150 student representatives gather in Sofia to discuss hot education topics

SOFIA – The European Students’ Union (ESU) will hold its 61st Board Meeting from 10-12 November in Sofia, Bulgaria. Around 150 student representatives from all over Europe will discuss ongoing developments in higher education and will formulate common statements. Pressing issue on the agenda is the EU loan scheme, part of the EU’s proposals of the Modernisation Agenda.

The Modernisation Agenda sets out the basic lines for Higher Education within Europe in the upcoming years. Students’ representatives in Europe are very sceptical about the proposal for an Erasmus Masters Degree Mobility Scheme through offering student loans, provided by banks that benefit from an EU loan guarantee. ESU would like to see development of better financial support to mobile students instead. You can read ESU's initial reaction to the Modernisation Agenda here: http://www.esu-online.org/news/article/6001/543/. The full statement can be read through this link.

Social dimension
Before the BM, a seminar on the future of the social dimension within higher education will be held on 8 and 9 November. This is part of the EQUnet project, which aims to share good practices and success stories on how to promote social dimension policy in education. The participants will try to agree on a common understanding and approaches to social dimension and see how far Europe got in reaching increasing equality since the start of the Bologna Process. More information about the social dimension of the modernisation of higher education in Europe can be read in the Eurydice report.

Within the seminar, ESU plans to discuss and give proposals on concrete tools to monitor implementation of the social dimension, such as a Social Dimension Observatory, share different perceptions on what the challenges are to widening participation in higher edication for all groups (disadvantaged groups in particular) and present and exchange good practices.

Internal changes
During the BM, the students will elect new committee members for ESU’s Social Affairs Committee (SAC), Student Union Development Committee (SUDC) and ESU’s Committee for Internal Development (CID). They will also discuss possible expansion of ESU’s Brussels office and other structural changes which have the aim to ensure efficiency within the organisation.