Government policies are central factors shaping the environment of higher education institutions. European governments have included in their higher education political strategies the principal goal of implementing the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The perceptions that key actors of higher education institutions (HEIs) have about political developments are important as they may influence the achievement of government policy. The Bologna Process is at the heart of policy coordination, the instrument selected at European and national levels to establish EHEA.
This article seeks to discuss empirically the views of institutional actors about the Bologna Process, taking into consideration the achievement of EHEA. The discussion is based on the analysis of the EHEA implementation in seven HEIs located in four higher education systems — Germany, Italy, Norway and Portugal. This paper draws on the theoretic-methodological approach of the policy cycle to analyse the perceptions of HEIs' constituencies about Bologna.