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Global gathering of students to discuss more cooperation

LONDON – Student leaders from more than 40 countries (*) from all continents will gather this week in London at the Global Student Leadership Summit to discuss current threats to students all over the world. The European Students’ Union (ESU), co-organiser of the event, will voice the ongoing struggles of students in Europe and debate more international cooperation.

ESU Chairperson, Karina Ufert, said: “Governments everywhere in Europe are using the current financial crisis as an excuse to reduce public financing of higher education. This is the biggest threat to European students and only if we stand together in our fight for accessible education can we win this.” 

Budget cuts in Europe have resulted in shifting the burden of study costs from the state to students through an increase in study costs and tuition fees. Only 9 countries in Europe do not charge tuition fees according to a recently published tuition fees report from the European Commission. As a result, many students have left their country of origin to study elsewhere. Even though ESU strongly advocates student mobility, this should never be initiated by financial reasons, as education should be accessible for all in their native country.

‘Prevent more damage’

Ufert continued: “We have to prevent more damage to the opportunities for students in Europe and we are very concerned about the negative development to restrictions on access taking place. Next to this, it is important that we stick up for our peers in other parts of the world.”

The three-day-event (18 to 21 September) focuses on education, sustainable development, peace and social justice. The Summit will mark the 90th anniversary of NUS-UK, UK member of ESU and host of the event. In addition, the student delegates will join the Peace One Day concert on 21 September and gather on stage with Elton John at the Wembley Stadium. To find out more about the Global Student Leadership Summit and Peace One Day, check out:


* Cyprus, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Malta, Russia, Slovakia, Hungary, France, Montenegro, Armenia, Moldova, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, South Sudan, Romania, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Swaziland, Philippines, Taiwan, Nepal, Iceland. Regional platforms: ESU-Europe, AASU- Asia, ASU- Africa, OCLAE-South America and Caribbeans, USPSA-South Pacific. Visa for student leaders from Gambia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Albania and India were denied.
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For more information, please contact:
Karina Ufert, ESU Chairperson: +32 473669892 //
Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 //

The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 38 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 our Facebook page or visit ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.


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