The Erasmus+ project ‘SIDERAL – Social and International Dimension of Education and Recognition of Acquired Learning’ aims at improving the national and European policy on social dimension in higher education.
The Project supports the implementation of the (Croatian) National Plan for Strengthening the Social Dimension with the support of peers from Austria and Sweden and in close cooperation with the European Students’ Union. In particular, the Project contributes to further developments of recognition of prior learning in higher education through encouraging flexible learning paths within a broader policy framework of the social dimension. Moreover, the project supports the work of the BFUG Advisory Group on Social Dimension by facilitating the Advisory Group meetings and related peer learning activities as well as by developing proposed instruments and policies to fulfil the objectives of the Paris Communiqué.
The Croatian Strategy of Education, Science and Technology was adopted in 2014 and has eight main objectives, one of which is Objective 6: Improve the student financial support system with a special emphasis on the social dimension of higher education.
In 2015, the Croatian National Group for the Advancement of Social Dimension in Higher Education was established, and it developed the National Plan for the Advancement of Social Dimension of Higher Education of the Republic of Croatia 2019-2021, which was adopted in January 2019. by the Croatian Government. Therefore, Croatia was recognized as one of the three countries in Europe which has a dedicated self-standing strategy or national plan for inclusion in higher education, along with Ireland and Austria. Also, a member of the Croatian National Group for the Advancement of Social Dimension in Higher Education is the co-chair of the BFUG Advisory Group on Social Dimension.
The BFUG Advisory Group
on Social Dimension was established in 2018 and is co-chaired by ESU and Croatia. Their overarching aim is to develop instruments and policies to fulfil the objective in the Paris Communiqué and to support national plans and strategies aimed at strengthening social dimension, as well as to improve access and completion by under-represented and vulnerable groups. The group is developing the ‘Principles and Guidelines for Social Dimension (PAG)’ for further improvement of the social dimension in the European Area of Higher Education (EHEA) until the forthcoming Ministerial Meeting of the Bologna Process Member States.