|Almost everything these days appears to be global- the economy is the
one that immediately springs to mind, but 'globalisation' has spread
its wings into a multitude of aspects of our everyday lives - music,
travel, technology, retail, food, fashion, sport - there is, in fact,
little that has not become part of the global marketplace.
In the policy arena, the picture is similar. Global security is now a
favourite phrase of any self-respecting politician, while economic
policy, environmental policy, defense policy, health policy are just
some of the areas with an increasingly global dimension.
Education is an exception to this. A primarily national affair, even
European-level cooperation is a relatively new phenomenon that can be
traced back to the late 1990s. The only hint of an international
flavour to education policy came ten years ago at the first UNESCO
World Conference on Higher Education, but with little in the way of
follow-up, it seemed as if the momentum had failed to materialise.
The second WCHE therefore brings with it a sense of anticipation and a
promise of elevating of education to a whole new level. The stated
UNESCO aim of internationally-agreed actions on higher education is a
first, as is ESU's collaboration with the other regional student
platforms to create a global student statement for the very first
time. Following a successful first meeting in January, the various
platforms representing student groups from North America, Africa and
Asia, among others, will meet again after the WCHE to discuss concrete
proposals for greater student collaboration at the global level.
Representing a major shift in the way higher education issues are dealt
with, such collaboration can only serve to benefit students worldwide
by creating an effective forum for resolving issues that are common to
With about 1500 people gathering in Paris for the occasion, there is
always the fear that the WCHE will turn into more of a talking shop
rather than an effective discussion and decision-making forum. It is
however only through debate in a democratic, culturally sensitive and
inclusive environment that beneficial common decisions on higher
education progress can be made and the UNESCO Forum seems to be an
almost perfect setting for this aim. But whatever the outcome from the
conference itself, the start of much tighter student cooperation across
the globe is in itself an achievement to be proud of. And one to which
ESU has made, and will continue to make, a sizeable contribution.
Until next month.
Editor - The Student Voice
|Student platforms unite for a global look at higher education
Months of preparatory work will come to a head next week in Paris as
representatives from across the world come together to take a truly
global perspective on higher education for only the second time. The
World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE) +10 will build on the
inaugural event in 1999 and unite over 1,000 participants to discuss
the future of higher education and research at UNESCO's headquarters.
|ECTS and DS labels not quite hitting the spot
|Several years after it first started, the European Commission has just
relaunched its ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) and DS (Diploma
Supplement) labels for higher education insitutions.
to the Commission, 65 higher education institutions from 16 countries
have been awarded with special European quality labels in recognition
of their efforts to make it easier for students to study abroad. These
labels have been given to universities which have shown excellence in
applying the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
and the Diploma Supplement (DS), two European instruments that make
teaching and learning more transparent and facilitate the recognition
of studies and qualifications.
|New OECD website for education in the financial crisis
appears that we talk about little else at the moment, and with
education also bearing the brunt of the current financial crisis, the
OECD is launching a new website to help the sector to navigate itself
safely through the economic storm.
The Education Lighthouse, as it is called, offers you:
Up-to-the-minute information, evidence and analysis on the impact of
the crisis on education, with concrete examples of how governments and
institutions in different countries are coping with the crisis.
Information on high priority issues such as education budgets,
education in stimulus packages, how unemployment affects motivation and
learning attitudes ... and much more.
An opportunity for you to contribute to this information sharing
platform with other members of the fast-growing OECD social
You can visit the Education Lighthouse website here
|German students strike over HE reforms
It's a country with an education system in crisis. From June 15th - 19th
university students and school students in numerous cities all over
Germany joined in a week of diverse protest actions to create public
awareness on the problems of the country's education system. The
protest action, which was called the educational strike
(http://www.bildungsstreik.net/aufruf/strike-call/), had been planned
and carried out in a decentralised way by local unions and supported by
ESU's German member union, fzs, as well as by several trade unions and
school student unions.
|An insider's view: Student representation through the eyes of a new European student rep
this piece, Robert Santa, a newly elected member of ESU's Academic
Affairs Committee, gives us a personal perspective on the world of
Student engagement and participation are as old as universities
themselves. However, in recent decades we have witnessed the student
movement coming full circle and actually making its demands heard
before a decision is made. In other words, students have moved from
just being the passive beneficiaries of education to being
stakeholders, who have a word of their own on issues that ultimately
concern them more than anybody else. With this, we have gone a long way
since 1968, when students were alone against the system, and when their
opinions were ignored or, at best, looked down upon. But still, we have
a long way to go before student engagement leads to truly
student-centered decision-making in higher education.
|Youth Health Conference Coming to Brussels
Around 400 people look set to converge on the European Commission
Charlemagne building in Brussels next week for a high-profile look at
youth health. The Youth Health Conference on 9-10 is part of a
joint initiative of the Commission and European Youth Forum (YFJ) with a
view to exploring:
How young people can be empowered to take responsibility for their health.
How they can be helped in this by governments, policy-makers, health professionals, youth organisations and other stakeholders.
is a partner in the project and will be present at the conference to
give the students' perspective on health issues for young people.
conference will be opened by the Commissioner for Health, Androulla
Vassiliou, and features speakers from the World Health Organisation, UN,
Government and a large number of NGOs.
For more information, you can visit the website here. A full report will follow next month.
|Upcoming ESU Events
|15-18th October: 18th European Student Convention, Stockholm
22nd-29th November: Board Meeting 57, Krakow, Poland.
|ESU is a partner in the HEXTLEARN project, or Higher Education Exploring ICT use for Lifelong Learning.
You can read all the latest news about the project in the newsletter here.
|Summer school places
|Places are still available at the Graz Summer Schools from July 12-26. Click here for more information.
|Interesting bits from elsewhere
Read all the latest news from the European University Association (EUA) here
A report on the Bologna Process Stocktaking report 2009 can be found here
Check out the European Commission's a new Youth Health Initiative (YHI) website here
|UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education, Paris, 5-9th July.
European Commission/European Youth Forum Youth Health Conference, Brussels, 9-10th July