BRUSSELS – The European Students’ Union (ESU) strongly opposes the European Commission’s proposal for a European Loan Guarantee Facility for Master students. In ESU’s non-paper on the draft, the students write that this facility ”will bring more damage to young people instead of increase their chances for better lives”. ESU will organise an open hearing on the facility on 14 November in Brussels.
ESU Chair, Karina Ufert, said: ”We urge the Council and Parliament to listen to us, the students, while they are discussing this proposal. We ask them to bin the plan and urge the Commission to come up with constructive alternatives to increase education mobility.”
The EU Loan Guarantee Facility is part of the ”Erasmus for All” programme, a proposal from the European Commission (launched in November 2011) that is currently debated by the European Council and the European Parliament. According to ESU, the proposal, which has the aim to increase education mobility, barely reflects on the future prospects for young graduates in the EU. The paper writes: “Even though surveys do show that a master degree increases the chances for employment, this is true only for a number of countries. The majority of young graduates face structural discrimination against young people in the labour market.“
EU Brain Drain
ESU is furthermore concerned about the potential brain drain impact that this Loan Facility would have. The Commission itself has raised the alarms on disparities among regions in terms of higher education attainment with rural, less developed regions lacking high-skilled individuals but now simply fails to address this issue. Sweden, Finland and Denmark openly support ESU in their bid to get rid of the EU loan scheme while other member states are highly skeptical.
Ufert concluded: “The proposal comes at a very inconvenient time and without a proper impact assessment being carried out. Too many questions remain unanswered in order to know the real effects or attractiveness of the facility. That is why we repeat: bin the proposal.”
ESU’s non-paper on the Loan Guarantee Facility can be read here.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 38 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.