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Original Articles

Has the Bologna process been worthwhile? An analysis of the Learning Society-Adapted Outcome Index through quantile regression

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Pages 1579-1594 | Published online: 03 Feb 2015


This paper seeks to discover whether the performance of university students has improved in the wake of the changes in higher education introduced by the Bologna Declaration of 1999 and the construction of the European Higher Education Area. A principal component analysis is used to construct a multi-dimensional performance variable called the LEArning Society-adapted Outcome Index. A quantile regression is then applied to ensure that the analysis does not focus solely on average figures, and the performance of students of various types is analyzed. Significant improvements are found in the acquisition of systemic and interpersonal skills and in student satisfaction but not in cognitive aspects. There are improvements in students of all types, but they are smaller among the best students.


This work was supported by the FESIDE Foundation, the Econometrics Research Group (Basque Government grant IT-642-13), and the Educational Innovation Project (PIE 6380) at the University of the Basque Country.


1. This is for the case of a continuous explanatory variable. For the case of dummy explanatory variables, β measures the difference between the means of the groups.

2. The comparison was conducted by estimating Seemingly Unrelated Regression Equations (SURE), with comparisons made on the parameters of the joint model.

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