CLUSTER statement on the implementation of the Bachelor/Master's model

1) Most of the CLUSTER institutions are introducing the Bachelor/Master's structure in their curricula. Typically, a Bachelor degree (3 to 4 years) will correspond to engineers who are "employable, but are not professionals". The Master's degree is obtained after 1 to 2 years following a Bachelor degree; the Master's corresponds in most institutions to the Engineering Diploma.

2) A Master's degree may be followed by a Ph.D. program lasting 3 to 5 years. Mobility is strongly encouraged as an excellent way of getting an international exposure during the studies.

3) "Vertical mobility" (for instance Bachelor studies in one institution followed by Master's studies in another one) is considered by most institutions as a new form of mobility. The same holds for Ph.D. studies after the Master's studies.

4) CLUSTER will consider the possibility of having joint degrees (as well as double degrees) conferred by two partners. Such programs will be agreed upon directly between CLUSTER partners.

5) Students having obtained a Bachelor (or Master's) degree from a CLUSTER university will be treated for admission to a Master's (or a Ph.D.) program to another CLUSTER institution as if they were local students.

6) The CLUSTER members are already involved in evaluation processes for the engineering education they provide. They are convinced that exchanging information about the existing procedures and studying alternatives is useful; therefore a meeting of the persons responsible or well-informed on the evaluation procedures in each institution should be organised in the near future.

7) Another role of CLUSTER could be the creation of a list of potential experts for the peer reviews.

8) Accreditation will generally be based on recognized evaluation procedures. CLUSTER does not intend to be involved as such in the accreditation process. CLUSTER will collect (and disseminate) the best practices in evaluation, which could provide the basis of accreditation procedures.

9) In addition, CLUSTER recognises that the ECTS is an important and a proper instrument in the education of engineers and scientists in Europe. It will therefore be necessary to follow the ongoing developments of the ECTS. CLUSTER would underline the difficulties which may arise in a system where the requirements for a degree would be limited to a simple credit accumulation. The credits are a necessary but by no means sufficient condition to obtain a degree. Attention should be paid in all cases to the content, level, degree of integration and volume of the programs and courses taken.

Approved at the Turin General Assembly of May 23 & 24, 2003