ESU: “Higher tuition fees will lead to more inequality in Europe”

SOFIA – “We are standing side by side with the students in Europe who are currently facing dramatic budget cuts.” Chairperson of the European Students’ Union, Allan Päll said this ahead of the 61st Board Meeting of ESU which takes place from 10-12 November in Sofia, Bulgaria. He continued: “Students in Latvia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK - to name but a few - are confronted with a government that is cutting down on higher education. This should stop otherwise the long-term effects for Europe will be devastating.”

Around 150 student representatives from all over Europe will discuss ongoing developments in higher education in Europe and will formulate common statements on budget cuts and other law proposals from European governments which are bound to harm higher education. Päll: “Governments who are increasing tuition fees or putting students more into debt, should think again. This could lead to an exodus of their own young people who are forced to study in a country where education is still affordable, creating eventually more and more inequality in Europe.”

Social dimension

Before the BM, a two-day-seminar on the future of the Social Dimension within higher education will be held, on 8 and 9 November. The participants will try to define 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. The participants will also discuss the situation of the Roma’s in Bulgarian who are often deprived from education. They will look for concrete solutions to this lingering European problem.

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

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Published: 8 November 2011
For more information, please contact:? Allan Päll, ESU Chairperson: +32/479.591.499 or allan@esu-online.org or Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 or marianne@esu-online.org