Statement on the social dimension

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Social Dimension at the heart of the Bologna Process

11 november 2011

Since the beginning of the Bologna Process, social dimension has been a major concern of the students. Many targets of the Bologna Process refer to the social dimension, but comprehensive implementation is still lacking. The definition given in the London Communiqué of how the student body entering, participating in and completing higher education at all levels should reflect the diversity of our populations provides a framework of what should be reached, but does not give concrete actions for what should be done. Social dimension must be seen in a multidimensional, political, cultural and socioeconomic matrix, as it cuts through everything. Therefore this is an evolving and diverse concept that needs to be developed, to ensure an open and democratic society.

ESU would like to break the misconception of social dimension solely using up finances without having a substantial positive impact on the society. Social dimension not only ensures economical benefits for the society, but also produces social benefits. Both of these benefits can be proved by evidence based data. Another important outcome of social dimension is ensuring the values of social mobility and justice, as education is a human right. Therefore access to higher education should be widened to ensure that knowledge generated within higher education institutions is available to as many people as possible. Full implementation would allow for maximizing the potential of the society and individuals. This leads to the fact that widening access is a crucial part of social dimension. Additionally this is a chance to ensure regional diversity and to help the single countries to develop a sustainable higher education system.


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