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Equity in Higher Education


The project ‘equity through e-learning’ aims to train student representatives to help implement policies in order to increase equity and efficiency in their own higher education institutions.

The student body in all European countries excludes a great number of groups in society that have the capability to start and complete a degree in higher education. Through experiencing the barriers and/or direct and indirect discrimination, students are the obvious group to claim their place in this debate.

Increasing equal opportunities has always been a priority area of the student movement. In the twenty-five years that ESU has existed, a great knowledge library has been developed on this topic. By being active in institutional governance structures, national consultation structures and civil society in general, student unions have a direct influence on equity and efficiency policies. The project ‘equity through e-learning’ aims to train student representatives to help implement policies in order to increase equity and efficiency in their own higher education institutions and countries.

Existing and new research on increasing equity in higher education will be disseminated to all levels of student representation, on the national, institutional, faculty and programme levels. The project will also set up a European Student Trainer Network to train student representatives and will use an e-learning platform to create an innovative learning experience. The platform will be used as a preparation for, and as a follow-up to, the regional training sessions in order to help them develop national action plans for equity and efficiency in European higher education systems. The project is managed by ESU in cooperation with its member organisations in Romania, Austria and the Netherlands, all having long-standing experience in training and empowering student representatives.

The e-learning platform will be created in collaboration with Scienter, and the Menon Network will act as advisor to its development.


ESU is the lead partner and the coordinator of the project consortium formed by Scienter Italy, Student Higher Education Council of the Slovak Republic (SVRS), National Alliance of Romanian Student Organizations (ANOSR), Austrian National Union of Students, MENON NETWORK EEIG, Federation of Estonian Students Unions (EÜL).

Duration: October 2007 – December 2009


  • A content package, consisting of research, findings and conclusions of the content team on equity issues from the students’ perspective, will be designed and provide support to the trainers’ pool in order for them to be able to prepare the training sessions. The content package will also be made available on the website of the project for student unions, HE Stakeholders and other interested bodies.
  • The e-learning platform will be the tool through which the users will be able to meet up, debate HE issues and partake of an e-learning training in order to gain expertise in the topic in question.
  • The Student Conference on Equity and Efficiency in Higher Education will be an important event, because it will allow participants to debate the content that will later be introduced within the trainings. Thus, apart from acting as a means to get participants interested in the topic at hand and the trainings that will follow, this exercise is also a good quality assurance mechanism where the research and content produced will be actively challenged and debated in a live forum.
  • The training for trainers’ event will prepare future trainers in terms of content, technical and pedagogy. It will consist of 3 days of training, divided into 5 modules. The entire set of modules will use a varied toolbox of non-formal and formal learning methods.
  • Three regional trainings on equity topics, delivered by the trainers formed during the ToT.
  • The project is being implemented with the financial support of the European Commission’s DG Education and Culture – EACEA, as part of the Erasmus Programme.


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