Did the “Bologna Process” Achieve its Goals? : 20 Years of Empirical Evidence on Student Enrolment, Study Success and Labour Market Outcomes

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Kroher, M.; Leuze, K.; Thomsen, S.L.; Trunzer, J.: Did the “Bologna Process” Achieve its Goals? : 20 Years of Empirical Evidence on Student Enrolment, Study Success and Labour Market Outcomes. Hannover : Institutionelles Repositorium der Leibniz Universität Hannover, 2021 (LCSS Working Papers ; 10), 38 S. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15488/11370

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Sum total of downloads: 230

In 1999, the “Bologna Process” was initiated to improve higher education enrolment, study success and students’ employability across Europe, mainly by introducing the two-cycle degree structure of Bachelor (BA) and Master (MA). More than 20 years later, we examine whether these goals were met by reviewing quantitative articles from sociology and economics. We find that the literature is surprisingly small, selective, and ambiguous. While enrolment seems to have increased in countries implementing the reform more quickly, the evidence on study success is mixed and hardly available regarding student mobility. The results on employment outcomes are more consistent, with BA graduates having lower labour market returns than graduates with MA or traditional degrees. Altogether, studies often do not allow for causal conclusions and only provide a fragmented picture, which makes evidence-based adjustments in reform implementation difficult. This calls for further research using better data, more state-of-the-art methods and deeper theoretical reasoning.
License of this version: CC BY 3.0 DE
Document Type: Report
Publishing status: publishedVersion
Issue Date: 2021
Appears in Collections:LCSS Working Papers : Schriftenreihe Leibniz Center for Science and Society

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downloads by country:

pos. country downloads
total perc.
1 image of flag of Germany Germany 112 48.70%
2 image of flag of United States United States 29 12.61%
3 image of flag of China China 9 3.91%
4 image of flag of Italy Italy 8 3.48%
5 image of flag of Iraq Iraq 8 3.48%
6 image of flag of Serbia Serbia 7 3.04%
7 image of flag of Austria Austria 7 3.04%
8 image of flag of Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of 5 2.17%
9 image of flag of Israel Israel 3 1.30%
10 image of flag of Croatia Croatia 3 1.30%
    other countries 39 16.96%

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