The European student movement calls political parties to prioritise students and higher education

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  • Paula Brines: "A future-proof higher education system is essential for addressing societal challenges".
    Paula Brines: "A future-proof higher education system is essential for addressing societal challenges". Source: Pexels.

The European Students’ Union and its members put forward 24 proposals for the 2024 European elections. 

Paula Brines i Blasco


EU Communications Assistant from European Student's Union


Vertical photo: 
Paula Brines i Blasco
Square photo: 
Paula Brines i Blasco
Horizontal photo: 
Paula Brines i Blasco

The European Union plays a major role in the importance of addressing transnational challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices and the climate crisis; but the educational dimension is often overlooked. The European student movement demands to focus on areas such as a European social dialogue on higher education, a student-social Europe, a European Education Area for all students, and future-proof higher education. In light of these challenges and the objective of building the European Education Area by 2025, the political parties are urged to support these demands during the negotiations for the next European Commission and to include them in the Commission's 2024-2029 Strategy. 

A systemic social dialogue in higher education is being advocated for within the European Union. The involvement of the democratically elected student representatives in decision-making processes is also encouraged, particularly in the areas affecting students. The exclusion of legitimate student representatives from social dialogue and representation rights is seen as a violation of democratic principles. Therefore, the European Union is being urged to establish a comprehensive form of social dialogue that includes the legitimate student representational organisation at the European level. This dialogue should cover all stages of policy-making and other related processes in higher education. 

The European Education Area aims to provide education for all EU students by 2025, ensuring student participation in European university alliances, involvement of representative stakeholder organisations, automatic recognition of qualification and study periods, and prior non-formal and informal learning. The European Commission and EU Member States must ensure accountability for their actions within the EEA framework, monitoring the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and financially sustainable fundings for European universities as well as for scholarships for EU-funded joint degree programs. The EU should also commit to gathering information on its Higher Education systems and ensure funding for Erasmus+ credit mobility students. 

As a matter of fact, a future-proof higher education system is essential for addressing societal challenges, and a coordinated investment and reform framework at the European level is needed to achieve this. In addition, a European programme of scholarships for students at risk of persecution should be established, and funding instruments for Higher Education Institutions should be created in line with the Green deal. Academic freedom should be enshrined in EU Treaties, and a student-centred approach to digitalization in education should be developed. Education mobility between the UK, Switzerland, The Faroe Islands, and Europe should be supported, decoupling Erasmus+ agreements from other agreements or political negotiations. This will enable research and developments in line with the green transition and foster the next generation of students to be educated on relevant topics. 

Student rights are a never-ending battle and the organised European student movement calls upon the European political parties and decision-makers to be up to the challenges faced by our continent and provide students with concrete answers and measures. The time to act is now!

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