At the dawn of the first semester of the so-called European Higher Education Area (EHEA), not much has changed. ”Problems with getting studies recognised across borders or receiving a diploma supplement free of charge in an international language are not yet solved. These are basic issues, but for students, the problems impact the capacity to function in a unified European Higher Education Area”, says Robert Santa, member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union.
Santa represents ESU in the Bologna Follow-Up Group, which steers and monitors the implementation of the Bologna Process reform of higher education in Europe. On August 24-25, the group had its first meeting after the education ministers’ meeting in Budapest and Vienna in March. Santa said:
”The discussions did not bring much new, and there is clear evidence that the unresolved issues in the Bologna implementation are piling up. Often, there is a lack of focus. Discussions on student support, for example, often center more on preventing overlapping support measures rather than increasing access of mobile students to local social support measures.
"We need to get the process focused on students. We also need to get back to the ”implemented” Bologna areas such as the European Credit Transfer System, areas which are still poorly applied depending on the corner of Europe we look at.”
”There is some light at the end of the tunnel, with new working methods largely aimed at extending the transfer of know-how across the EHEA being discussed. These, however, will need significant funding in order to pick up and start working.
”We regret this, and will continue to push for a serious discussion on the topics: lack of social and educational support for students, financial and administrative barriers for students who want to study in another country, and the way-too-slow paradigm shift towards an education that is first and foremost based on the learner’s perspective.”
For more information, please contact:
Robert Santa, ESU Executive Committee Member, on +40726900016 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Olav Øye, ESU Communications Manager on +32473669894 or email@example.com