The European Students’ Union (ESU) and Together Moving Forward programme (TMF) will be supporting the second World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED) on 26th November 2019.
WAHED is the global day of action focusing on increasing access and participation in higher education for those from low income and other marginalised groups.
The first WAHED in 2018 engaged over 100 organisations from 30 countries in delivering events and social media-based campaigning.
The aim of WAHED is to act as a catalyst for change at the local, regional, national and international level. Inequality in access to higher education is one of the major global challenges and access to quality tertiary education for all women and men by 2030 is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. WAHED is being led by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) in the UK.
“Although the right to access education is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this right is far from being realised especially in the context of higher education. The principle of free access has changed over the years due to many institutional and societal inequalities that see the marginalisation and exclusion of groups of potential students from higher education. There is a lot that society has to gain and nothing to lose by increasing levels of participation in Higher Education. The Social Dimension is key to enhancing inclusivity and diversity in Higher Education Institutions as it defines and reinforces the role of governments and institutions to widen accessibility clauses and, moreover, to steer away from a one size fits all approach by ensuring equitable opportunities and support measures for any individual to access, transition and complete Higher Education”, says
Through the Together, Moving Forward programme, ESU is supporting several students and youth-led projects focusing on access to higher education for young people with refugee and migrant backgrounds. For example, StudentRefugees in Denmark, StudentRefugees.is in Iceland, and UniR in France, are proposing one-on-one guidance to young people who want to access Higher Education. The Union of Exiled Students in France is sharing various information such as scholarships, accommodation, application processes, recognition procedures, etc. to ease the access to education for people in exile.