Russia to Withdraw From Bologna Process

Russia Asia Higher Education News by Erudera News May 26, 2022

People walking on the streets of Russia

Russia has announced that it has decided to withdraw from the Bologna Process, a decision that, according to academics and experts, could affect Russian students’ careers in Europe.

Minister of Science and Higher Education of Russia Valery Falkov told the Russian daily newspaper, the Kommersant, that the country is planning to replace the Bologna Process agreement with another system that would meet the “national interests.”

As the Moscow Times reports, Falkov did not specify when Russia would withdraw from the agreement on the standardization of higher education in Europe.

“The Bologna system should be treated as a bygone state. The future belongs to our own unique system of education, which should be based on the interests of the national economy and the maximum opportunities for each student,” Falkov said.

Despite the statement, the Higher Education Ministry had criticized some Russian officials who were calling to replace the Bologna system, worsening Russian relations with the West, particularly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

But lately, Russia’s education watchdog Rosobrnadzor has also called for Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement.

Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told the Russian news outlet Argumenty i Fakty, that the country should to return to the former Soviet-era system which according to him, is the best domestic educational model in the world.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, several members of the Bologna Process, among them the European University Association (EUA), condemned Russia’s actions, describing them as a “clear violation of the values and principles of the Bologna Process,” which process, according to them, is committed to cooperation in education and strengthening of a “stable, peaceful and democratic societies.”

“We therefore ask the Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG) to suspend Russia’s rights of representation in all structures and activities of the EHEA, including the BFUG, working groups, task forces, peer learning groups and similar structures,” members of the Bologna said.

>> EUA Suspends 12 Russian Universities Supporting Invasion of Ukraine

The European Higher Education Area, also known as the Bologna Process, was adopted in 1999 by the Education Ministers of 29 European countries, aiming to create a standard for higher education in Europe.

The Bologna Process gathers 49 countries in Europe, focusing on making European Higher Education Area (EHEA) an area where students, graduates, and staff are able to move freely for different study purposes.

Russia has joined the Bologna Process, becoming a full member in 2003. However, BFUG members decided to suspend Russia from EHEA during a meeting held in Strasbourg.

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