European Higher Education Area Establishment and Equal Opportunities: A Sociological Analysis of the Bologna Process Official Decisions

Gerasimos Koustourakis, Nikolaos Sklavenitis


This work tries to analyze the official discourse on the development of a European Higher Education Area and focuses on the issue of equal opportunities of access to and completion of study in higher education. For this aim official documents of the first decade of the 21st century referring to the Bologna process (communiqués and declarations of the Bologna process ministers responsible for higher education) were studied using the qualitative content analysis. The results of this work showed that the question of equal opportunities was included in the priority of the social dimension and occupied the Bologna process mainly from the year 2005 and on although mentions for equal opportunities to higher education studies exist in all Bologna process communiqués. The priority of social dimension was the outcome of the adaptation of human capital theory and mainly involved notions such as mobility, lifelong learning, students’ socio-economic background, gender and underrepresentation.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n3p261

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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