The Bologna Process: A Guide for Economics Lecturers

By Rebecca Taylor, Nottingham Trent University and Wyn Morgan, University of Nottingham
Published April 2012


The purpose of this Guide is to provide a first port of call for anyone teaching or administering economics and business degrees in the UK and who is keen to find out what is being offered across the EU in these disciplines. In addition, it aims to provide a context for the ongoing discussions in the Bologna Process that is reshaping higher education within the EU. Given that it simply draws together information from a publically available but disparate and wide range of sources, both in hard copy and electronically, it is not intended to be a definitive or state-of-the-art exposition of each country and its higher education provision but merely a finger post to further information.

The Guide has two main elements. The first is a brief overview of the Bologna Process and how it has developed over time. In addition to this skeleton view, links to further resources and information are provided to allow for greater depth of research.

The second part is an overview of higher education provision on a country-by-country basis with links to the universities or institutes of higher education who offer business and/or economics degrees. Each overview is given the same structure with the following components:

A statement around the nature of higher education in the country
Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level
This is split into three further sub-sections: Structure, Access and Qualifications
University Listing
Web links to those institutions offering business and/or economics programmes
Where applicable, The Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings are provided
References and Sources
Links to the main sources of information for the country

The Bologna Process: An Overview

Bologna process: Austria


Austria has two parallel systems of academic degrees:

  • The traditional two-cycle system of Magister/Diplom followed by the Doctorate;
  • The three-cycle system of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate as defined by the Bologna process.

The two-cycle degree system was phased out in 2010 and universities now award the "Diplom-Ingenieur" to graduates of the new-style Master's programme.

The higher education sector in Austria is regulated by the Federal Minister of Science and Research and the Federal Minister for Education, the Arts and Culture.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

The higher education sector in Austria consists of public universities and university colleges of education, universities of applied sciences and private universities:

  • Public Universities and University Colleges of Education

The Federal Minister of Science and Research and the University Councils are self-administration bodies responsible for the planning and supervision of the public universities. The planning and supervision of the Colleges of Education are the responsibility of the Federal Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, and the College of Councils.

  • Universities of Applied Sciences

Introduced in 1994, the Universities of Applied Sciences are the responsibility of the Fachhochschule Council which is regulated by the Federal Minister of Science and Research.

  • Private universities

In 1999 private institutions became able to obtain accreditation as a Private University by the Accreditation Council. Programmes at private universities are either offered in accordance with state programmes and degrees or without reference to them. The private universities are regulated by the Accreditation Council (ÖAR) which is supervised by the Federal Minister of Science and Research.

(ii) Access:

There are a limited number of places available in each Fachhochschule so each institution has a selective admissions policy. Admissions decisions are made based on the Reifeprüfung, the Studienberechtigungspriifung (University entrance examination) or a professional qualification in a relevant field. Prospective students may also have to take additional examinations in order to gain entrance to a programme.

Students completing the (4 year) AHS[1] or the (5 year) BHS[2] receive a ‘Matura’ qualification and are entitled to enter the Higher Education Sector. Earning the Matura guarantees the student a place in higher education.

A Magister or Diplom degree is required prior to starting a Doktoratsstudium,

(iii) Qualifications

Austria has a three cycle degree structure.

  • Bachelor's degree which is 180 ECTS[3]
  • Master's degrees which is 120 to 240 ECTS
  • Degrees of Doktor or PhD degree which is 120 to 240 ECTS.

Universities in Austria (Teaching Either Economics or Business)

  1. Fachhochschulstudiengänge Burgenland
  2. University of Klagenfurt
  3. Fachhochschule Kärnten
  4. Carinthia University of Applied Sciences CUAS
  5. IMC University of Applied Science Krems
  6. Danube University Krems
  7. University of Applied Sciences for Business and Technology
  8. FH Joanneum
  9. University of Graz
  10. University of Leoben
  11. MCI Management Center Innsbruck
  12. University of Innsbruck (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck)
  13. Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
  14. University of Vienna
  15. Vienna University of Technology
  16. Vienna University of Economics and Business
  17. MODUL University Vienna
  18. Webster University Vienna
  19. Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

International Rankings

According to Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings for 2010 the following university was ranked in the top 100

University of Vienna

NR = no ranking or ranking outside top 200.


[1] Academic secondary school (Algemeinbildende Höhere Schule; AHS)

[2]vocational education school (Berufsbildende Höhere Schulen BHS)

[3] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.


Bologna process: Italy


The higher education sector in Italy consists of two main parts, the university sector and the non-university sector. While the latter focuses on specialised areas of activity (such as language learning, military studies and so forth) the former sector is the larger one and deals with mainstream education. Within the university sector there are clear differences between the ways in which universities are established and the way in which they are classified. The majority are state (public) universities although there are a number of non-state (private) institutions as well as some smaller groupings including around distance delivery.

Oversight of university education si provided by a number of bodies including the National University Council (CUN), the University Student National Council (CNSU - in which the representatives of the various categories of university staff and students participate), and the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI).

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

  • State Universities (Università statali)

Essentially state bodies, these universities are semi-autonomous with their own institution-specific rules and regulations. Led by a Rector, the key governing bodies are the Academic Senate, and the Board of Directors.

  • Non-State Universities (Università non statali, legalmente riconosciute)

Such institutions are established by the Minister of Education via a decree awarded after due consideration of the statutes, its organisation and governance has been undertaken. The major difference from state universities is the funding and governance models.

  • Technical Universities (Politecnici)

A sub-set of universities are called "Politecnici" (technical universities) and these relate to the technical areas of architecture and engineering.

  • Universities for Foreigners (Università per Stranieri)

In essence, these universities are designed to teach Italian language, culture and literature to non-Italians.

  • Higher Schools (Scuole Superiori)

Specialist institutions that deal solely in postgraduate (research) study within the 3rd cycle as defined by the Bologna process.

  • Telematic Universities (Università telematiche)

State decreed universities which exist to support and provide distance learning programmes mainly through e-learning approaches.

(ii) Access

The basic entry requirements to the new degree courses are defined as follows:

The general access requirement to the first cycle is the Italian school leaving qualification, the Diploma di Superamento dell'Esame di Stato conclusivo dei Corsi di Istruzione Secondaria Superiore

To get into the Laurea Specialistica (LS) second level, access requires the Italian first degree (L) or an equivalent foreign degree and the course lasts for two years

For the third cycle, (Dottorato di Ricerca (DR) or Italian doctorate degree, access is based on the Italian second degree (LS/LM)

(iii) Qualifications

Italy has a three cycle degree structure.

First Cycle (undergraduate studies) leads to a Corsi di Laurea (CL) for first degree courses. These are designed to provide basic levels of knowledge and professional skills. They last generally for 3 years and equate to 180 ECTS[1]. Those students gaining 180 credits are awarded the Laurea (L).

Second Cycle (graduate studies) can refer to two types of qualification. There is the second degree or Laurea specialistica (LS) that last for 2 years and consists of 120 ECTS or the 1st Level Masters degree (Master universitario di 1° livello) which is at least 1 year in duration and consists of 60+ ECTS.  There is also a 2nd level Masters degree (Master universitario di 2° livello) that is also (1+ years and 60+ ECTS)

Third Cycle (postgraduate studies) is essentially the research doctorate degree or dottorato di ricerca. This takes at least 3 years

Finally, there are also some specialised degrees called diploma di specializzazione[2] that last for between 1 and 5 years and range between 60 and 300 ECTS.

Universities Teaching either Economics or Business

  1. Marche Polytechnic University (Università Politecnica delle Marche)
  2. University of Aosta Valley (Università della Valle D'Aosta)
  3. University of L'Aquila (Università degli Studi de L'Aquila)
  4. University of Calabria (Università della Calabria)
  5. University of Bari (Università degli Studi di Bari)
  6. Libera Università Mediterranea( Jean Monnet di Casamassima)
  7. University of Sannio (Università del Sannio di Benevento)
  8. University of Bergamo (Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
  9. University of Bologna (Università degli Studi Alma Mater di Bologna)
  10. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Libera Università di Bolzano)
  11. University of Gastronomic Sciences (Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche)
  12. University of Brescia (Università degli Studi di Brescia)
  13. University of Cagliari (Università degli Studi di Cagliari)
  14. University of Molise (Università degli Studi del Molise)
  15. University of Cassino (Università degli Studi di Cassino)
  16. University Carlo Cattaneo (Libera Università "Carlo Cattaneo" - LIUC)
  17. University of Catania (Università degli Studi di Catania)
  18. University of Chieti (Università degli Studi G.D'Annunzio di Chieti)
  19. Kore University of Enna (Università Kore di Enna)
  20. University of Ferrara (Università degli Studi di Ferrara)
  21. University of Florence (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
  22. Italian Institute of Human Sciences (SUM - Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane di Firenze)
  23. University of Foggia (Università degli Studi di Foggia)
  24. University of Genoa (Università degli Studi di Genova)
  25. University of Lecce (Università degli Studi del Salento)
  26. IMT Institute for advanced studies (Scuola IMT - Istituzioni, Mercati, Tecnologie - Alti Studi - Lucca)
  27. University of Macerata (Università degli Studi di Macerata)
  28. University of Messina (Università degli Studi di Messina)
  29. University of Milan (Università degli Studi di Milano)
  30. University of Milan - Bicocca (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
  31. Politecnico di Milano
  32. Sacro Cuore Catholic University (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore]])
  33. Luigi Bocconi University (Università "Bocconi" Milano)
  34. Vita-Salute San Raffaele University (Libera Università "Vita Salute S.Raffaele" Milano)
  35. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
  36. University of Naples Federico II (Università degli Studi di Napoli "Federico II")
  37. Second University of Naples (Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli)
  38. Parthenope University of Naples (Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope")
  39. University of Padua (Università degli Studi di Padova)
  40. University of Palermo (Università degli Studi di Palermo)
  41. University of Parma (Università degli Studi di Parma)
  42. University of Pavia (Università degli Studi di Pavia)
  43. Institute for Advanced Study of Pavia (Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia)
  44. University of Perugia (Università degli Studi di Perugia)
  45. University of Pisa (Università degli Studi di Pisa)
  46. Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Sant'Anna di Pisa)
  47. Scuola Normale Superiore (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
  48. Basilicata University (Università degli Studi della Basilicata)
  49. University of Reggio Calabria (Università degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria)
  50. University for foreigners of Reggio Calabria (Università per Stranieri "Dante Alighieri" di Reggio Calabria)
  51. Sapienza University of Rome (Sapienza Università di Roma)
  52. University of Rome Tor Vergata (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")
  53. Roma Tre University (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)
  54. LUISS University of Rome (Libera Università Internazionale Studi Sociali "Guido Carli" LUISS-ROMA)
  55. S. Pio V University of Rome (Libera Università degli Studi "S. Pio V")
  56. Maria SS. Assunta University of Rome (Libera Università degli Studi "Maria SS. Assunta")
  57. Università degli Studi Europea di Roma
  58. University of Salerno (Università degli Studi di Salerno)
  59. University of Sassari (Università degli Studi di Sassari)
  60. University of Siena (Università degli Studi di Siena)
  61. University of Trento (Università degli Studi di Trento)
  62. University of Trieste (Università degli Studi di Trieste)
  63. University of Turin (Università degli Studi di Torino)
  64. Polytechnic University of Turin (Politecnico di Torino)
  65. University of Udine (Università degli Studi di Udine)
  66. University of Urbino (Università degli Studi di Urbino "Carlo Bo")
  67. University of Insubria (Università degli Studi dell'Insubria)
  68. University of Venice (Università "Cà Foscari" di Venezia)
  69. University of Eastern Piedmont (Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale "Amedeo Avogadro" - Vercelli)
  70. University of Verona (Università degli Studi di Verona)
  71. Tuscia University (Università degli Studi della Tuscia)

International rankings

According to Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings for 2010 there were no Italian universities ranked in the top 100. However, in terms of bands in which specific Universities fall, the following can be shown:

Institution Name


University of Milan
University of Pisa
University of Roma - La Sapienza
University of Padua
University of Bologna
University of Florence
University of Turin
Polytechnic Institute of Milan
Scuola Normale Superiore - Pisa
University of Ferrara
University of Genova
University of Naples Federico II
University of Palermo
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Polytechnic University of Turin
University of Bari
University of Parma
University of Pavia
University of Perugia
University of Roma - Tor Vergata
University of Siena


[1] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.

[2] Offered according to the national legislation or EU directives for specific areas of study.


Bologna process: Latvia


Latvia offers two types of approach in higher education – academic courses and professional courses. In 2009/10 there were just over 112,000 students enrolled on over 900 programmes in Latvia (Ministry of Education, 2011) with 94,000 on Bachelors programmes, 16,000 on Masters programmes and 2,000 taking Doctorates. In addition to state-run institutions, higher education is also offered by private education institutions, the latter mainly offering study programmes in areas such as law, management and finance.

The Latvian Government signed up to the Bologna Agreement in 1999 and operates a three cycle system of higher education. One further outcome of the Bologna process was that Latvian institutions are now able to offer professional degrees alongside academic degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

Universities in Latvia are autonomous although they are overseen by the government. The system is split into two parts – state run and privately financed institutions established by legal bodies. Higher education is offered by 6 universities, 26 state institutions of higher education and 26 colleges. In total there are 58 higher education institutions – 37 are public and 21 are higher education institutions established by legal bodies.

(ii) Access

There is no centralised admissions system for universities, so each institution is responsible for its own admissions. There are two routes into higher education from secondary school: students should hold either an Atestāts par vispārējo vidējo izglītību (comprehensive general secondary education certificate) or a Diploms par profesionālo vidējo izglītību (vocational qualification) However, many institutions also require an entrance examination to be taken and passed before entry can occur.

(iii) Qualifications

The State Academic Higher Education Standard determines the scope and content of degrees offered in the higher education sector. Grades in first degrees are usually awarded on a 10 point scale with 1 the lowest and 10 the highest with a pass mark set at 4.

In the first cycle, Bachelors programmes have a nominal duration of between 6 to 8 semesters (3-4 years), representing 120-160 Latvian credits. One Latvian credit corresponds with 1.5 ECTS. After completion of the programme students obtain a Bakalaura Diploms degree.

The second cycle of study for a Masters programme has an average duration of 1 to 2 years so the minimum study period required for a Bachelors and then a Masters is five year in total but could last as long as seven years. When the Masters programme is completed, which includes writing a Dissertation, students obtain a Mağistra Diploms degree.

The third cycle is the Doctoral level and this requires entrants to have completed a Masters degree first. The majority of third cycle programmes last between 3 and 4 years. The doctorate degree programme leads to the award of the Doktora grāds degree.

Universities in Latvia (teaching either economics or business)

  1. University of  Latvia (LU),
  2. Riga Technical University
  3. Daugavpils University
  4. University of Liepaja (former Liepaja Pedagogical Higher School)
  5. Latvian University of Agriculture

In addition there are also:

  1. Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  2. Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration
  3. University College of Economics and Culture


Bologna process: Lithuania


Since 1993 and in line with the Bologna ideals, there are three cycles of study within universities: first cycle (undergraduate); second cycle (graduate); and third cycle (post-graduate). Oversight of the whole of the education system including higher education is provided by the Ministry of Education and Science.

The quality of the programmes as well as the educational and scientific activities of higher education institutions are periodically assessed by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education. Study is normally based on 40 national credits per year. One credit equates to 40 hours of study or to 1.5 ECTS credits (approximately an average of 1600 working hours per academic year).

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

The higher education sector in Lithuania consists of 22 universities who deliver three cycles of study at the tertiary level, split between state (15) and private sector (7) provision. Private institutions can operate by gaining a licence from the government. There are other institutions offering study beyond secondary school and these are called colleges and tend to be more vocational in focus.

Before 2007 graduates from colleges received only a professional qualification and they did not receive a degree. Since 2007, colleges which had been approved through a quality assurance review (performed 4 years after their establishment), have been given the right to confer a profesinis bakalauras (Professional Bachelor) degree. Importantly though it does not give students access to 2nd cycle studies. Graduates can enter university-level Master studies only after they take additional courses. The additional courses should not exceed 80 credits.

(ii) Access

To gain entry to a university undergraduate programme, students must have a brandos atestatas from secondary education or an equivalent education certificate. As outlined below, to progress through the cycles of study students must successfully complete the previous stage. Admission is through a competitive process whether for initial 1st cycle or for 2nd and 3rd cycles and admission rules set up by the higher education institution and validated by the Ministry of Education and Science.

(iii) Qualifications

University studies are organized in three cycles, which are as follows:

  • 1st cycle (bakalauras - Bachelor) degree and/or a professional qualification. Students need to complete 140 – 180 ECTS[1] credits in order to complete the cycle and progress to 2nd cycle of study.
  • 2nd cycle (magistras - Masters) degree or to magistras (Master) degree and a professional qualification. The requirement is to complete 60 – 80 credits and successful students can then enter the 3rd cycle. In addition there are some specialized professional studies that provide a professional qualification but which cannot provide entry to the 3rd cycle.
  • The 3rd cycle is more complex in that there are potentially three different awards available at this level. The mainstream qualification and equivalent to the UK PhD is the doktorantūra or doctoral study. This leads to a research degree and is usually completed within 4 years. The alternative awards are the rezidentūra or residency - which relates to medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine and over a 3-6 year period provides a professional qualification - and the meno aspirantūra or art studies and leads to a meno licenciatas degree (80 credits required).

Finally, in some disciplines such as engineering, law and medicine there are vientisosios or integrated programmes that combine 1st and 2nd cycle studies.

Universities in Lithuania teaching either economics or business

  1. International Business School of Vilnius University
  2. ISM University of Management and Economics
  3. Klaipėda University
  4. Mykolas Romeris University
  5. LCC International University (LCC)
  6. Lithuanian University of Agriculture
  7. Šiauliai University
  8. Vilnius Academy of Business Law
  9. Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
  10. Vilnius Pedagogical University
  11. Vilnius University
  12. Vytautas Magnus University


[1] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.


Bologna process: Luxembourg


In August 2003, the University of Luxembourg was founded making it the only university in the country. Before its inception, students had the ability to take one or two years of academic study in one of several higher educational institutions and then,  if required, could go abroad to complete their degree studies.  

The language of instruction is not common in that courses can be held in a combination of two languages: French/English, French/German, or English/German.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

The new university now combines the former University Centre (Centre Universitaire), a technology institute (Institut Supérieur de Technologie – IST), an international institute (Institut Universitaire International) and two teacher training institutes (the Institut Supérieur d’Etudes et de Recherches Pédagogiques – ISEEP and the Institut de Formation pour Educateurs et Moniteurs – IFEM). It organises itself along the lines of three faculties: science/technology and communication; law/economics and finance; arts/humanities and education sciences.

(ii) Access

A general entry requirement for undergraduate study is a school completion certificate or certificate from a technical college, or equivalent from an overseas school. In some cases it is possible for there to be further supplementary requirements before entry is allowed. These extra needs vary from course to course.

(iii) Qualifications

The University’s qualifications are based directly on the Bologna Principles. While offering Bachelor degrees in the first cycle, the emphasis of most teaching is on the second and third cycles – Masters and Doctorate study. The Faculte de Droit, d’Economie et de Finance offers three Bachelors: Bachelor en Droit (Law), Bachelor en Sciences Economiques et de Gestion (Economics and Management) and a Bachelor en Gestion (Management).

Six Masters are offered in the Faculte including a Masters in Economics and Finance, a Master of Science in Banking and Finance and a Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Finally Doctorates in Economics are offered in the third cycle.

Universities in Luxembourg (Teaching Either Economics or Business)

1.      University of Luxembourg


Bologna process: Malta


The main provider of university education in Malta is the University of Malta. It is publically funded with the money being part of the education budget. Regulation comes in the form of the Education Act (1998) and is implemented by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Employment. Course design is left to the University but ultimately it must report to the Ministry.

The University of Malta has thirteen faculties: Arts; Built Environment; Dental Surgery; Economics, Management & Accountancy; Education; Engineering;  Health Sciences; Information & Communication Technology; Laws; Media & Knowledge Sciences; Medicine & Surgery; Science and Theology.

Other institutions exist such as the International Institute of Studies whose degree provision is supported by amongst others the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. Others with foreign links also exists often in the fields of business and administration.

The vocational educational track in Malta falls under the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) which consists of a number of institutes. It is answerable to the Ministry of Education but not regulated by the Education Act (1988) since it has only been established since 2001. It does offer some degree courses in specialized areas but generally concentrates on courses at level 5 and below.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

The University of Malta offers programmes at all three levels - undergraduate Bachelor's Degrees, which last between three and five years, postgraduate Master's Degrees that last two years full-time and Doctorates (PhD).

The Bologna process has been promoted across the University of Malta and faculties have been requested to harmonize their courses. This has been completed for all courses with the exception of Medicine and Dentistry. Most of the undergraduate courses across Faculties within the University of Malta now follow harmonized regulations.

The Education Act covers all levels of education in Malta from ISCED[1] 0 to ISCED 6.

(ii) Access

A great deal of the system of education in Malta can be traced back to a traditional UK structure including a quasi-11 plus exam for entrance to a secondary school. At the end of secondary school or sixth form colleges and before University students take a Secondary Education Certificate. A further Matriculation examination is then taken which offers the opportunity for entry to an undergraduate degree or diploma.

(iii) Qualifications

In many respects Malta was ahead of the Bologna process in that degree programmes were always based on three cycles and while the first Doctorate was not awarded until 1974 degrees at the first and second cycle level have been in place since the 1960s. Despite this structure the Minister of Education was keen for the University of Malta to embrace the Bologna principles despite the lack of formal requirement in the Education Act..

Since 2003, the University of Malta has been running the ECTS system. Full-time programmes leading to Bachelor and Master degrees last three to four years and one to two years respectively. The university’s regulations require that all courses are based on the three-cycle system.

Universities in Malta (teaching either economics or business)

  1. University of Malta


[1] The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) was designed by UNESCO in the early 1970s to serve ‘as an instrument suitable for assembling, compiling and presenting statistics of education both within individual countries and internationally’. It was approved by the International Conference on Education (Geneva, 1975), and was subsequently endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference.


Bologna process: Poland


Much of the current structure and regulation of the higher education sector in Poland can be traced to the “Law on Higher Education” passed on 27th July, 2005. The previous Higher Education Act (1990) allowed for some private provision of universities rather than the more common state provision. As such there is now a mixture of both types of provision. Including the Catholic University of Lublin. These are supplemented by higher professional education providers, created via the Schools of Higher Professional Education Act (1997).

Oversight of universities and higher education generally comes from the Ministry of National Education and Science with some specific input from other ministries (e.g. Ministry of Health for Academies of Medicine or Ministry of National Defence for military schools).

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

First cycle programmes aim to provide knowledge and skills in a specific area of study, preparing students for work in a specific profession. Graduates of first-cycle programmes have access to second-cycle programmes. Second-cycle and long-cycle programmes aim to provide specialist knowledge in a specific area of study, preparing students for creative work in a specific profession. The completion of both second cycle and long cycle programmes provides access to third cycle (doctoral) programmes.

The duration of degree programmes in both university-type and non-university HEIs is as follows:

  • First-cycle programmes leading a Bachelor’s degree (licencjat or inżynier): 3 to 4 years when leading to licencjat or 3.5 to 4 years when leading to inżynier, depending on the field of study;
  • Second-cycle programmes leading to a Master’s degree (magister or an equivalent degree): 1.5 to 2 years, depending on the field of study;
  • Long-cycle programmes leading to a Master’s degree (magister or an equivalent degree): 4.5 to 6 years, depending on the field of study.

All three types of degree programmes, including first-cycle (Bachelor’s degree), second cycle (Master’s degree) and long-cycle (Master’s degree) programmes are offered by HEIs in officially recognised fields of study. Fields of study are the same for university-type and non-university HEIs. All 119 currently existing fields are listed in the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 13 June 2006 on the names of fields of study. At present, degree programmes in most fields of study may be offered as first cycle programmes, second-cycle programmes and/or long-cycle programmes; with the exception of 11 fields of study including acting, art conservation and restoration, canon law, dentistry, law, medical analysis, medicine, moving image production and photography, pharmacy, psychology and veterinary medicine, where programmes are provided only as long-cycle studies.

(ii) Access

Students in secondary schools take a final examination called Matura. In addition, students wishing to progress to a higher level of education whatever the destination (college, polytechnic or university) must take and pass a Matura exam in order to gain a Swiadectwo Dojrzalosci (Matura Certificate). It is this certificate that provides a route to admission to the first cycle or licencjat degree. Each institution sets its own criteria in relation to this examination to determine admission.

To progress to a second cycle programmeme, students must hold a Bachelor’s degree (licencjat or inżynier), a Master’s degree (magister or an equivalent degree) or an equivalent degree.

Doctoral programmemes in the third cycle are provided by universities and research institutions other than HEIs. Admission is based on the students having a Master’s degree (magister or an equivalent degree) plus some institution-specific conditions.

(iii) Qualifications

Graduates of the first level courses (studia pierwszego stopnia) are awarded the professional title of licencjat or inżynier (or equivalent) after 3-4 years' study. Graduates of the second level courses (studia drugiego stopnia) are awarded the professional title of magister or equivalent after 1.5 to 2-year complementary magister level courses. There are also uniform 5-year magister level courses (jednolite studia magisterskie).

A system of grading for degrees awards works as follows:

  • 2.0 – fail grade
  • 3.0 – lowest passing grade
  • 3.5
  • 4.0
  • 4.5
  • 5.0 – highest grade

The grading is done every semester (twice a year), not once in a school year.

The overall grade can either be based on a single exam or across the whole semester, the latter case resulting in a point system being used as opposed to the 2–5 scale.

Universities in Poland (teaching either economics or business)

  1. University of Białystok (Uniwersytet w Białymstoku, UwB)
  2. University of Gdańsk (Uniwersytet Gdański, UG)
  3. Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Uniwersytet Jagielloński, UJ
  4. John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II, KUL)
  5. Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, UMCS)
  6. University of Łódź (Uniwersytet Łódzki, )
  7. University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski w Olsztynie, UWM)
  8. Opole University (Uniwersytet Opolski, UO)
  9. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Uniwersytet Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, UAM)
  10. Rzeszów University (Uniwersytet Rzeszowski, UR)
  11. University of Silesia in Katowice (Uniwersytet Śląski,
  12. University of Szczecin (Uniwersytet Szczeciński, US)
  13.  Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, UMK)
  14. University of Warsaw (Uniwersytet Warszawski, UW
  15. Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego, UKSW)
  16. University of Wrocław (Uniwersytet Wrocławski, UWroc)
  17. University of Zielona Góra (Uniwersytet Zielonogórski, UZ)
  18. Academy of Economics in Białystok
  19. Academy of Finance and Management in Białystok
  20. University of Economics in Katowice (Akademia Ekonomiczna w Katowicach)
  21. Cracow University of Economics (Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Krakowie)
  22. Poznań University of Economics (Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny w Poznaniu
  23. Wrocław University of Economics (Uniwersytet Ekonomiczny we Wrocławiu)
  24. Warsaw School of Economics (Szkoła Główna Handlowa, SGH
  25. Academy of Humanities & Economics in Łódź


Bologna process: Romania


Higher education in Romania is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Research and of the 112 universities in Romania, 54 are public and the rest are run by the private sector but such universities need to receive accreditation from the Ministry. Whatever the governance, there are many forms of higher education institutions provided and include universities, academies and colleges. The length of study varies from 3 years of short university education offered, 4-6 years of long university education and 1-2 years of postgraduate university education. A separate body, the National Council for Academic Evaluation and Accreditation, provides the regular review of quality assurance.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

Higher education in Romania is classified into six different forms:

Universitate (University): generally the dominant form of provision and can be broad based in terms of discipline coverage. Also engaged in research activities.

Academie (Academy): reflecting a more specialised type of activity in one area general area (e.g. music).

Universitate Politehnică (Polytechnical University): these were former polytechnics which saw their status change in 1990 and tend to focus on technical/vocational study.

Institut (Institute): reflecting study based on professional experience and thus degrees are professional in nature.

Colegiu Universitar (University College): such institutions offer a diploma for 2-3 year courses. Students graduating cannot go on to take a Masters (second cycle) programme.

Postgraduate schools independent from universities.

Higher education programmes can be classified as either short-term (ending in the diplomă de absolvire/graduation diploma) or long-term (diplomă de licenţă/licensure diploma). Universities can offer both lengths of programmes based on their specialisms.

(ii) Access

To gain entrance to short or long term programmes students must have the Diploma de Bacalaureat as a minimum. In additoon there is a competitive examination that must be passed called the Examen de Admitere. Generally, an overall score of 5 is required for higher education programmes.

Graduates from scolii profesionale (professional schools) do not have the right to apply for postsecondary education programmes.

At the end of the undergraduate programme, students take a final comprehensive exam called “Licenta”.

(iii) Qualifications

The delivery of degrees is through many different institutions but the structure of provision is based on the Bologna principles. As such there are three cycles of study.

  • first cycle of 180 to 240 ECTS[1] (three to four years) leads to a bachelor’s degree (diploma de licenta)
  • A second cycle of 60 to 120 ECTS (one to two years) leads to a master’s degree Diploma de Studii Aprofundante (diploma of advanced study) or the diploma de master (master diploma).
  • A third cycle of 120 to 240 ECTS leads to a PhD degree (called the Diploma de Doctor)

Universities in Romania (teaching either economics or business)

Public institutions of higher education

  1. University of Bucharest
  2. Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies
  3. National School of Administration and Political Science of Bucharest
  4. 1 Decembrie 1918 University, Alba Iulia
  5. Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad
  6. University of Bacău
  7. Northern University
  8. Transylvania University of Braşov
  9. Babeş-Bolyai University
  10. University of Craiova
  11. University of Galaţi
  12. University of Iaşi
  13. University of Oradea
  14. University of Petroşani
  15. University of Piteşti
  16. Eftimie Murgu University of Reşiţa
  17. Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
  18. Ştefan cel Mare University of Suceava
  19. Valahia University of Târgovişte
  20. Constantin Brâncuşi University
  21. Petru Maior University of Târgu Mureş
  22. West University of Timişoara

Private institutions of higher education (Accredited)

  1. Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University
  2. Titu Maiorescu University
  3. Nicolae Titulescu University
  4. Romanian-American University
  5. Hyperion University
  6. Spiru Haret University
  7. Bioterra University
  8. Athenaeum University
  9. Artifex” University of Bucharest
  10. Vasile Goldiş West University of Arad
  11. George Bacovia University of Bacău
  12. University of Brasov
  13. Bogdan Vodă University of Cluj-Napoca
  14. Andrei Şaguna University of Constanţa
  15. Danubius University of Galaţi
  16. I.C. Dragan” European University, Lugoj
  17. Petre Andrei University of Iaşi
  18. Mihail Kogălniceanu University of Iaşi
  19. Emanuel University of Oradea
  20. Constantin Brancoveanu” University of Pitesti
  21. Commercial Academy of Satu Mare
  22. Romanian-German University of Sibiu
  23. Dimitrie Cantemir University of Târgu Mureş
  24. Tibiscus University of Timişoara

Temporarily authorized to function

  1. British Romanian University
  2. Sapientia University
  3. Mihai Viteazul University
  4. Gheorghe Zane University
  5. Agora University
  6. Alma Mater University of Sibiu
  7. Ioan Slavici University of Timişoara
  8. University of Wales, Romania
  9. Tomis University

Temporarily authorized to function and undergoing accreditation:

  1. Romanian Banking Institute
  2. Avram Iancu University
  3. Partium Christian University
  4. Institute of Business Administration in Bucharest


[1] European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries. For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type and is used to facilitate transfer and progression throughout the Union.


Bologna process: Slovakia


There are three different types of institutions that deliver higher education in Slovakia, namely public, state and private institutions. All three forms provide degree level programmes although there are differences as to the extent to which they cover the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate cycles.

The Bologna Declaration underpins the structure of programmes in Slovakia with three cycles of study – Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral cycles – while studying within the state and public universities is free of charge for residents of Slovakia and of the EU.

Oversight of the sector is provided by the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic (Ministerstvo školstva SR)

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

(i) Structure

Higher education institutions can be classified into a number of categories with the generic level being a Univerzity (University). Specialist institutions exist for a number of subjects such as Pedagogické Univerzity (University of Education) or Technické Univerzity (University of Technology) as well as [police and military academies. There are indeed specialist institutions for economics called Ekonomické Univerzity (University of Economics)

(ii) Access

There are a number of routes into the first cycle of study at a university based on the type of secondary school or study programme undertaken up to the age of 18 or 19. Gymnázium provide a Secondary School Leaving Certificate (vysvedčenie o maturitnej skúške) while more specialist schools offer a School Leaving Certificate Specialized Secondary in areas such as agriculture and health care but includes economics.

Alongside these school leaving certificates, many universities hold entrance examinations for entry to Bachelors degrees. In effect entry is governed at the most straightforward level by this maturita examination and clearly entry to the second cycle requires successful completion of cycle one and a Bachelors degree.

Entry to the third cycle requires successful completion of cycle two.

(iii) Qualifications

The principles of the Bologna Declaration help shape the provision of higher education in Slovakia in that institutions provide study programmes at three levels:

  • First Level – Batchelor’s ("Bakalár") level which varies from three or four years of study with the later including such subjects as architecture, fine art and design.
  • Second Level - Masters (Magisterské, Inžinierske, Doktorské štúdium) (the “Magisters”, “Engineers” and “Doctors” study programme). Again a range of lengths of period of study are apparent but it must be at least a year and a maximum of three years.
  • Third Level - PhD (Doktorandské štúdium). The expected length of study is a minimum of three years and a maximum of four years. There are exceptions for example in the medical sciences where an examination can be held after five years.

Universities in Slovakia (teaching either economics or business)

Public schools of higher education

  1. Matej Bel University
  2. Comenius University
  3. University of Economics in Bratislava
  4. Selye János University
  5. Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín

Private schools of higher education

  1. College of Public Administration Economics and Management
  2. International Business College ISM Slovakia


Bologna process: Slovenia


The Register of Higher Education Institutions of 30 June 2010 includes 30 independent higher education institutions and five universities, the newest of the former particularly focusing on social sciences. Slovenia participated actively in the Bologna process and as a member of the European Union it has committed itself to the goals of the Lisbon Agenda.

Higher Education in Slovenia has recently undergone a major review. The National Higher Education Programme 2011-2020 includes the entire area of tertiary education, which in addition to higher education institutions, also includes higher vocational colleges. In accordance with the Higher Education Act universities provide for the development of science, professional competence and art. Faculties perform scientific research and educational activity, while professional colleges carry out educational and also professional activity.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Post graduate Level

Higher education

(i) Structure

  • Univerza (University): Slovenia’s universities include:
  • Faculites (Fakulteta)
  • Art academies (Umetniška akademija)
  • Professional colleges
  • Single higher education institutions (private) (samostojni visokošolski zavodi).
  • Short cycle higher vocational college education (Visoka strokovna šola). The study is for a period of two years in duration and is valued at 120 credit points. It is focused, to a large extent, on the acquisition of practical knowledge and skills in specific occupations.

(ii) Access

The basic admission requirement for a university is the Matura (Maturitetno spričevalo) exam. University study programmes last between four and six years and end with the Diploma exam. A successful student receives a Diploma with a professional title naming the field of study. With a University Diploma, students can either seek work or continue their studies at post-graduate level.

The admission requirement for postgraduate study programmes leading to Master is a university degree. These programmes last for two years and end with the defence of a thesis. Successful students receive the academic title of Master in a specific field of study.

The admission requirements for postgraduate study programmes leading to Doctor of Science are either a university degree or a Master degree. Doctoral study programmes after a University Diploma last four years, programmes for students with a Master degree last two years.

(iii) Qualifications

The post Bologna system in Slovenia is as follows:

The first-cycle has a binary system of academic and professional study programmes leading to the first-cycle degree (diplomirani). Their duration is determined by years (three to four years) and credit points (180 to 240 CP). 60 credit points may be obtained per study year; 1 credit point consists of 25 to 30 hours of a student’s work.

The second-cycle offers Masters’ study programmes leading to Magister. They consist of 60 to 120 credit points and last from one to two years.

The third-cycle, doctoral studies, leads to ‘Doktor znanosti’. Duration is three years; study requirements consist of 180 credit points, two thirds of which must be acquired by research.

Universities Teaching either Economics or Business

Public institutions

  1. University of Ljubljana,
  2. University of Maribor,
  3. University of Primorska,
  4. University of Nova Gorica,

Private institutions

  1. GEA College of Entrepreneurship,
  2. Faculty of Information Studies
  3. Faculty of Applied Social Studies,
  4. IEDC-Bled School of Management,
  5. International School for Business and Social Studies,
  6. Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School,
  7. Doba Higher School of Business,
  8. Ljubljana School of Accounting
  9. Higher School of Applied Sciences,
  10. Faculty of Commercial and Business Sciences
  11. Business and Management College Novo mesto,

Approved private university

  1. European Study Center Maribor,


Bologna process: Spain


There are over 70 universities in Spain with some 50 public or state provided universities and the rest coming through private provision including the Church. Universities are divided into facultades universitarias, escuelas técnicas superiores, escuelas universitarias, institutos universitarios, and other centres, notably the colegios universitarios.

The State through the Ministerio de Ciencia and Innovacion and provides the regulatory framework in which degrees can be issued and earned in both academic and professional settings. The Consejo de Universidades (where the Ministry, the Comunidades Autónomas and the Universidades are represented) coordinates the activities of all universities and is a sounding board for developing policy proposals for the Ministry. Universities are relatively autonomous with isolated exceptions in certain military, artistic and music degree programmes that are given in non-university institutions.

In line with many other countries in the EU, Spain undertook significant reform of its higher education system in 2007 by embracing the Bologna Process.

Overview of Types of Universities and Qualifications at Undergraduate and Postgraduate Level

(i) Structure

There are four different types of university establishments in Spain:

  • University schools (escuelas universitarias), where ‘short-term’ three-year courses are offered;
  • University colleges (colegios universitarios) where the first three years of study leading to a licenciado is completed;
  • Faculties (facultades) where long-term courses are offered in all academic disciplines (except technical courses) and
  • Higher technical schools of engineering and architecture (escuela superior de ingeniería y arquitectura) where long-term technical courses are completed.

(ii) Access

To gain access to university from secondary school, students must gain a final grade – the nota de corte – at the end of their two years of bachillerato. In addition they take the Prueba General de Bachillerato (PGB) examination and acceptance to university can depend on the result obtained. Based on this grade, students are admitted over the summer period to university with those gaining the highest marks being accepted first. EU nationals are entitled to compete for places at Spanish universities on equal terms with Spanish nationals, as are Spanish nationals in other EU countries.

(iii) Qualifications

Spanish higher education has adopted the three cycle degree system of the European Higher Education Area. As such three cycles of study exists.

1st Cycle (primer ciclo) - Bachelor's programmes. The first cycle of university studies (short term courses), which is followed in Escuelas Técnicas Superiores, Escuelas Universitarias and Facultades lasts for three years and leads to the Diplomado or Licenciado. More specific titles include Ingeniero Técnico or Arquitecto Técnico.

2nd Cycle (Segundo ciclo) - Master's programmes. A second cycle diploma is called a licenciatura or tesina, and is awarded after five or six years study at a facultad. The courses of study leading to Licenciado, Ingeniero and Arquitecto degrees consist of a combination of 1st and 2nd cycle studies and once completed a Licenciatura is awarded. The Ingeniero and Arquitecto degrees are awarded following an end-of-course project (proyecto fin de carrera). These long term courses are followed at Facultades and Escuelas Técnicas Superiores. The former offer courses in Humanities and Science and the latter offer courses in Technology, Engineering and Architecture. There are also second cycle only studies that lead to the Licenciado or Ingeniero degrees.

3rd Cycle – (Tercer ciclo, ciclo de especialización para la investigación y docencia) Doctoral programmes. The third cycle of studies is a PhD (doctorate) programme, for a Doctor en Filosofía y Letras The third stage is open to holders of Licenciado, Arquitecto or Ingeniero degrees and leads to the Doctor's degree (Título de Doctor) which is awarded after at least three years' further study and research. Another postgraduate degree, although it is not officially recognized (Título propio de la Universidad) is a Masters degree, awarded after 1 or 2 years of further study..

Universities in Spain (Teaching Either Economics or Business)

  1. Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio
  2. Universidad Aótonoma de Barcelona
  3. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  4. Universidad de Alcaló
  5. Universidad de Alicante
  6. Universidad de Almeróa
  7. Universidad de Barcelona
  8. Univesidad de Códiz
  9. Universidad de Cantabria
  10. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  11. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  12. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  13. Universidad de Cantabria
  14. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha
  15. Universidad de Córdoba
  16. Universidad de Deusto
  17. Universidad de Extremadura
  18. Universidad de Granada
  19. Universidad de las Islas Baleares
  20. Universidad de La Coruóa
  21. Universidad de La Laguna
  22. Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  23. Universidad de León
  24. Universidad de Mólaga
  25. Universidad de Murcia
  26. Universidad de Navarra
  27. Universidad de Oviedo
  28. Universidad del Paós Vasco
  29. Universidad de Salamanca
  30. Universidad de Sevilla
  31. Universidad de Valladolid
  32. Universidad de Vigo
  33. Universidad de Zaragoza
  34. Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia
  35. Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, Madrid
  36. Universidad Póblica de Navarra
  37. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  38. Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona
  39. Universitat de Barcelona
  40. Universitat de Girona
  41. Universitat de Lleida
  42. Universitat de Valencia
  43. Universitat Jaume I de Castellón
  44. Universitat Politócnica de Catalunya
  45. Universitat Politócnica de Valencia
  46. Universitat Pompeu Fabra
  47. Universitat Ramón Llull
  48. Universitat Rovira i Virgili

International rankings

The Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings are as follows:

University of Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona/Universidad de Barcelona)
Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

NR = no ranking or ranking outside top 200.