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A social dimension strategy for the European Higher Education Area

VIENNA – The Bologna Follow-Up Group is committed to create a strategy for the social dimension of the European Higher Education Area and as such operates a Working Group on the Social Dimension and Life-long Learning. This working group is co-chaired by the European Students’ Union (ESU) and met on 3 and 4 April in Vienna, Austria.

The purpose of this meeting was to follow-up on the work outlined in terms of reference at the Bucharest ministerial conference in 2012. The group has five smaller groups working between the meetings and they presented their work. A first draft on a strategy for the social dimension was discussed as well as guidelines for an access plan to higher education. Those guidelines are intended to support countries wishing to create their own national access plans by acting as a road map or checklist.

All documents presented at the meeting are currently undergoing a revision and a second draft is expected at the end of May, where the first conclusions of the final report on this subject will also be presented.

This meeting was held in connection to a conference on the PL4SD project, or Peer Learning for the Social Dimension, that ESU is a partner to. This project recently introduced a useful online database, where information about policy measures in the European Higher Education Area addressing the social dimension of higher eduation are collected. Those measures share the common objective of reducing barriers to higher education and provide a conducive study environment for all students that can lead to them successfully completing higher education. It is hoped that this database can as such facilitate a peer learning process, where countries exchange knowledge and experiences in a given area in order to identify best practices.

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For more information, please contact:

Elisabeth Gehrke, ESU Vice-chairperson: +32/479.591.499 // or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 //

The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.


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