ESU BM61 + Seminar

Event date - 07/11/2011
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EQUNet Conference on the Future of Social Dimension in Higher Education

Final agenda: Download this file.


(For ESU delegates with BM sessions)
8-9th November 2011,
Sofia, Bulgaria
Venue and accommodation: Park Hotel Moskva
Aims and objectives of the seminar:
         Present and discuss outcomes of EQUNet project and agree on the steps forward;
         Bring together relevant stakeholders from the European level, both from organisational level and institutions such as the European Commission, national governments representatives to discuss challenges and approaches towards widening access to higher education to all groups;
         Raise awareness on the barriers to reaching equal access and success and find solutions to addressing these barriers on various levels and working with different target groups;
         Share good practices and success stories on how to promote social dimension policy in education;
         Build capacity on mainstreaming social dimension and get more familiar with the policy work on the European level and on how to impact it;
         Discuss the following during the two conference days:
    Can we agree on a common understanding and approaches to Social dimension?
    How far have we gotten in reaching increasing equality since the start of the Bologna Process?
    What has been accomplished and what stands in the way of proper implementation?
    What tools can be used and how true implementation of Social dimension could be realised?
    Which direction to head after 2012?
    Discuss the idea of Social dimension observatory between the stakeholders
References for further reading:
The Social Dimension in European Higher education area:
Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Funding and Social Dimension 2011:


Monday, 7th November (arrival days)

16:00 – 18:00 Visit to the Roma community (please register on by 2nd November if you are interested to attend).
18:30 – 20:00 Dinner at the venue
20:00 – 22:00 Welcome session for the Conference participants and BM61 delegates

Day 1, Tuesday 8th November

9:00-10.00       Opening, welcome words

Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia;

Prof. Sergey Ignatov, Minister of Education, Youth and Science;

Allan Päll, Chairperson of ESU;

Fabio Nascimbeni, Representative of MENON;

Petar Chaushev President of NASC;

Sergey Modev, President of UBS

10:00- 10:30   Presentation: The meaning of Social Dimension in the European Higher Education Area, Klemen Miklavic, CEPS

How did the concept Social Dimension come to be? What does Social Dimension mean in the European Higher Education Area?

10.30-11.00    The EQUNet Project, Anthony F. Camilieri, SCIENTER

EQUNET is a 3-year project aiming at increasing access to Higher Education for all marginalized and non-traditional groups based on a principle of equity. What are the main aims, purpose and achievements of the project? What messages does the report “Evolving diversity in HE” bring forth?

11:00-11:30    Coffee Break

11:30-13.00    Panel discussion: Targets and tools to strengthen focus on social dimension in education.

Chair: Per Nyborg (CEPS) Respondents: Jens Vraa-Jensen (HERSC) Lene Oftedal (EC), Andreas Bohonek (ZSI), Mary Tupan-Wenno (EAN), Allan Päll (ESU)

What are the different Social Dimension initiatives and policies at European level? Participants will have an understanding of the scope of the Social Dimension Observatory, the Right to Quality Education initiative and what the objectives of EU2020 and modernization agenda in relation to equity in HE.

13:00-14:30    Lunch

14:30-16:00   Panel session: Ethnic origin and access to Higher Education: what stands in the way and what can we do about it.

Galina Kostadinova (MRGI), Dorit Griga (University of Bern), Ethnic Minorities and Immigration WG of ESU

What is being done on European level to widen the access to education for ethnic minorities and immigrants? Galina Kostadinova from Minority Rights International will explain the definitions of ethnic minorities and immigrants. Dorit Griga will shed light on the migration and equity in Europe after which the working group on ethnic minorities and immigrants will share the results of the survey conducted to NUSes and share best practices.

16.00-16.30    Coffee break

Campaign Poster Exhibition of NUS campaigns on equality and social affairs at the coffee venue to benchmark best practices and exchange ideas on successful campaigns; Distribution of the essay, winner of EQUNet competition is announced.

16:30-18:00    What does YouTube show us?

Interactive session on stereotypes in social media and everyday life and their impact on forming attitudes. Virginija Prasmickaite, IGLYO, GECC

What are stereotypes?  Is there a link between YouTube and other medias to our daily behaviour? This interactive session will be chaired by IGLYO with a different    perspective on stereotypes.

19:00-20:00                Dinner (at the Conference venue)

Day 2, Wednesday 9th November

09:30-11:00    Synergies and future actions of stakeholders for widening access to HE

Parallel workshops on how stakeholders and NUSes can promote social dimension towards 2012 and beyond

What are the different perspectives and approached towards widening access to higher education shared among different stakeholders? How could NUSes be involved in this? In the workshops the possibilities of how NUSes can be involved in promoting social dimension in practice will be explored and have the opportunity to gain more insight and give feedback on the topics of the workshops.

See workshop description at the end of the agenda

11:00-11:30    Coffee Break

Ongoing Campaign Poster Exhibition on equality and social affairs at the coffee venue.

11:30-13:00    Debate Club: Social Dimension from the perspective of young leaders.

The method of the session is called ’debate club’, where participants can express their opinion on current, heated statements by moving along a line from ’agree to disagree’ and engage in debate on the topics. Aim is to show the pros and cons to the statements and gather new arguments for future work.

13:00-14:30    Lunch

14:30-16:00    Presentation of the outcomes of parallel sessions,

Conclusions of the seminar and key messages to policy makers



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