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5. Quality assurance
One of the objectives of the Bologna process is to improve and ensure the quality of higher education in the EHEA. In addition to the more technical steps, such as the harmonisation of the degree structures and the drawing up qualifications frameworks, a common framework for quality assurance in higher education is essential.
When the Bologna Declaration was signed in 1999, many of the participating countries did not yet have a quality assurance system for higher education. Quality assurance featured on the European agenda for the first time in 2003. In the Berlin Communiqué, the education ministers of the Bologna countries concurred at that time that the primary responsibility for the quality of education lies with the institutions. Under national legislation a minister may exercise influence on how higher education institutions fulfil that responsibility.