As part of the 21st centurys knowledge and information era, a wave of education reform is now sweeping through the world. As such, the United States is actively promoting education reform in an effort to maintain its global competitiveness. Moreover, the signatory countries of Europes "Bologna Declaration" (1999) are now striving to bolster European cooperation in education by integrating their respective credit systems, including Frances highly regarded "grandes ecoles" (higher education system). Higher education reform is also underway in Germany, where proposals call for the introdution of a competition environment among German institution. Under the new approach, a radical departure from past German practices, individual institutions have the right to independently select 30 percent of its students and to determine tuition rates, while the remaining 70 percent will be admitted based on federal government guidelines.