european students’ union

Stronger cooperation needed with students’ unions

March 19, 2014

BRUSSELS – Today, the 27th European Students’ Convention and SAGE Final Conference was formally opened at the Norway House in Brussels, Belgium.

Xavier Prats Monné, the Deputy Director-General for Education and Culture at the European Commission, spoke at the opening event about the importance of strengthening cooperation with students’ unions in policy-making.

Monné stressed the importance of having a strong student participation in further developing U-Multirank, the new European ranking system for higher education, and other policy frameworks, such as Erasmus+.

He also explained the European Commission’s role in education, especially in terms of development projects and aid. It was important to work on areas such as equal access to education, with a strong focus on social fairness. He also spoke about the need for further research on the funding of higher education systems, mentioning that the European Commission is currently preparing a paper on this topic to be presented in the coming months.

Isabelle Thomas, Member of the European Parliament, also participated in the event, welcoming the results of the SAGE project and underlining the importance on advancing discussions on the employability of graduates. Although she recognised improvements in the new Erasmus+, such as the acknowledgement of non-formal education, she stressed that students must continue to fight for more funds for education. Some initiatives like the Youth Guarantee can support graduates, but more is needed.

Following the welcoming words, Nevena Vuksanovic and Taina Moisander from the SAGE research team, presented the main outcomes of the project and recommendations on how employability can be improved. Representatives of the European Commission, the European University Association, European Association of Institutions in Higher Education and Education International, were also invited to a panel debate on employability. A summary of the project results are available in the reader for the event.

This week’s agenda of ESC27

Discussions on the SAGE research outcomes and employability will continue today until six o’clock and will be followed by a reception for stakeholders and policy-makers in higher education at the Norway House in Brussels, Belgium.

Tomorrow, 20 March, the participants will visit the European Economic and Social Committee to discuss student participation in policy-making processes. At six o’clock, the European Students’ Union will organise a symbolic action for Ukrainian students at the Simona Veil of the European Parliament.

On Friday, 21 March, the participants will be introduced to the European Parliament and its role in higher education. This event will be hosted by Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Chair of the Youth Intergroup of the European Parliament.

For more information about the event, please click here.

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For more information, please contact:

Rok Primozic, ESU’s Chairperson: +32/479.126.390 // rok@esu-online.org or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU 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.

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