The Bachelor system is better than its reputation: On the whole, graduates with a Bachelor's degree enter employment without any difficulties according to a study entitled "Mit dem Bachelor in den Beruf" ("starting a career with a Bachelor's degree"). The majority of graduates, however, tend to continue their academic training with a Master's degree. The BMBF
has launched numerous initiatives to promote the Bologna Process and ensure greater acceptance by all those involved.
Third Pillar of the Higher Education Pact
The Federal Government and the Länder have agreed a joint funding programme to improve the conditions for study at institutions of higher education and have thus added a third pillar to the Higher Education Pact. Funding focuses on initiatives to recruit and train personnel and to enhance the quality of teaching at institutions of higher education. The Federal Government will make approximately 2 billion euros available by 2020 and provide new impetus for implementing the Bologna reforms.
Bologna Mobility Package
The BMBF will be increasing its funding for mobility significantly up to 2015 in order to support, for example, collaborations between universities, four-year Bachelor programmes involving integrated periods of study abroad, double degree programmes and language courses.
National Bologna Conference and Dialogue
The implementation of these measures in Germany is supported by a joint Federal Government-Länder Working Group on the "Continuation of the Bologna Process", which consists of a large number of stakeholders (University Rectors' Conference (HRK), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), students, social partners, the Accreditation Council and the German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW)). A National Bologna Conference took place on 17 May 2010 at the invitation of Minister Schavan. It provided an opportunity for discussions with leading representatives in the fields of politics, higher education and industry as well as with student representatives on the progress made with implementing the reforms; further activities were also agreed at the conference. A follow-up conference is due to take place in 2011.
The University Rectors' Conference and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) constantly support and advise the institutions of higher education in their efforts to implement the Bologna reforms.
There are a large number of publications on the Bologna Process, its implementation and individual aspects. For example, the Research Group on Higher Education at the University of Konstanz, INCHER-Kassel and the Higher Education Information System (HIS) have compiled empirical results with financial support from the BMBF. A report on the transition from the new courses of study to the labour market was published by the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany in May 2011.