SOFIA – Around 150 student representatives from 45 National Unions of Students all over Europe discussed ongoing developments in higher education from 10-12 November in Sofia during the 61st Board Meeting of the European Students’ Union (ESU). They formulated common statements on budget cuts and other law proposals from European governments which are bound to harm higher education. These statements can be read here: http://www.esu-online.org/documents/motions/.
Among the main concerns from ESU is the increase of the tuition fees all over Europe. Päll: “Increasing tuition fees 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.”
Ahead of the BM, a two-day-seminar on the future of the social dimension within higher education was held on 8 and 9 November. The participants defined how far Europe has gotten in reaching increasing equality since the start of the Bologna Process. A small group of the participants also visited a Roma Community in Sofia met with Roma students. Pictures of this visit can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150384123699334.373710.5633999333&type=3.
New committee members
ESU’s Board, consisting out of delegations from all 45 member unions of ESU, also elected new committee members for 2012. For their Committee for Internal Development (CID) they elected Cristina Pastor Valcarcel (Spain) and Miroslav Jarusek (Czech Republic). Blazhe Todorovski (Macedonia), Christina Linza (Finland), Florian Kaiser (Germany) and Brikena Xhomaqi (France/ Albania) were elected for the Social Affairs Committee. Karl Agius (Malta) and Lilliya Ivanova (Bulgaria) won a seat in the Student Union Development Committee (SUDC).
Four new ESU candidate members
During the meeting in Sofia, four National Unions of Students were given the status of candidate member of ESU: ANSA (Armenia), NSS (Ukraine), SCSU (Serbia) and ASYOU (Azerbaijan).