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European students deliver joint statement on future EU education

BRUSSELS – National unions of students (NUSes) from all around Europe will participate in a Joint Action, which kicks off on 27 April, with the aim to influence the upcoming European Commission communication ‘Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education 2011”. This EC communication, due in the autumn of 2011, will set out the main guidelines for the next decade of European higher education and is therefore an essential document for the students.

The EU2020 Strategy education targets will most likely play an important role in the new communication, as higher education is key to a socially inclusive, innovative and competitive EU. Moreover it is expected that the Commission will come up with concrete proposals for EU student loans and more EU funding for mobility to reach the benchmark of 20% of the European students studying abroad by 2020. ESU is very critical towards setting up a pan-European student loans scheme as it thinks loans often block students from lower socio-economic backgrounds to study abroad due to debt aversion.

The Europe-wide Joint Action is coordinated by the European Students’ Union (ESU), the umbrella organisation of 45 NUSes from 38 countries. On 27 April, the NUSes will meet their respective national education ministries and deliver the signed joint statements which summarises what should be included in the Modernisation Agenda. The statement will also be forwarded to the EU Council, the European Parliament and the Commission.

Joint Statement

In the joint statement, the students urge for a refocus on higher education, while refraining from promoting narrow approaches such as “old and new” ranking systems. The statement reads: “More important and meaningful priorities than those addressed in the present agenda must be introduced.”

ESU furthermore finds that methods of teaching and learning need to be more in line with modern life and educating for citizenship, and thus asks for a more student-centred approach. The full list of demands can be read in the attached statement.


Published: 26 April 2011

The joint statement can be found here:

For more information, please contact:
Bert Vandenkendelaere, ESU Chairperson: +32473669892 or
Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32473669894 or


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