Twenty years after the launch of Bologna‐process – What is the status of harmonization of dental education?
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BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Higher education in the European Union states has undergone a major reform towards harmonisation following the "Bologna Declaration." The aim of this paper is to evaluate the implementation of the Bologna Process in Dental Education following its 20th anniversary and identify commonalities and differences in the way dental programmes are delivered in the EU. METHODS: According to the aim of this study, an Internet search, based on the EU Manual published in 2015, was undertaken and included representative university/dental faculty websites from each EU member state. The search was focused on the type of the under- and postgraduate dental programmes (cycles), the awarded undergraduate degrees (bachelor, master, doctorate), duration of undergraduate study programmes, awarded ECTS credits and the necessity of mandatory postgraduate practical training. Results were collated, and descriptive statistical analysis was undertaken. RESULTS: The search identified 26 EU states out of a total of 28 as providers of dental education. Two of the 26 countries offer a bachelor's degrees (Bachelor of Dental Surgery); five countries offer a combined bachelor's and master's degree; and ten countries still award the doctor's degree for the undergraduate education. Finally, three countries award diploma for the graduating dentist. CONCLUSIONS: Two decades after the launch, noticeable differences in the structure and duration of undergraduate dental programmes persist and these may be attributed to curricular structure and university regulations in individual EU countries.
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