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European student leadership celebrates its 30 years milestone

BRUSSELS – New generations of student politicians have gathered on a regular basis to create policies within ESU for three decades now. Upon founding the organisation in October 1982, it was decided that the first meeting would be preceded by a seminar on a topic of interest to all unions. The topic of the first seminar was “Student participation in decision-making bodies in Higher Education”.

The format has stood the test of time and is still in use. The bi-annual board meetings are still preceded by a seminar on a topic of interest to all unions. The seminars provide a great forum for policy formulation.

There have been many significant moments in the history of ESU. One that deserves to be mentioned is ESU’s 37th Board Meeting in Cyprus in October 1999 – almost fifteen years ago. This Board Meeting was important in many ways.

According to Dr. Manja Klemencic, ESIB Director/Secretary General (1999-2001), the Board Meeting in Nicosia was in many ways a historical one, in terms of ESIB’s organisational development towards more external recognition and involvement in the Bologna Process.

In the first months of 1999, ESIB Executive Committee had decided on the political aim of getting an invitation to the Bologna conference and to impress upon national student unions the importance of being involved in the national discussions.

What came out two years later was the Prague Ministerial Communique highlighting student participation in previously unprecedented ways.

“Prague Ministerial Communique made two momentous and previously unprecedented political declarations regarding the essence of student representation in Europe. One concerns the principles of student involvement in HE governance. The Ministers politically affirmed both student involvement in the policy making towards the emerging EHEA, and student participation in the HE decision-making on all levels: institutional, national and European.”

Read more about the first 30 years of ESU, including ESU’s road of getting into the Bologna Process, from the upcoming 30th anniversary publication that will be launched in October 2012 in Limassol, Cyprus. The publication portrays the development of W/ESIB/ESU and highlights the impact of the organisation on policies, student unions and people.

(W)ESIB/ESU 30th Anniversary celebration and 24th European Students’ Convention will take place in Limassol, Cyprus in October 2012. The event will be hosted by POFEN, the national student union of Cyprus.

Follow us on Twitter and with the event hashtag (#ESU30years)

See also the page of the event on Facebook.


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