Complex Interpretational Framework of the Implementation of the Bologna Process

The Bologna process is an intergovernmental initiative which set the objective of creating a European Higher Education Area in 1999. With Hungary joining the Bologna countries, fundamental and very complex changes took place in the functioning of the higher education system, and the monitoring of these is an important task of higher education research.

As a part of the author’s ongoing post-graduate research, a new model has been
established based on the most relevant literature on the Bologna process, educational
results and implementation research. The approach is not a model describing cause-effect
relations, based on empirical research, but rather an intellectual design created in a theoretical way. Its aim is to help to analyze the implementation of the Bologna process in a multi-level, complex way, and to orientate empirical research done in this field, particularly the author’s doctoral research which has its focus on the institutional level.

The model describes the intergovernmental, open policy platform where the framework of objectives of the Bologna process changes dynamically in the education policy communication area. The European level connects with national level processes through its specific implementation mechanisms, defined by its unique management structure. The national level Bologna implementation processes are built on conditions of system created by former implementation processes, therefore the model shows the main dimensions with the relations and relative weights of which national systems can be described. The model grasps the most important agents and the most relevant characteristics of the institutional level of the Bologna implementation process.