The Bologna process
Process initiated in 1999 by the Bologna Declaration, with the purpose of establishing a European Higher Education Area (EHEA, declared open in 2010). The process introduced a system of academic grades that are easily recognisable and comparable. The process also aims to promote mobility of students, teachers and researchers, to ensure a high quality of teaching and to integrate the European dimension into higher education.
ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System)
The ECTS credit system improves transparency by providing a means of comparison for study programmes and diplomas; it also facilitates the process of mutually recognising diplomas and qualifications.
1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 25 to 30 hours.
The 1st cycle of studies in which students receive a general scientific education. To gain a bachelor’s degree students have to acquire 180 ECTS credits in 3 years of full-time studies.
The 2nd cycle of studies in which students deepen the knowledge acquired in the 1st cycle (bachelor). To gain a master’s degree students have to acquire 90 to 120 ECTS credits in 1.5 to 2 years of full-time studies.
Personal research followed by a thesis under supervision of a University professor is required. The first condition for a PhD is to have a recognised master’s degree. In some cases, a minimum final mark in master’s examinations is required. The duration of research is variable. It takes between 2 and 6 years to obtain a PhD depending in particular on the research domain.
A collaboration network established by a framework convention between the universities of Bern, Neuchâtel and Fribourg. The purpose of the network is mainly to co-ordinate teaching between the three universities and to allow students to easily access a wider range of studies. A number of conventions have been drawn up which govern the range of courses. For some study programmes, the co-operation set up between the three universities makes mobility between sites compulsory. Students receive a common BENEFRI diploma.