As European economy struggles to survive the crisis, the impact on higher education systems across the EU raised our concerns.
In 2010, European Democrat Students adopted a Resolution on Budget Cuts for Higher Education in Times of Crisis. We were the pioneers in opposing the governments that reduced higher education budgets. Not only awareness is being promoted since then, but concrete measures were suggested to European governments and stakeholders.
We strong believe that Europe 2020 is the guiding line for all 27 Member States and thus we recognise the principle of knowledge based economy where higher education is a central pillar for sustainable economic growth. Hhigher education is not only an economy boost factor; it is as well a recovery factor.
Higher education budgets must not be cut as economies contract. All governments should prioritise higher education and research funding and introduce stimulus packages to the higher education sector. Sources and partnerships with research institutes, businesses, and regional/local authorities should be diversified.
The EU has to make a step further in cohesion and coordination in higher education by providing more responsibilities to the European Commission in the field of higher education. A deeper synchronisation is crucially needed, if common European goals are to be achieved. There should be a common policy dialogue on what is happening in different countries in the field of higher education. On that basis strategies should be drafted, adopted and implemented in correspondence to Europe 2020. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology is such a good step in this direction!
The European Commission and all governments should encourage mobility within the EU by taking advantage of all opportunities and programmes. It will gradually bring the process of synchronisation of EU higher education agenda and principles.
Join our campaign, sign this online petition and add your voice to the thousands of others that will call upon their governments and EU institutions to prioritise creativity and the free thinking spirit of minds at universities, which will later bear fruit in meaningful solutions for Europe. Join us on this endeavour!