Lisbon & Students
Since 2000, ESU has been engaged in activities the European Commission undertook in the field of higher education under the header of the Lisbon Strategy. ESU has participated in the consultation process on the ‘Role of Universities in the Europe of Knowledge’, in several working groups followed up by the “Wim Kok midterm review”, in the consultation sessions on the European Institute of Technology and more recently in EU presidency events discussing the main communications to the Parliament and Council.
In Hampton Court, the Lisbon Strategy gained an increased momentum on reform, touching the systems we study in. The 11th European Student Convention in Vienna, March, 2006 launched a call to ministers for ESU to become a full partner in the European Union’s Education and Training 2010 work programme. Since action speaks louder than words, ESU filed an application for a project called ‘Lisbon and Students’ in April 2006, which was approved the following August.
In summary, the project aimed to:
- Assess the impact of the reforms on students through a European wide survey – “Lisbon with Student Eyes”
- Inform national unions of students on the content of the reforms through information packages, a European conference and regional trainings.
- Draft regional and national contributions towards the reforms through three regional trainings
- Bring together student representatives, government representatives and the social partners to discuss the student contribution towards the Lisbon Strategy in a European conference.
The project thus comprised the following actions:
- A three day European wide conference on improving the students contribution to the Lisbon Strategy, concretely focused on the implementation of the education and training 2010 work programme. Under discussion will also be the links between the higher education and public and private partners, financial management of higher education institutions and employability of bachelor and sub-bachelor degrees.
- A survey called “Lisbon with student eyes”, researching the effects of the Lisbon Strategy on students and their higher education systems. This survey will give us an overview of the knowledge and understanding of the Lisbon Strategy within the national unions of students in Europe, and also the pace of implementation and the involvement of students within the reforms, both on the national and local level. This is a follow-up to the survey “Bologna with student eyes 2” which is being produced for the upcoming London ministerial summit and had been previously produced also for the Bergen ministerial summit.
- Three regional trainings on the effects of the Lisbon Strategy on higher education and cooperation between students, the ministries and social partners. These aim at shaping national action plans for national unions of students and peer learning activities on work on the Lisbon Strategy.
- Four meetings with the European institutions and social partners to facilitate the structural participation of ESU on the European level. These meetings gave ESU the opportunity to meet the European stakeholders within the Lisbon Strategy on a more structural basis, which will make the entire communication and progress within the implementation process move up a gear.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This article reflects the views only of the author, and the commission cannot be held reponsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.