FINST Consultation Seminar

Event date - 24/11/2011
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Financing the Students’ Future (FINST)

Consultations Seminar

Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool, United Kingdom

24-26 November 2011

The Consultations Seminar will gather student representatives, representatives of Higher Education Institutions and academic staff as well as stakeholders to discuss funding mechanisms for higher education at the national level that would enable our societies to face the global challenges ahead and preserve the current generous missions of higher education. The event will be attended by over 100 participants from more than 30 European countries. More information about the project, called FINST, can be found here. The reader with all the practical information concerning the event, can be found here.
During the two days there will be debates, panel discussions and workshops that look at financing of higher education form different perspectives. Some themes to be looked at are the different missions and perceptions of Higher Education, current trends in financing of Higher Education, the financing of student support services and how to improve the financing systems through the instruments that are being introduced. As it is a consultation seminar, the participants are invited to give their input and share their ideas on the topics under discussion.
  • Confronting different views on funding HE (from different stakeholders)
  • Develop principles and ideas for financing systems at the national level
  • Introduce Financing the Students’ Future project outcomes so far
  • Increase knowledge of current trends in financing systems
  • Guide the development of the FINST project
Day 1 and 2 will involve consultation and knowledge sharing with all stakeholders – students, researchers, academics, policy makers and student representatives.
Topics covered will include:
  • Current challenges
  • Case studies and regional developments
  • Building capacity to influence the debate on financing
Day 3 will involve student consultations. In particular, delegates will look at the outcomes of the FINST mapping process and aid the development of typologies and financing principles.

Final agenda

Day 1: Thursday, 24th of November 2011

TimeSession16:00 – 16:30

Welcome speeches

Allan Päll, ESU

Christina Yan Zhang, NUS UK

Simon Roy, European Commission

Opening of the seminar, welcome speeches and introduction to the Consultations Seminar

16:30 – 17:30Why invest in Higher Education?

Nicolaas Heerens, ESU Alumni

Simon Roy, European Commission

Agnieszka Kubik, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland

Presentations and discussion on:

  • Why is Higher Education a public good and public responsibility?
  • Current EU policies on financing of Higher Education

17:30 – 18:00Financing the Students’ Future project

Brikena Xhomaqi and Rok Primožic, ESU

Presentation of Financing the Students’ Future project and its outcomes

18:00 – 19:00Current challenges in financing of Higher Education

Session is dedicated to discussions in groups on current challenges that are affecting financing of Higher Education, such as global financing crisis, cost-sharing, private investments, commodification etc.

Day 2: Friday, 25th of November 2011

TimeSession9:00 – 10:00

Different missions, different views – financing of Higher Education Institutions

Thomas Estermann, EUA

Henning Dettleff, Business Europe

Rob Copeland, EI/ETUCE

Allan Päll, ESU

Stakeholders debate on how different approaches to financing of Higher Education are linked to different mission of HEIs

10:00 – 11:00How are countries managing current challenges in financing of Higher Education?

Discussions in parallel groups on what are the mechanisms and trends that countries are using when addressing current challenges in financing of Higher Education

11:00 – 11:30Coffee break11:30 – 13:00Can the new financing mechanisms and incentives improve Higher Education financing?

Thomas Estermann, EUA

Agnieszka Kubik, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland

Meta Dobnikar, Ministry for Higher Education, Science and Technology, Slovenia

Presentations and discussion on two aspects of current trends:

1.) Diversifying in financing of Higher Education

2.) Performance based financing and impact on HEIs

13:00 – 14:30Lunch14:30 – 16:00Student support systems and social dimension of Higher Education

Discussion in groups on the differences of students’ support systems in European countries and what effect that have on students

16:00 – 16:30Coffee break16.30 – 18.00Financing the Students’ Future – Is there an ideal funding scenario?

Four parallel sessions on results from FINST mapping exercise, discussion on identified typologies and ideal funding scenarios

18.00 – 18.30Conclusions

Reports from workshops and general report

Day 3: Saturday, 26th of November 2011

TimeSession9:30 – 11:00

Consultations with student representatives – parallel sessions

There will be 5 parallel sessions and participants will be divided in several groups.  Through the day, they will be participating in three of the five different workshops (details can be found below):

1.)    How can FINST help?

2.)    Changes in financing of Higher Education – how can we fight back?

3.)    Commodification of Higher Education – what is it and what can we do?

4.)    Social dimension and financing of HE – how can we include under-represented groups?

5.)    Theme to be decided by participants

11:00 – 11:30Coffee break11:30 – 13:00Consultations with student representatives – parallel sessions13:00 – 14:30Lunch14:30 – 16:00Consultations with student representatives – parallel sessions16:00 – 16:30Coffee break16.30 – 18.00General report and conclusion of the seminar


1. How can FINST help?

This workshop will focus on the student participation in the discussion about financing of Higher Education in countries participants come from. We will present the outcomes of the FINST survey and the short analysis of it. The discussion later will address how the talks about financing of HE on national level are being conducted and if the students are included in them. Then the focus will be on how FINST project and ESU in general can help with that and talk concretely about lobby sheets and other exploitation tools of the FINST project.

2. How do we fight against the changes?

Student unions and organisations across Europe and the world are fighting for Higher Education as a public good and public responsibility. This workshop will show different examples of what students are doing in their fight against austerity measures and cuts to public financing and we will discuss what the outcomes of those actions are. Participants will be then encouraged to try to develop their own plan of action that would be useful in their own countries.

3. Commodification of Higher Education

During the FINST project, we have developed a definition and certain understanding of the term commodification. This workshop is aimed at getting input from the participants on their own understanding of the term and the effects commodification has.

The participants are highly encouraged to read the article on commodification beforehand and to collect literature and policies or statements their union have on the topic.

4. Social dimension and financing of Higher Education

This workshop aims to look at the link between financing of higher education and social dimension. Although it seems obvious what the link between the two topics looks like, are there really financing mechanisms in place that promote social dimension? The aim of the workshop is to identify relevant dimensions or approaches, find solutions, ideas and share practices on how different financing mechanisms could enhance the promotion of social dimension.

5. Theme to be decided by the participants
As we would like to leave space for participants to also talk about the issues that were in their opinion not already in the agenda, we will gather suggestions from them and then together decide on the topic of the last workshop.


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