|Higher education isn't generally seen as a page turner or
"breaking news" by those who bring world events to our attention.
Journalists, especially at the European level, tend to overlook it in
favour of more 'attention-grabbing' topics such as foreign affairs,
security and the perennial favourite, the economy.
ahead may just be a little different. The holding of the biannual
Ministerial Conference of the Bologna Process - the initiative designed
to lead 46 countries into a European Higher Education Area - is one
event that is almost certain to attract some coverage. Not least
because the venue this time is a mere stone's throw from Brussels,
where the European media is almost exclusively based. For once, higher
education may just manage to sneak into the 'News' pages of the
Nor may Bologna provide student and higher
education issues with their only media flirtation in the months ahead.
While debate and coverage of the forthcoming European Parliament
elections is unlikely to even delve into the seemingly peripheral
matter of education in EU decision-making, the holding of the second
UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education may also succeed in
inciting a couple of column inches.
The silence needs to be
broken. Higher education counts, never more so as in the current
economic climate where a focus on innovation and skills is recognised
as a key way of lifting the flagging global economy. ESU is going to
be working tirelessly in the weeks and months ahead to ensure the wider
world wakes up to the realities of European higher education and that
commitments are made to deliver us to our destination of a high
quality, equitable and accessible higher education area for the 46
Bologna countries by 2020.
The stakes are high, and time is short.
Excitement, uncertainty, debate, drama, tension and controversy...the
world of European higher education is about to hit the headlines.
Let's hope it's for all the right reasons.
Until next month,
Editor - The Student Voice
|Bologna With Student Eyes is Coming!
It's a unique representation of the student voice into arguably the
most important transformation of higher education in Europe. Since
1998, the Bologna Process has been steering 46 member countries towards
a European Higher Education Area defined by quality higher education
that is accessible, equitable and centred firmly on the student, and
where mobility and the opportunity to gain and share international
experiences are an integral part of the learning process. And while
the Bologna Follow-Up Group and biannual Ministerial Conferences
monitor progress towards achieving the EHEA from a governmental
perspective, little attention is paid to whether the Process is
delivering from a 'user' (student) perspective. In this context, ESU's
Bologna With Student Eyes is a vital contribution to the
implementation of the Bologna reforms. Funded by the European
Commission, it enables policy-makers to see the extent of changes
taking place on the ground from the perspective of those who know what
is taking place there.
|Bologna Ministerial heading to Belgium
is now almost only four weeks away. The biannual meeting of
Europe's 46 Education Ministers on the Bologna Process will be hitting
the Belgian towns of Leuven and Louvain-la-Neuve on 28th and 29th April.
addition to reviewing progress since the last Ministerial in London in
2007, the Conference will set out the priorities to be addressed in the
next two years, as well as longer term over the next decade, to ensure
the full realisation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)
As a key member of the Bologna Follow-Up Group, ESU is
playing a leading role in the build-up to the Conference and will be
doing everything possible to influence the Ministerial and the
communique that will result from it, so that it takes full account of
the needs and perspectives of Europe's students.
You can find out more about the Ministerial by visiting the official Bologna Process website.
|Preparing for a World Conference on Higher Education
For only the second time in history, eyes from across the world will be
focused firmly on the issue of tertiary level learning at the World
Conference on Higher Education. Organised by UNESCO, the Conference
will see representatives from the higher education community across the
globe gather together in Paris from 5-8 July 2009. And for the first
time, students look set to play a major part in proceedings.
|Heading for the European Parliament - the ESU alumni about to make her mark on the EU stage
A former ESU alumni looks set to hit the heights of the European
Parliament if results in the forthcoming elections go as expected.
Dutch Green candidate, Judith Sargentini, is almost guaranteed to be
taking up a new position as an MEP from June, marking a huge
achievement for this former member of the European student movement.Read more...
|Get ready for an Education Manifesto for the EP elections
There will be 785 new pairs of feet making their way through the Quartier Européen
in Brussels from 7th June 2009 as voters in 27 countries go to the
polls to elect a new European Parliament. In truth, many of them will
be the same pairs of feet as before, but if nothing else, the elections
provide a key opportunity for interest groups to seek commitments and a
renewed agenda from Europe's elected representatives for the period
2009-2014. With this in mind, ESU will shortly be publishing a
manifesto for the next parliamentary term which sets out clearly the
measures that European students would like MEPs to take in order to
secure the shared vision for higher education in Europe which we all
wish to see.
Engaging MEPs in Education: ESU and AEGEE joint event in the European Parliament
straight on from the Leuven Ministerial Conference of the Bologna
Process, ESU and AEGEE (Association des Etats Generaux d'Etudiants) are
delighted to be hosting a joint event on education policy in the EU in
the European Parliament.
Kindly hosted by Katerina Batzeli MEP,
Chair of the Culture and Education Committee, the event will focus on
debates and discussions around the future of the Bologna Process,
particularly in light of the Ministerial, the EU's Strategic Framework
for Cooperation on Education and Training and the role of the Parliament
on education issues in its forthcoming mandate.
The event will take place on Thursday 29th April, 4pm,
in the Paul-Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels.
For more information and to find out how you can attend, please e-mail: [email protected]
|Call for entries: Innovating Minds Competition
Do you have an 'innovating mind'? If so, a new competition launched
by the Senate of the Czech Republic in partnership with the Czech
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports could be just for you. The
competition aims to address the fact that Europe is estimated to be
short of one million scientists and researchers in the years to come,
and that students continue not to be attracted to science and
technology study paths within higher education, and that those who are
often end up in the United States.
The competition is open to
young people up to 20 years of age from all European countries, and
there are prizes of up to 5000 EUR to be awarded.
Full details can be found here.
|EMUNI Summer School 2009
One of Europe's newest, most innovative and truly international
universities - EMUNI, or the Euro-Mediterreanean University, is proud
to be holding its 2nd summer school this year with a series of
educational opportunities from June to September. Organised in nine of
EMUNI's co-founding institutions from six different countries, the
summer schools are designed to support cooperation among
Euro-Mediterranean universities, to stimulate mobility and to
contribute to greater understanding among people and cultures.
Full details of the programme and how to register can be found here
|Upcoming ESU Events
2-4 April - Equity training for NUSes, Tallinn, Estonia
19-26 April - Bologna Seminar and Board Meeting 56, Brussels
12-14 June, Equity training for NUSes, Austria
|Interesting bits from elsewhere
|The European Youth Forum
(YFJ) has just launched its own manifesto for the forthcoming mandate
of the European Parliament and European Commission. 'PROPOSALS FOR
A NEW YOUTH AGENDA FOR THE EU' sets out YFJ's main expectations of the
key EU institutions for the period 2009-2014.
YFJ Proposals for a New Youth Agenda
A Declaration on higher education in India has just been published as part of the series of preparatory conferences for the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education.
'Facing Global and Local Challenges: The New Dynamics for Higher Education,'
was organised by India's Ministry of Human Resource Development and the
National University of Educational Planning and Administration, in
collaboration with UNESCO.The full text of the declaration, which reiterates the link between higher education,
nation-building and sustainable development, can be found here.
Representatives from over 500 European Universities gathered in Prague last week for the annual convention of the European University Association (EUA). And
they issued a strong message to Europe's governments - in the current
economic and financial crisis, continued investment in higher education
is vital. Universities in particular have a key role to play
as a motor for economic recovery by providing the research based
education at all levels needed to promote creativity and innovation.
views were echoed by European Commission President, Jose Manuel
Barroso, who told participants In a video address that it would be a
mistake to cut public and private spending on education and research as
this could have a 'direct negative impact' on future growth. He also
stressed that universities themselves could contribute directly to
economic recovery by responding to changing labour market needs.
Investing more in education and research would also help Europe emerge
from recession faster and in better shape, he noted.
|News from partners
|Hot off the press is the latest newsletter of the European Youth Forum
And you can read all the latest news from the European University Association here.
All the latest from UNESCO's Education division can be found here.
28-29 April - Ministerial Conference of the Bologna Process, Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
7 June - European Parliament elections