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ESIB releases the Berlin Declaration

Between the 16th and 19th March 2007, 140 student representatives from 40 countries gathered in Berlin to discuss their demands to the Ministers ahead of the upcoming London Ministerial Summit.

The discussions at this – the 13th European Students Convention, led to the recognition that the Bologna Process has triggered some of the largest and most crucial reforms of higher education policy in Europe.

The Bologna Process helps to create a better Europe for all and a future in which all citizens have the possibility to develop their personality and to become active democratic citizens.

Students, however, express their doubts about the progress that is being made towards the goal of a European Higher Education Area. ESIB believes that the Process is and should remain challenging to all governments and stakeholders dealing with higher education. The London Summit can only be successful through joint efforts between governments and stakeholders, resulting in an ambitious reform agenda building on the work that has been done in the past eight years. Importantly, after these eight years, discussions surrounding the Process are still not prioritising institutions and students. The work done and the input from institutions and students have to be the reference point for future discussions.

We underline the importance of the involvement of   students and their representatives in the implementation of the Process. ESIB notes that progress has been made regarding the involvement of students in the decision making processes and the follow-up of the Bologna Process in its signatory countries. However, students are not recognised as full and equal partners at all levels yet. The Bologna Process needs to become a strong driver of change, and spearhead an increase in the involvement of students in a democratic and transparent higher education system.

The result of these discussions have been compiled in the Berlin Declaration outlining our concerns and recommendations to the Ministers participating in the summit in London. This Declaration was officially released and presented to the press today, March 19th. You can read the full declaration here .


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