european students’ union

Plan of work 2016

December 8, 2015

ESU adopted its Plan of Work 2016 during the Board Meeting 69 in Cluj-Napoca.  The plan includes specific targets for the year 2016 within the framework of the strategic priorities set at the Board Meeting 67 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

1.    Mobility & Internationalisation

a.    Underrepresented groups
i.    Continue to work towards the increased participation of underrepresented groups in short and longer-term mobility within the European Higher Education Area.
ii.    Work towards intensified data collection of the participation of underrepresented groups in national contexts and reporting to the respective BFUG Working Groups.

b.    Erasmus+ implementation
i.    Collect data towards the review of Erasmus+ implementation in order to enhance quality and accessibility as well as improve funding conditions of the programme.
ii.    Lobby for improved focus on the quality of education in the Erasmus+ programme in cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

c.    Balanced mobility
i.    Continue to work on balanced mobility within the European Higher Education Area by advocating for intensified data collection and the improvement of financial conditions of long- and short term mobility.
Find and disseminate good examples of balanced mobility agreements.
ii.    Continue to work on balanced mobility within the European Higher Education Area by advocating for intensified data. collection and the improvement of financial conditions of long- and short term mobility.

e.    Equal treatment of international students
i.    ESU strives to promote the inclusion of international students in higher education governance and quality assurance processes.

f.    Global Students’ Cooperation
i.    Work towards the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the creation of a new global student platform in Bergen.
ii.    Continue to develop bilateral cooperation with student unions in Canada and the US, and on global level, in particular in defense of students’ rights, access to education and commodification of education.
iii.    Continue efforts on ensuring meaningful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 in Europe as well as globally, emphasising specifically target 4.3 on access.

2.    Social  Dimension

a.    Social Dimension as a Bologna priority
i.    Follow up on the implementation of the Social Dimension Strategy adopted in Yerevan and create and promote a document with best practices on how to create National Access Plans.
ii.    Ensure that the social dimension remains a core priority of the EHEA in the future and within all of the structures of the BFUG.
iii.    Evaluate new pedagogical approaches and when proven valuable  establish a link  to SCL and promote it on the Bologna Level.

b.    Support for Social Dimension in European initiatives
i.    Monitor the implementation of ET2020, EU2020 and the Paris declaration and support the strategic priority towards inclusive education, equality, nondiscrimination and promotion of civic competences.
ii.    Securing the link between social dimension and quality assurance within our projects, such as ESPRIT and PASCL, both within the internal and external communication.
iii.    Promote the databases and outcomes of the IDEAS and PL4SD projects within the organisation and to all stakeholders in order to achieve concrete implementation measures that support marginalized groups in higher education systems.
iv.    Develop a strategy for working with students with disabilities. This includes at least one innovative measure in order to act as a role model.

c.    Global access movement
i.    Monitor developments in EAN, making sure it stays within the parameters of ESU’s values and priorities.
ii.    Explore the possibilities to collaborate more actively with GAPS.

d.    Improve data on access and support
i.    Evaluate which datasets are needed for which marginalised groups and strive for their obtention.
ii.    Working towards finding new more meaningful ways of measuring social dimension, in consultation with other stakeholders. The findings will be reflected in our quality policy.

e.    Promotion of equality, students rights and human rights
i.    Formalise partnerships with stakeholders and organisations to follow up on existing and develop new projects in the area of human and students’ rights.
ii.    Develop the work in the area of access and right to education during times of conflict and crisis, both in regions of conflict and in Europe, with attention to brain drain effects.
iii.    Focus on improved capacity building and provision of trainings in the area of human rights and equality.
iv.    Strengthen the cooperation with IGLYO and EWL to benefit from their expertise in the correspondent areas and mirror back the students perspective.
v.    Develop a new perspective on how to define marginalized groups and to organize a workshop at ESC31, working with the organizers to take into account the program, that will enable NUSes to discuss their own definitions and perspectives so that we can all develop an understanding about what we mean when talking about marginalized groups. In relation to the outcomes new approaches to the inclusiveness of the organisation can be deducted.
vi.    Work on the problem of sexual harassment in the (higher) education area. This includes the development of at least one proactive measure.
vii.    Work towards a pan-European Students at risk scheme.

3.    Quality of higher education

a.    Assessment of Student-centred learning, including new technologies and open digital content
i.    Create guidelines for institutional assessment of SCL and promote it among educational stakeholders, with special focus on QA.
ii.    Conduct peer assessment visits to HEI in EHEA, followed by recommendations and a “label” for student-centred institutions.
iii.    Support NUSes expertise on the topic of SCL by providing trainings and interactive spaces for sharing best practice, further developing SCL pool of experts.
iv.    Initiate discussion about digital learning and collect best practices, in order to further develop our policy on digital learning.
v.    Facilitate the contribution of ESU members to the revision of the Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education and actively advocate for ESU policies being reflected in the final text.

b.    Implementation of the European Standards and Guidelines for QA and student involvement
i.    Promote the revised ESG to NUSes and encourage their participation in the implementation process.
ii.    Continuous support for the development of students` expertise on QA.
iii.    Define a clearer position of ESU towards cross­border QA and develop a set of recommendations for stakeholders, in consultation with the NUSes, on how to approach it.

c.    Student-driven feedback and transparency tools
i.    Influence teaching and learning indicators and support inclusion of social dimension indicators  to U-Multirank.
ii.    Promote the importance of student-driven feedback, supported by but not limited to PASCL research outcomes.

d.    Towards automatic recognition in EHEA
i.    Advocate for full implementation of all structural reform tools within EHEA.
ii.    Promote wider use of ESUs definition of Learning Outcomes (LO) and its understanding among educational stakeholders, while exploring possibilities for defining LO for non-formal and informal learning.
iii.    Take active participation in the revision of the Diploma Supplement, focusing on LO, increasing its usefulness in recognition procedures.
iv.    Advocate for automatic recognition of degrees within the European Higher Education Area by good practices sharing.

e.    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
i.    Advocate for the subsidiary text regarding recognition of prior learning to be included in the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

4.    Public responsibility: financing & governance
a.    Highlight dangers of commodification of higher education
i.    Advocate for the carving out education in free trade agreements; inform NUSs about the status of education in the agreements.
ii.    Build the capacity of NUSs on commodification; ensure that NUSes can actively participate in the discussions on commodification.
iii.    Map the current policy updates on commodification and financing of HE and develop a comprehensive overview of the status and triggering factors of commodification in HE throughout Europe.
iv.    Engage in developing a common approach and campaign to unify the combat against commodification of higher education on a global level.

b.    Public funding and dangers of tuition fees
i.    Identify the consequences of the implementation of the shift of financial resources of higher education from public funding to alternative sources including tuition fees, and the direct impact on students.
ii.    Improve the availability of transparent data concerning student support mechanisms and tuition fees within Europe by advocating for more effective means of data collection with students as the main source of information.
iii.    Lobby for the refocus of priorities towards accessible, publicly funded higher education to be one of the major aims in the implementation of ET2020 and other European level strategies.

c.    Modern collegiality and student participation
i.    Develop a new european-wide strategy for the advocacy and implementation of student participation in all levels of higher education governance and policy making.
ii.    Advocate for the recognition of student participation by empowering student representatives through accessibility to information and methodologies and outlining their importance and active members of civil society. Provide information on existing institutions in which students can participate.
iii.    Develop ESU policies on the concept of modern collegiality and create a database of democratic structures and procedures in the student movement in order to further mutual comprehension and the exchange of best practices in terms of self-government.
iv.    Promoting ESU’s work and policies through the campaigning task force and its activities widening the audience of our advocacy.

d.    Multiple purposes of higher education
i.    Continue the in-depth utilisation of the SAGE material to promote the students’ view on employability, both to NUSes and external stakeholders.
ii.    Advocate for and develop concepts of the multiple purposes of education supported by Paris declaration and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) movement.

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