11.03.2014
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Martin Schulz: “Higher education is a public good”

BRUSSELS – The 27th edition of the European Students’ Convention (ESC27) and the Final Conference of the SAGE project will be held under the high patronage of the European Parliament. This event will bring together more than one hundred student representatives in Brussels, Belgium, from 19 to 21 March 2014 to discuss policies for higher education in Europe, in particular the employability of graduates.

Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, has acknowledged the importance of the convention in a letter addressed to Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares, Vice-Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU), on 21 February 2014.

The purpose of your initiative, which is to bring together national representatives of students from all over Europe to debate and exchange views on European policy developments related to higher education and youth and on the 2014 European elections, is very much appreciated,” Schulz writes.

Supporting student engagement

The letter stresses quality and relevance of higher education as core conditions for taking full advantage of Europe’s intellectual capital.

Higher education is a public good that fosters culture, diversity, democratic values and personal development, and prepares students to become active citizens who will support European cohesion. In its resolution of 11 September 2012, Parliament called on universities to widen access to learning and modernise their curricula to address new challenges, in order to improve the competences of the European population and promote the acquisition by students of knowledge and skills to facilitate their entry into the labour market,” Schulz continues.

Furthermore, the letter expresses the European Parliament’s support to educational projects that encourage younger generations to become actively involved in European policies and boost their interest in and enthusiasm for Europe, in particular to the run-up to the European elections.

ESU thanks the President of the European Parliament for his support to the convention and hopes that European policy-makers will take the voice of students into account, not only in the European elections, but to involve students as active partners in relevant policy-making processes.

Student debate at the European Parliament

ESU will hold a debate at the European Parliament on 21 March 2014 as part of the ESC27, hosted by Eider Gardiazabal, Member of the European Parliament and Chair of the Youth Intergroup. With this event, ESU hopes to raise awareness about students’ expectations and wishes for the European elections by building a bridge directly between students and decision-makers at the European Parliament.

A part of this debate will be dedicated to present ESU’s campaign for the European elections in May 2014, called Vote For Education, where students have agreed on a manifesto of ten points that they want the European candidates to pledge to. Participants of this event will also have the opportunity to discuss specific initiatives for higher education in Europe, such as Erasmus+, the new EU framework programme for education and youth, and the EU visa directive for third country national.

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For more information, please contact:

Rok Primozic, ESU’s Chairperson: +32/479.126.390 // rok@esu-online.org or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, ESU’s Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 // robert@esu-online.org

The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 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 or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.

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