european students’ union

PL4SD – Time to fill in the information gap!

June 30, 2013

BRUSSELS – Despite the different measures that aim at improving the social dimension of higher education, there is still a huge information gap on what is really happening on a national level and, particularly, within different regions and at individual higher education institutions. This has been recognised by the Ministers responsible for higher education in Europe, who committed to collect and share data on the social dimension of higher education and to participate in a peer learning process in the Bucharest Communiqué in 2012.

The PL4SD project will fill the current information gap by collecting the relevant information in a systematic manner and presenting it in an easily accessible database ( This will help policy experts and practitioners to learn from other countries and contexts. The participants started collected data already in June, with the rest of the project’s activities following in the coming months.

The project will conduct three country reviews with the aim of providing an external and comprehensive reflection and review of the measures that are being taken to support the social dimension of higher education. The objective of the review is to assist countries in developing a coherent, comprehensive and effective national strategy for improving the social dimension of higher education.

In addition, two conferences (spring 2014 and spring 2015) will be organised with all stakeholders that are working on and are interested in the social dimension, where various measures will be presented and participants can share their experiences. A meta-analysis of all investigated measures will be presented in a final report (autumn 2015).

The PL4SD project’s goals are supposed to:

•    lead to more transparency in current developments, allowing the actors in the field to assess their own performance as well as to monitor their progress towards reaching the targets set within the European Higher Education Area,
•    stimulate international exchange and debate on policy measures and add more creativity to tackling difficulties within the field of the social dimension in higher education,
•    enable peer learning and ease the implementation of policy measures by other countries, higher education institutions and students’ organisations,
•    structure the information and collect relevant reports and research on the policies at national levels, providing a solid basis for further research,
•    inform national and international policy makers and stakeholders in all countries of the European Higher Education Area several times during the lifetime of the project about its progress towards these goals.

If you wish to receive updates from the project and its activities in the future, please sign up for the PL4SD newsletter here:

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For more information, please contact:

Taina Moisander, ESU Vice-chairperson: +32/479.591.499 // or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 //

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 ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.

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