ZAGREB – The Spanish government must act and support higher education and training, mobility and lifelong learning. The responsibility of the cost of education and training cannot be transferred to students and their families, asking them to make an even bigger effort. Those countries of the European Union that have more resources should cooperate with Spain and all other states to overcome the economic crisis and build a sustainable society to reduce inequality and improve the standard of living in Europe.
So says a resolution adopted at the 65th Board Meeting of the European Students’ Union (ESU) by delegates of 47 national unions of students. The resolution calls for an economic and socially agreed policy in Spain that addresses the high dropout rate from school from an inclusive perspective, where higher education is considered to be an added value and a solution for the future.
“ESU calls on the Spanish government to change its current policies and aim towards an inclusive education system. The access, progression and completion of higher education should be the basic pillars of governments’ policies,” the resolution states.
ESU supports the peaceful protests by the educational community in Spain against cuts that undermine equal opportunities in access to education and training of any citizen. Any political decisions to change the system for education and training should count for a high political and social consensus. ESU does therefore think it is unacceptable that decision makers try to change or implement the education law every four years in Spain because it weakens the system as a whole and reduces its stability.
Young people are not responsible for the crisis
ESU urges the Spanish government to change its current direction in terms of its education policies and aim instead towards an inclusive system. Countries in Europe should increase access to higher education, as stated by the Lisbon Treaty, but Spain has lately not worked according to that goal.
ESU would like to remind the Spanish government that education is a cornerstone of democracies and that it reduces inequality. A highly educated society is a more tolerant and peaceful state.
ESU would also like to emphasise the importance of having highly skilled and more educated people that are able to adapt to a globalised and constantly changing labour market. The EU2020 strategy has as an objective to widen access to higher education and the EU foresees that the demand for highly qualified people will increase significantly in the following years.
“Young people are not responsible for any crisis but they have, for sure, the potential to prevent new crises in the future. We do not believe in any cuts, which undermine opportunities of young people, because this would harm the entire society,” the resolution states.
See a full version of the resolution here.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.