The European students' union (ESU) with this statement confirms our position on the right to education. We believe that education is a strong factor contributing to the development of societies, states and individuals. We therefore reassure our position that education should be accessible to all potential students.
Research shows that financial costs are the biggest obstacle for potential students to seek higher education. ESU strongly opposes the current developments in European higher education where we see a clear trend of reduced public financing of education. Since there is not sufficient state funding of higher education, we experience that students are taking over an increasingly larger part of the burden of financing higher education, for example through tuition or application fees. This is counterproductive to our aim of increased accessibility and our focus on the social dimension. We know that tuition fees even if supported by grants loan schemes, have a significantly strong excluding effect on potential students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Therefore we strongly urge the nation states who currently have tuition fees to reassess their policies and move away from this excluding practice that we believe is preventing diversity in higher educating and reproducing social inequality.
We, the European Students' Union, believe that education is a public good and therefore it should also be a public responsibility to provide high quality education accessible to all.
We believe that all potential students should have the opportunity to take part in education.