Students seek solutions to protect the equality and diversity of education

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Cyprus The last Students' Convention was held in Cyprus in October 2012.

DUBLIN – From 8 to 10 March, students´ representatives from 39 countries in Europe will debate how equality and diversity within higher education can be ensured in times of radical changes caused by intense budgetary constraints. What strategies do individual universities, regional authorities, national governments and European institutions employ to achieve their goals?

Serious threats to welfare

This will be the overarching theme of the 25th European Students´ Convention held in Dublin, Ireland, focusing on equality and the social dimension of higher education in Europe. As serious threats are made to students' welfare throughout the continent, with recent examples in countries such as Hungary and Denmark, the convention addresses issues of vital importance by examining different ways for countries to deal with economic pressures so that they can increase the participation of non-traditional groups in higher education at the same time.

The convention will take place in the form of a working space, designed to address issues in a comprehensive and authoritative manner, with input from expert guest speakers, contributing to policy making processes for higher education in every country in Europe. Representatives of National Unions of Students can learn from one another and find solutions they can apply at home by discussing these grand challenges at national levels and tackling proposals that make students’ situations worse.

Ireland´s new economic reality

The Union of Students in Ireland (Aontas na Mac Léinn in Éirinn) will host the convention this time. It has hosted many of these ESU events before dating back to ESU’s 7th Board Meeting held in 1985. However, this will be the first event held in Dublin since 2004. In the nine years that have passed, the Irish Capital has changed radically. Ireland’s economic miracle, dubbed the Celtic Tiger, has well and truly made it into the history books and every facet of the Irish society has had to adjust rapidly to the new economic reality of a nation that is under the thumb of the IMF / EU / ECB troika.

Essential part of ESU´s policy

This 25th European Students’ Convention, called Equality for Diversity, will be an essential part of ESU’s policy development process. It will inform European policy makers for many years to come including future generations of student leaders, especially in relation to the social dimension of higher education. It aims at bringing together best practices, knowledge and initiatives for an inspiring weekend full of debates and exchanges of information. These discussions will be in line with the priorities of the Irish presidency to the Council of the European Union for education in the first half of 2013.

Please download the reader published for the meeting here.

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For more information, please contact:

Karina Ufert, ESU's Chairperson: +32/473.669.892 // karina@esu-online.org or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU's Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 // robert@esu-online.org

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.