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I am just curious. Israel is not a part of Bologna Process.

So, I have two questions:

  1. Why was Israel rejected a membership in Bologna process?
  2. How is an Israeli PhD evaluated in Bologna member countries?
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    With a few exceptions (like Germany), a doctoral degree isn't protected by law and there are no standards to evaluate what is a PhD and what isn't. If you were awarded a PhD then you have one. As far as I know some Israeli institutions have international renown some don't. The same thing can be said about any country. In my experience what maters is: what you achieved as a PhD student > your group's reputation within the field > your institution's prestige > everything else. – Cape Code Oct 5 '18 at 8:35
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    @CapeCode You're responding to someone who quoted the Bologna process, whose purpose is precisely to homogenize degrees such as "bachelor", "master" and... "doctor". Your "few exceptions" is basically Europe. – user9646 Oct 5 '18 at 11:43
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    For context, most other countries around the world (including, for example, the US, Canada, Japan and Australia) are also not members of the Bologna Process. Can you explain why your question 2 (and your title question) don’t apply equally to those countries? – Dan Romik Oct 5 '18 at 20:17
  • At least the top 3-4 institutions are generally regarded on par of strong European/US institutions. Funding is less, but the PhD quality is generally quite high. The Bologna process has actually eroded some of strong points of continental education (e.g. in Germany the "Humboldt"-ideal), so not being included is not necessarily indicating a weak point. – Captain Emacs Oct 5 '18 at 23:02
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  1. Why was Israel rejected a membership in Bologna process?

My understanding is that it's a formal matter:

Israel's initial application to the Bologna process was submitted in January 2007. The application's re-submission in 2008 was rejected. The rejection appears to rest on formal-political grounds: non-European states cannot sign the Bologna Declaration and join the process; they may only observe the process and its implementation

The rejection was likely based on the 2003 Berlin communiqué, which states that a country needs to be a signatory of the European Cultural Convention to be eligible to join in the Bologna process:

Countries party to the European Cultural Convention shall be eligible for membership of the European Higher Education Area provided that they at the same time declare their willingness to pursue and implement the objectives of the Bologna Process in their own systems of higher education.

This means that it's mostly members of the Council of Europe (not to be confused with the European Union) that have joined the Higher Education Area. There is a short list of exceptions, but Israel is not one of them.


  1. How is an Israeli PhD evaluated in Bologna member countries?

That's a rather broad question... I'd say that an Israeli PhD would usually be viewed quite favorably, when awarded by a university of international repute. However, exactly how a foreign degree will be treated is going to depend on the Bologna member country in question, and the specific degree (e.g. medical degrees tend to be highly regulated). Usually it's down to the specific university/employer to evaluate your degree. Notably, Germany is rather strict when it comes to recognition of foreign degrees, but according to aeismail's answer here, Israeli PhDs are recognized as fully equivalent to "Dr." in Germany.

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