The European Students' Union monthly newsletter

Issue: March 2016 

Dear readers,

This March we were glad to see higher education professionals and ESU representives from across Europe gather in Amsterdam to discuss and provide recommendations on ways to modernise higher education.

At EU level, ESU submitted a response to the public consultation on a renewed Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education in the European Union as well as to the Skills Agenda consultation paper. ESU highlighted challenges that students are still facing today and how they could be addressed.  

Unfortunately, March was also marked by tragic events such as the traffic accident in Spain and the Brussels attacks. Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. We warn again against the dangers of extremism and radicalisation and call all students to stand up against all forms of racism and discrimination.   

ESU team
ESC31: Students discuss ways forward for a post-industrial higher education system in Europe
AMSTERDAM - Student representatives from across Europe gathered in Amsterdam for their 31st European Student Convention between 8th and 11th March to discuss ways to modernise European higher education. The conference focused on 3 main themes: digitalisation, internationalisation and curriculum design - all areas tackled on the discussions of the new goals for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and on the review of the Modernisation Agenda.
ESU's response to the renewed Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education in EU
ESU firmly believes that the EU should reflect the interests of
the countries and the academic  community throughout its policies, and to recognise the role of students in decision-making at all levels.
ESU responds to the Skills Agenda Consultation Paper
ESU emphasizes that employability is a broad concept which includes subject-specific, methodological, social and individual competences which enable graduates to successfully take up and pursue a profession/employment and empower their lifelong-learning. Employability is also about making graduates more likely to gain employment in their chosen field(s), being able to create/start new businesses, and being able to develop and succeed in their occupations.
Call for contributions: European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) 2016
The 11th European Quality Assurance Forum (EQAF) will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from  17 to 19 November 2016. For the first time, a student organisation will be co-hosting the event, namely the Slovene Student Union (SSU).
Spanish and European students express our deepest condolences
The Spanish and European university students are deeply saddened due to the loss of many colleagues who have died in a traffic accident this morning in Tarragona, Spain. The Spanish National Union of Students (CREUP) and the European Students' Union (ESU) express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Together we would like to send our full support of the Spanish and European students' communities in these sad moments.
Read more
ESU condemns cuts proposed to students' financial aid in Finland
The European students call on the Government of Finland to preserve the right and the opportunity to education for all, regardless of their background.   
A report on the reform of the students' financial aid commissioned by the Government was published last week. The country is looking at cuts to education worth nearly 600 million euro. The Government of Finland has decided on historical cutbacks to the student financial aid, for a total of 150 million euro. The amount represents 20% of the entire budget for the financial aid for students in higher education.
Read more
ESU supports the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination
On 21st March ESU celebrated the International Day for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination. ESU's Vice-Chairpersons, Lea Meister and Blazhe Todorovski encouraged students to stand up against racism and discrimination on campus and beyond and to share their experiences using #everydayracism and #studentsagainstracism.
Read more
Publish your work in ESU Student Voice
Our online campaign on international cooperation in student rights will come to an end on the 1st of April. Stay tuned for news about the winners.
Read more
Join OBESSU's crowdfunding campaign for the Manual for School Students
OBESSU has launched a crowdfunding campaign to print 250 copies of the renewed Manual for School Students. The Manual, written BY and FOR school students, is the result of one of the OBESSU working groups, who worked for the entire 2015.
Read more
ASEFSU Open Call: Journey through China, the Russian Federation and Mongoli
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ASEF Summer University Programme,
ASEF will organise a 2-week educational train journey for students and young professionals on the topic "Gateways to Asia and Europe: Connectivity by Land, Sea and Air" in August/September through China, Mongolia and the Russian Federation.
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Project News
ESU organises first EQUIP workshop in Amsterdam
 The European Students' Union organised the first EQUIP workshop in Amsterdam between 14th and 15th March 2016. Students, university professors, researchers, higher education professionals and policy-makers discussed the new European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area - ESG 2015.
STREAM - Second edition of the manual on European Recognition for HEI published
The second edition of the manual on European Recognition for Higher Education Institutions has been published on the STREAM platform.The 'EAR HEI' manual is based on the European Area of Recognition (EAR) manual published in 2012, which aimed to streamline recognition practices at the level of the ENIC-NARIC networks (the national information centres on recognition). This EAR manual was based on the Lisbon Recognition Convention and its subsidiary texts, and in addition on recommendations from projects, working groups and on publications. 
Read more
SciChallenge Project kicks off
 The SciChallenge project will develop novel concepts to attract young people to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professions. It encourages self-produced digital education materials by young people for young people. 
What could a European graduate study look like? EUROGRADUATE feasibility report now available
High hopes are placed in the social and individual outcomes of higher education which is expected to boost innovation and growth, foster employability and reduce unemployment, and add to social inclusion by being available to an ever larger proportion of the population. At the same time hardly any comparable data on Europe's HE graduates exists to monitor and analyse if and how higher education can have the expected benefits.

Members' News
StudWatch calls Belarusian students to #danceForReforms
In May 2015 Belarus was accepted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), subject to implementing the Roadmap on the reform of higher education in Belarus. By signing the agreement,  Belarusian Ministry of Education undertook the obligation to carry out not only this Roadmap, but also to respect and fulfil fundamental values such as respect for academic freedom and the right of students to take part in their educational institution management.
Read more
Students' Perspective of the Bologna Process in Armenia
As the biggest representative body of students at the national level, the Armenian National Students' Association (ANSA) assessed students' level of awareness and attitudes towards the Bologna Process. The student union published a research paper entitled "Bologna System. The Student Perspective" presenting the current situation and key issues of the Bologna Process in Armenia.
Read more
Good news for students in Wales and Northern Ireland
Working alongside students' unions, NUS-USI secured success in retaining tuition fee grants for part-time undergraduate higher education study in Northern Ireland.
NUS Wales were also delighted to announce the Welsh Government has acknowledged the concerns of students across Wales and as a result, reduced the level of cuts proposed to the Higher Education Budget.
Read more
Long-awaited decision on new quality assurance system in Sweden
On March 2nd 2016 the Swedish government and parliament decided on a new system in line with the ESG, shifting focus to the internal quality processes in HE institutions.  The Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) gladly welcomes the new system, which contains four components:
Students discuss the future of higher education in Romania
From March 25 to June 4, The National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania (ANOSR) will hold 6 debates on topics of interest for the Romanian higher education system in 6 different cities (Timișoara, Iași, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava, Alba Iulia), during the second edition of the Bologna in Universities project. These events are listed in the calendar of activities organised under the aegis of the National Debate for Education and Research - "Romania Educated", conducted by the Presidential Administration.
EÜL: Education innovation - development of learning and studying skills
On 15th-17th of April 2016 EÜL (The Federation of Estonian Student Union) will hold a meeting of the National Unions of Students of Nordic and Baltic Countries (NOM) in the university city of Estonia - Tartu. The main topic for the NOM meeting will be of quality teaching in Higher Education and students' learning skills.
ESU in the Press

Upcoming Events

La Vanguardia - Coordinadoras de estudiantes lloran la pérdida de trece compańeros
 9-14 May 2016: Board Meeting 70 and Board Meeting Seminar - Bergen, Norway


Current ESU Projects 
Below is a list of projects ESU is participating in as a Partner or Team Leader. 

Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Europe (CALOHEE)

Enhancing Quality through Innovative Policy & Practice (EQUIP)
European Forum for Enhanced Collaboration in Teaching (EFFECT)

Quality of Career Services in Higher Education (QAREER)