Minister concerned over Bologna Process delays

Halfway through the procedure introducing the Bologna Process of European higher education, known in French as LMD, Steve Mbikayi, minister for higher education in the DRC, is concerned about delays and has instructed university heads to carry out an evaluation of progress so far.

The contract between the ministry and the higher education institutions was signed a year ago within the framework of the “Education Project for Quality and Relevance of Secondary and Tertiary Education”, known by its French acronym PEQPESU. In terms of this framework, LMD is due to be introduced in a year’s time, reported La Prospérité of Kinshasa.

PEQPESU, financed by the World Bank, aims to improve the quality of education at all levels. For higher education it introduces a performance contract between each institution, which commits itself to improving its performance in agreed areas, and the government, which is committed to the funding.

The new management system aims to encourage the development of higher education institutions, help them achieve their strategic development plans, formulate programmes to meet the needs of the employment market – and support them in successfully joining the LMD system, reported La Prospérité.

LMD – which denotes ‘licence-master-doctorat’, the three-, five- and eight-year degrees around which the Bologna Process is constructed – is an inter-governmental cooperative system of higher education introduced in 1999 which operates in about 50 European countries. It includes mutual recognition of qualifications and encourages international mobility, and is being adopted by countries in other parts of the world, including Africa.

Mbikayi said it was urgent to reduce the delays in establishing the programme.

“A year after signing the performance contract with the different institutions we need to make a midway evaluation to see if we are ahead or behind. But I have noticed a delay in establishing this programme. So there is a need to speed up the operation, especially as next year institutions will have to make radical changes within the LMD system,” La Prospérité quoted him as saying. – Compiled by Jane Marshall.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.