AEC has assembled information on the situation regarding the implementation of the Bologna Declaration in the system for professional music training in all European countries, which is available in the country overviews on this website. The AEC has furthermore developed ‘learning outcomes’: descriptions of characteristics for 1st and 2nd cycle studies in European professional music training. The learning outcomes and all other project results are available at this website.
As national education systems become more transparent, students and teachers will find their way more easily to institutions in which they are interested. Exchange will be stimulated because it will be easier to compare courses and curricula, and to recognise periods of study abroad within the student’s own curriculum at their home institution.
5. Once the Bologna Declaration is implemented, will it put an end to individual differences between institutions?
No. The Bologna Declaration provides a framework for higher education; however it does not interfere with the content of curricula or specialisations of institutions.
6. Will politicians be able to put more pressure on professional music training institutions?
Perhaps. Because greater readability of qualifications means that comparisons between the training offered in different European countries will be easier, politicians may try to look for such comparisons to justify reducing funding in countries where the duration of training is longer than the minimum suggested by the Bologna Declaration.
7. Will professional music training institutions be able to put more pressure on politicians?
Yes. If music conservatoires plan together carefully for the changes they will introduce as part of the Bologna process, they should be able to use the same arguments of comparisons between countries to justify why music training needs to be longer than training in most other disciplines. Such arguments can be found in the learning outcomes
8. What is the general time frame for the implementation of the Bologna Declaration?
By the year 2010, every higher education institution in the countries which are signatories needs to be organised in conformity with the Bologna Declaration.
9. Is every music conservatoire in Europe obliged to implement the Bologna Declaration or is it possible to remain outside?
Every institution which is part of the recognised higher education system in a country whose Education Minister has signed up to the Bologna Declaration will need to implement the framework given by the Bologna Declaration.
10. Does the Bologna Declaration apply only to those higher education institutions that have university status?
No. All higher education institutions have to implement the Bologna Declaration, regardless of whether or not they have university status.
11. What are the financial consequences if my school implements the Bologna Declaration?
There may be some financial consequences of implementing measures such as an ECTS-
compatible credit system and more rigorous quality assurance procedures. These measures would probably be necessary with or without the Bologna Declaration. Once they have been introduced the cost of running courses should not be any higher than before.
12. Will universities begin to offer professional music training?
The Bologna Declaration does not have any influence on such developments.
13. Does implementing the Bologna Declaration at my school involve legal changes?
The implementation of the Bologna Declaration might involve legal changes for institutions in certain countries.
14. If my school already offers two cycles, each one corresponding in terms of duration to the Bologna Declaration, will we need to make any changes?
Perhaps. The Bologna Declaration involves more than just the duration of study cycles: a system of credits, employability and mobility are other issues on which the Bologna Declaration gives guidelines.
15. Nomenclature: What will happen to our postgraduate degrees and diplomas such as Nachdiplom, certificat d’aptitude, Aufbaustudium, artist diploma? Will they have to be called ‘Master of…’?
No. There is no imperative that the 'names' Bachelor and Master should be used. What is important is that the qualifications offered by all institutions in the first and second cycles should meet the general definitions of these cycles given in the Bologna Declaration.
16. Does the Bologna Declaration imply that first and second cycle courses in all European schools must use the same kind of curriculum/programme?
No. Institutions are free to devise their own curricula. All that is required is that the overall learning outcomes of these curricula should be comparable with other first- and second-cycle courses and that the programmes should be readily readable.
17. Does it imply that first and/or second cycle courses in all European schools must use the same kind of admissions criteria?
Although institutions will not need to use exactly the same admissions criteria, there will probably need to be some convergence in this area.
18. Does it imply that a student with a first-cycle qualification would have the automatic right to enter my institution at the second cycle level?
No. Institutions will continue to have the right to audition applicants and to offer places competitively. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification is eligible to be considered for second-cycle entry, but not entitled to gain admission.
19. If my institution has a first cycle lasting 4 years, could I force an applicant with a 3-year first cycle qualification to take an extra year before entering the second cycle?
No. Anybody who has a first-cycle qualification is eligible in principle to apply and be considered for the second-cycle qualification in any other institution (but see question 18 about entitlement).
20. When implementing the Bologna Declaration, is it necessary to create the two cycles at once?
No. There are no rules for the way of implementation of the Bologna system and it will also be possible for an institution to only operate in the first cycle (so students will have to go to another institution for the second cycle).
21. Does a Master degree contain a research component?
Not necessarily. There are already institutions that offer Master degree courses without research components. The description for each subject area's second cycle qualification will determine the nature of what the qualification should involve.
22. As a result of the Bologna Declaration, will music conservatories offer doctoral programmes in the future?
The Berlin Conference
called for closer links between higher education and research, with the inclusion of the doctoral level as the third cycle in the Bologna Process and more mobility at both doctoral and post-doctoral levels.