Striving for Uniformity, Hoping for Innovation and Diversification: a critical review concerning the Bologna Process - providing an overview and reflecting on the criticism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The implementation of the Bologna Process (BP) did not go as smoothly as the Bologna Follow-Up evaluations suggest, and the consequences of the BP for the various European higher education systems and universities are much more diverse than represented in these various studies. Relatively few research and policy documents taking a more critical stance are currently available while a systematic overview of such studies is still lacking. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview and consequently reveal the most prominent views concerning the BP, as well as emphasise the critical developments over a longer period. A longitudinal literature review was carried out, consisting of 161 studies between 2004 and 2013,that resulted in a final selection of 91 studies. The article demonstrates that the studies available in this search show that issues concerning challenges, tensions and critical viewpoints about BP exist, and yet it confirms the need for further research. It is further suggested that demonstration of the impact of the BP discourse would benefit from the adaptation of a continuously critical reflective approach as an ongoing part of the overall discussion about the BP.


External organisations
  • Amsterdam UMC - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Educational Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1084-1100
JournalPolicy Futures in Education
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Acknowledgements: We are immensely grateful to the ECER for funding part of our research

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