What is the European Higher Education Area or EHEA?
The European Higher Education Area is a project undertaken by a group of European Union member states to develop a common higher learning area aimed at:
With the Bologna Process, are certain degree studies disappearing?
No. The UB is keeping its present offering in degree studies; what is changing is the kind of degree course these studies are offered in: what until now were offered as diplomas, undergraduate degrees and engineering degrees are being offered as the new EHEA bachelor's degrees. In fact there are a greater number of options because the new system has led to the creation of new study areas.
What are the advantages of the new degree courses?
Is it true that from now on, it won't be possible to study at university and have a job at the same time?
Quite the opposite. Until now and in general terms, studying and working at the same time was particularly difficult because in the case of many degree courses students couldn't enrol in anything less than a complete academic year of subjects. The University of Barcelona is now taking all the steps it can to plan its courses so that students can enrol in fewer subjects, and the new regulations now allow students to enrol either full- or part-time.
What are ECTS credits?
ECTS credits express students' workloads in each subject or activity. Under the old system in Spain, a credit corresponded to ten hours of class time, irrespective of how many hours of study or work were required outside of class. By contrast, this system is intended to take into account and recognize all the work done by students. As a result, an ECTS credit corresponds to 25-30 hours of work, including:
This doesn't mean that more hours are required. Rather, it takes into account all the hours of work required in an academic year, a subject or an activity. These hours were already necessary before, but they were not counted explicitly.
Now, degrees are planned according to the criterion that a full-time academic year is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits. In other words, the workload for an academic year, including all work required, totals at between 1,500 and 1,800 hours.
Are classes taught differently in the new system?
The new ECTS credit system gives greater flexibility to how work will be done in each subject. This does not mean that classes are taught differently in all cases. What it does mean, however, is that each subject can be revised flexibly. Changes can be made to what subject matter is taught and how, including alterations to the activities and materials that are used. For example, more suitable forms of student assessment can be adopted in light of the course objectives to be achieved.