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European Students’ Union The Modernisation Agenda and Commodification BM60 Seminar Tallinn, Estonia 4th May 2011 Magnus Malnes Academic Affairs Committee.

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Presentation on theme: "European Students’ Union The Modernisation Agenda and Commodification BM60 Seminar Tallinn, Estonia 4th May 2011 Magnus Malnes Academic Affairs Committee."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Students’ Union The Modernisation Agenda and Commodification BM60 Seminar Tallinn, Estonia 4th May 2011 Magnus Malnes Academic Affairs Committee

2 Two keys to European HE policies The Bologna Process: European Higher Education Area, meant to ensure more comparable, compatible and coherent system of higher education in Europe. The Europe 2020-strategy: A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is designed to enhance the EU’s growth potential and deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

3 Europe 2020: The background context

4 Headline targets By 2020, an average of at least 15 % of adults should participate in lifelong learning; By 2020, the share of low-achieving 15-years olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15 %. By 2020, the share of 30-34 year olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 40 %. By 2020, the share of early leavers from education and training should be less than 10 %. By 2020, at least 95 % of children between 4 years old and the age for starting compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education. 3% of the EU's GDP (public and private combined) to be invested in R&D/innovation




8 40% attainment target How to reach the target? What does it means? Are National Reform Programmes effective? Or is it a huge paper-tiger? ESU supports increasing access and success in HE Without compromising the academic rights and quality in HE Demand strong emphasis on the Social Dimension Include stakeholders in National Reform Programmes Investments in higher education Start now! (“Minister, it takes time to do things now”)

9 National Reform Programmes 2020 ESU questionnaire to member unions February-March 2011 Very few unions have been consulted about the National Reform Programme or the targets. No unions thought the national targets were ambitious. There are not many effective actions and political plans in the programmes, but unions support investing in increased attendance. Broad skepticism on the effectiveness of reform programmes A lot of same shit – new wrapping


11 The Modernisation Agenda 2006 Curricular reform: The three cycle system, competence based learning, flexible learning paths, recognition, mobility. Governance reform: University autonomy, strategic partnerships, including with enterprises, quality assurance. Funding reform: Diversified sources of university income better linked to performance, promoting equity, access and efficiency, including the possible role of tuition fees, grants and loans.

12 The Modernisation Agenda effects Curricular reform: Mainly the Bologna-Process progress Governance reform: Quality assurance New institution forms Internal governance structures changing Funding reform: Countries rethink their tuition fee and student aid policy Performance, formulae and contract based funding = competitive funding. No clear link between matching autonomy, funding and accountability More competitive research funding How about performance of universities?

13 The Modernisation Agenda effects From a student perspective: Blurry implementation of Bologna-Process reforms Autonomy of HEIs? More involvement of externals in university governance. At the expense of students? Weakened focus on public responsibility of financing and more pressure for diversification of funding. Proliferation of tuition fees and cost-sharing New national loan schemes Heavy focus on excellence and rankings

14 The Modernisation Agenda 2011 Support the process of breaking down the barriers around universities in Europe (the implementation of Bologna process reforms, mobility, and academic recognition processes); Support the creation of real autonomy and accountability for universities; Encourage provision of incentives for structured partnerships with the business community; Promote provision of the right skills and competencies for the labour market; Encourage increased funding for higher education and make funding work harder in education and research; Promote enhanced interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity; EHEA more visible and attractive in the world, including an EU internationalisation strategy

15 What do we know so far… The Commission is looking at three key challenges: 1.Quantity and the growth in higher education attainment. 2.Quality and attractiveness of higher education, labour marked relevance, and excellence. 3.Financing higher education in times of budget constraints; “doing more with less”

16 What do we know so far… And proposing a policy agenda consisting of: 1.Increasing enrollment in higher education and reducing drop- out rates 2.Making higher education provision and curricula more relevant to labour marked needs 3.Fostering Student-Centred-Learning 4.Making programmes and provision more flexible 5.Improve the coherence between education, research and innovation 6.Strengthening doctoral programmes

17 What do we know so far… And proposing a policy agenda consisting of: 7.Rewarding excellent research and researchers 8.Widening access to under-represented groups 9.Promoting gender balance 10.Promoting social responsibility and active citizenship 11.Ensuring funding from diversified sources 12.Creating optimal governance of higher education institutions

18 What do we know so far… While the EU will: 1.Use of country specific recommendations, setting national targets and monitoring 2.Direct financial support through the new single programme on Education, Training and Youth 3.Concentrate EU funding on learning mobility (including offer top-EU students to spend time in EU's strategic partnership countries) 4.Attract top talent from around the world (through more focused marketing) 5.Set up a European student loan facility. 6.Implement the EU multidimensional university ranking tool 7.Exploring the potential for a "European University Statute", comparable to a EU company statute.

19 The European Commission is exploring a mobility loan scheme. Estimated size 65 bn Euro


21 Replacing the agenda! 1.Increasing access and success meeting the 40 % attainment benchmark, without compromising academic rights and quality. Increase ambitions for national targets. 2.Social Dimension and opening HE for underrepresented groups 3.Greater public investments. Minimum target of 2 % of GDP. 4.Insist on HE as a public responsibility. No new references to tuition fees. 5.Policies and reforms for a lifelong learning system 6.Student Centered Learning 7.Support the Bologna-Process targets 8.Fair and equal representation in governance 9.Underscore the 20 % mobility benchmark. Portability of loans and grants. No to European Mobility Loan Scheme. Balanced mobility. 10.Stakeholder inclusion on European and national level.

22 Our next steps Continue campaign of Joint Action to influence the Modernisation Agenda Disseminate the Joint Statement from Members + ESU Monitoring debates on national level + publishing shadow reports Lobbying European bodies

23 What can my union do? 1.Join the Statement. Translate it (if needed) and refit it to your organisations letterhead. 2.Send it to your Ministry of Education, the Permanent Representation to the EU, and members of the European Parliament, (and send ESU a copy). 3.Challenge them to back up student demands when the negotiations comes. 4.Prepare a meeting with your Ministry (or put it on the agenda in a already scheduled meeting) and ask them to defend your interests on European level. 5.Send a press release or contact the media. Keeping politicians accountable is the key to make them care about it.


25 Remember that any action you take equals: 100% PROGRESS!

26 Dynamics of Europe 2020 Are the education part of the Europe 2020-strategy effective? Principal view on the role of education! European governance challenges; another Lisbon-Agenda failure? National competence: Effective national implementation? EU budgets and budget framework 2014-2020 Conflicts with the Bologna-Process and EHEA

27 Does the Commission have a policy on financing? The European Commission in Efficient and Effective Education 2006; Free access to higher education does not necessarily guarantee equity. To strengthen both efficiency and equity Member States should create appropriate conditions and incentives to generate higher investment from public and private sources, including, where appropriate, through tuition fees combined with accompanying financial measures for the disadvantaged

28 Does the Commission have a policy on financing? Commission report on efficiency and effectiveness 2010; In a number of Member States, tuition fees are perceived as curtailing access by people from disadvantaged background, even though these are separate policy issues. Possibilities to disconnect the issues of tuition fees and access to tertiary education ought to be explored.

29 Public responsibility? EU 27 Ministers of Finance, 19 th October 2010; The case for an increase in private funding sources is considerably stronger in situations where limited public funding acts as an excessive constraint on the number of students or reduces spending per student to levels which risk jeopardising the quality of teaching and the acquisition of skills by students. The balance between private and social returns to tertiary education could set the basis for public subsidisation of higher education.

30 ” A private contribution to the costs of tertiary education is generally justified by the high private returns that accrue to individuals. If increases in tertiary education funding come from higher student fees, it is critical that a well-functioning system of grants and/or loans is set up to ensure access for poorer students.

31 GATS?


33 Thank you! Twitter: @ESUtwt

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