ESU supports demands of Ukrainian students to sign the EU Association Agreement
KYIV – The European Students’ Union (ESU) is concerned about the decision of the Ukrainian government to stop negotiations with the European Union on an Association Agreement. As part of the agreement, Ukraine would be further integrated into the European Higher Education Area.
ESU stands in solidarity with Ukrainian students that demand that the government’s decision will be overturned. The decision is extremely worrying in light of existing violations of academic freedom and a lack of decent participation of students in governing higher education.
On November 21, the largest demonstration since the Orange Revolution in 2004 started in the capital of Ukraine. Thousands of Ukrainian students and youth activists joined their efforts to show support to further integration of Ukraine with Europe in light of the 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit that is now held in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Implementing Bologna action lines
An Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union contains very important points for reforming the system of higher education in the country. They include the implementation of Bologna process action lines, the establishment of a quality assurance system, more attention to equal access to higher education, the development of opportunities for co-operation between higher education institutions in Ukraine and EU member states and more opportunities for students and academic staff mobility. The Association Agreement gives Ukrainian graduates also a chance to obtain internships in the member states’ private and NGO sector and their respective branches in Ukraine, which can decrease the level of graduates’ unemployment in the country significantly.
Transparency and quality
“We support the demands of students in Ukraine that they have expressed during the on-going protests, in the streets of Kyiv. European integration has historically brought more transparent governance and improved the quality assurance of higher education in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. We stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian colleagues and believe that Ukrainian citizens deserve to be fully integrated into the family of European nations,” says Rok Primozic, Chairperson of ESU.
ESU urges the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, to listen to the demands of its citizens and take them into account during the 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit that will end on Friday November 29.
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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 www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.