA Ministers.
7. Seventh Meeting of the BICG, online, on 8 April 2020
The Co-chairs of the three Thematic Peer Group reported on their activities and provided an update on the projects carried out within their groups. The first results of the BICG questionnaire were presented and the report to the BFUG was discussed. Based on the assumption that the BFUG already supports the continuation of the peer approach, the group discussed the future and the possibility of opening the peer approach to new topics. The European Commission gave an overview of the EHEA call on support to the Bologna Reforms. As the Ministerial Conference has been postponed to November 2020, the TPGs have some more months to finish their work.
8. Eighth Meeting of the BICG, online, on 13 May 2020
The focus of this meeting was to discuss the Final BICG Report and the roadmap for the next months until the Ministerial Conference in November 2020. The BFUG Secretariat has clustered the participants of all TPG meetings in a typology file to find out what kind of institutions participated in the single peer approach activities. This and other information was the basis for a discussion about the lessons learned on possible improvements. The observations were incorporated into to the Final Report.
9. Ninth Meeting of the BICG, online, on 12 June 2020
The BICG discussed all the chapters of the BICG’s Final Report and worked in more detail on the executive summary. The TPG Co-chairs prepared the parallel sessions that are organized during the Split BFUG meeting to get feedback from the BFUG on the lessons learned and outcomes of the work based on the peer approach mechanism. The BICG planned and updated the roadmap for the next months until the Ministerial Conference and prepared the call for expression of interest to participate in the future TPGs.
10. Tenth Meeting of the BICG, online, on 9 July 2020
The BICG incorporated the comments received by the BFUG to the BICG’s Draft Final Report and reviewed the single chapters according to the indications given by the BFUG. The last steps towards the Ministerial Conference were discussed and planned.
11. Eleventh Meeting of the BICG, online, on 27 August 2020
The BICG finalised the Final BICG Report for the Ministerial Conference and discussed the proposal for Terms of Reference for the BICG's work plan 2021-2024. The last steps towards the Ministerial Conference were discussed and planned.
12. Twelfth Meeting of the BICG, online, on 18 September 2020
The BFUG Members and Consultative Members had expressed their interest to participate in the Thematic Peer Groups during the next period 2021-2024 on a survey. The BICG evaluated the survey results and elaborated the composition of the new Thematic Peer Groups. The chairing and composition of the BICG and the Thematic Peer Groups was proposed to the BFUG at its Berlin online meeting on 24 September 2020.