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Student-centred learning is an essential component of the social dimension

GHENT – In the middle of November, the members of the Working Group on the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning of the Bologna Follow-up Group met in Ghent in Belgium. This working group has been co-chaired by the European Students’ Union and Ireland following a ministerial conference of the Bologna process held in Bucharest in 2012.

This was the third time that the working group met and this time the participants focused on issues related to learning and teaching. ESU, the European Commission, the Europan University Association (EUA) and the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), did all present their input or hold workshops related to the future of teaching and learning.

ESU made it clear that it considers student-centred learning to be integral in the social dimension of higher education. Access to higher education has to be viewed from a more systematic approach and by doing so it is necessary to address learning and teaching. Tomorrow’s educational systems have to be organised in such a way to accommodate the needs of a much wider range of students than those who are in the system today.

During the meeting, the countries and stakeholders identified areas that required more active work. They were the following:

– Access and support

– Learning and teaching

– Lifelong learning and employability

– A strategy for the social dimension

The meeting also included general updates from the countries and stakeholders as well as on the PL4SD project. The PL4SD project is an essential part of the social dimension work in Europe and is well underway. National authorities and other stakeholders have contributed to the project’s database that will become accessible in February 2014.

The meeting in Ghent was held in connection with the final conference of the ExpandO project led by Ghent University. The project gave a valuable input to the work of the working group. ESU would like to thank all the members of the working group for their active involvement and especially Ghent University for hosting the meeting.

For more information on the working group, visit the website of the European Higher Education Area:

For more information on the ExpandO project, visit its website here:

If you are interested in learning more about Ghent University, you can also turn here:

For more information about the PL4SD project, you can visit its website:

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For more information, please contact:

Rok Primozic, ESU’s Chairperson: +32/479.126.390 // or Robert Hlynur Baldursson, 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 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 ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.


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