The underlying aim of the Bologna process is to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010. As part of this process, the graduate level was introduced as the third cycle in the coherent degree structure for higher education presented at the EU Council of Ministers in Berlin in 2003.33
However the Bologna Declaration is not binding and the individual member states determine themselves how their national educational systems are to be organised. Denmark has opted not to define doctoral programmes as “education”.
This also means that Denmark’s doctoral programmes are not evaluated by EVA. In the opinion of the expert panel this is a patent shortcoming in EVA’s mandate and indeed also in the evaluation of higher education in Denmark. Higher education, comprising short-cycle, medium-cycle and long-cycle programmes, master’s programmes and – according to the definition that has by now become accepted in Europe – doctoral programmes, is a totality and should be evaluated as a whole.