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For Stronger

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									           ESIB – The National Unions of Students in Europe
              Plan of Work and political agenda for 2007




“For a stronger student voice in Europe”Introduction

Higher Education in Europe is changing.

We are living in a time of rapid and significant policy “modernization”. If one looks at
the policy decisions being taken and also the visions being put forward by decision
makers, it can easily be concluded that the reforms we are passing through are the
most important in the past 25 years.

Concerns arise when the concept of “modernization” is interpreted to mean an
increase of commercialization of Higher Education rather than addressing the needs
of today’s societies. It is therefore essential, more than ever, that the student body
pushes forward its visions for a more accessible and societal-based Higher Education
in Europe.

ESIB, as the representative body of 45 national unions of students from 34 countries,
has to effectively react to the demands and realities of today and also play its part in
fostering the ideal that education is a common good that should be accessible to all.

All initiatives within ESIB’s plan of work for 2007 build on ESIB’s work in 2006 and
are centered on building stronger students’ unions in Europe – and thus effectively
building a stronger student voice in Europe through ESIB. With a more united,
prepared and influential European student body, ESIB and its members will be better
equipped to deal with the challenges faced by students and student representatives
in higher education today, both on a European and national level.




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Methodology
In order to effectively strengthen the national unions of students, ESIB has to base
its plan of work on three pillars. These are Research, Training and Development.

Constructive research should be conducted on the topics prioritized in this Plan of
Work in order for knowledge to be created and for argumentation to be constructed.
It is only through sound research and argumentation that ESIB can truly push its
policies forward and raise its profile. ESIB will endeavour to conduct research of high
quality, with a good scientific basis and conducted in an inclusive, collaborative
fashion that draws upon the expertise of committee members, working groups,
member unions and associates.

The knowledge and argumentation created should then be transferred to student
unions in the form of training. Capacity building needs to concretely address the
information background, interests and needs of member unions and associates.
Furthermore ESIB needs to improve its capacity to provide for learning experiences
through which student representatives would be able to further train their fellow
representatives on a local and national level.

A strategy for topic development is crucial so that the evolution of content within
ESIB, and the way it is presented internally and externally, can be consistent,
sustainable and far-reaching. It is also important that ESIB becomes ever more
innovative in its approach when developing a topic – so that all elements such as
research, training, public relations, events etc – will thus not only address the needs
of today, but also those of the future.

Basing its topics on the abovementioned three pillars, ESIB can be sure that its plan
of work encompasses a complete and coherent vision. Of course an overall key
element, that of public relations, is also imperative. It must not be forgotten that
effective public relations, whether it is done through speeches or through a website,
will help distinguish ESIB from all other organizations in Higher Education vying to be
heard.Synopsis


For 2007, ESIB has prioritized a selection of policy areas that need to be addressed
in a coherent and long term manner.

The Bologna Process is reaching a new milestone with the Ministerial Summit in
London. ESIB needs to keep abreast with the developments within the Bologna
Process and push forward its priorities and opinions. ESIB should continuously
prepare and update members and associates in order for them to deal with national
implementation.

The European Commission is gaining further competence within European Higher
Education, especially through its Lisbon Agenda. Therefore ESIB has to strengthen
its expertise in dealing with Lisbon-related issues, most especially the debate on
student financing.




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With its increasing competences and drive within equality and gender equality issues,
ESIB should further invest time and resources in promoting equal opportunities
within Europe in order to foster the concrete changes we envisage in our policies.

Related to the Bologna Process are the topics of doctoral studies and research
and mobility. ESIB needs to expand its knowledge and capacity within these areas
to be able to competently and coherently deal with these topic areas.

With the continual increase of a pro-commercialization attitude towards higher
education, ESIB has to spark a debate on the values and social outcomes of
Higher Education in order to push forward the principle that education is a right; a
building block for a better, fairer society.

ESIB also recognizes the need to discuss Higher Education in a globalized world
and thus address issues such as new modes of learning as well as initiating dialogue
with new emerging organizations dealing with Higher Education.

Furthermore, the development of ESIB and also the development of the
student movement are of paramount importance in order for the above mentioned
topics to be coherently addressed within the methodology proposed in this plan of
work.

Considering the ever increasing workload being faced by ESIB, it is important to
regard the following 4 parts of the plan of work as being of highest priority for ESIB:
the Development of ESIB; the Bologna Process; the European Union and the Lisbon
Agenda; and Equal Opportunities. The choice of prioritization has been made bearing
in mind ESIB’s current political and financial commitments as well as ESIB’s current
committee structures.




The Bologna Process

Introduction

The Bologna Process intends to drastically reform higher education systems all over
Europe. After 6 years, signatories to the Bologna Process are still taking decisions in
the field of implementation as well as deciding where higher education should
develop after the goals have been reached. The continued involvement of students in
the Bologna Process is crucial to ensure that further developments take into
consideration students’ opinions, experiences, knowledge and their innovative
approach. One of the key elements introduced and promoted by ESIB in the past
years has been the Social Dimension and this should be one of the ongoing priorities
for ESIB within the Bologna Process.

At the London ministerial summit, taking place in May 2007, ESIB has to present a
well prepared argumentation on what should be the priorities of the Bologna Process
for the years to come. ESIB will be dedicating the 13th European Student Convention
to finalise the preparations for the summit.


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After the London Summit, ESIB has to continue its work with the national unions of
students in order to push for the correct implementation of the Bologna Process at all
levels of higher education. ESIB also has to make sure that the work programme
decided upon after London reflects the most pressing needs of the students and that
work with these needs is undertaken.

Overall Objectives

      Prepare ESIB and member unions for the London Ministerial Summit.
      Influence the work on the Social Dimension and promote stocktaking at the
       European and national level.
      Expand ESIB’s input and recognition on the issue of the External Dimension
       of the Bologna Process.
      Research on the implementation of Bologna Process Action Lines with
       particular focus on the Social Dimension.
      Further empower members and associates on Bologna Process action lines
       and how they can better contribute to national implementation.
      Create a network of student Bologna Promoters.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Finalize the “Bologna With Student Eyes” (BWSE)
      Produce knowledge resources on Bologna Implementation. These resources
       would aim at giving National Unions the tools needed to better deal with
       Bologna on a national level following the conclusions of the London Ministerial
       Summit.



Training
      Conduct trainings for the student representatives of the new countries that
       have signed the Bologna Process.
      Conduct trainings, on request and when funding is secured, for members on
       the Bologna Process, following the London Ministerial Summit.
Development
      Develop the content of the 13th European Student Convention to be held in
       Germany. The event will aim to develop and discuss ESIB’s contribution to
       the London Ministerial Summit.
      Develop the Bologna Process oriented content for the concluding conference
       “Higher Education Beyond 2010” to be held in Malta.
      Promote the Quality Assurance Forum among members and push for further
       student participation within the forum. This event is ideal not only for
       members to gather more knowledge on Quality Assurance but also to meet
       up with other stakeholders from their national level and thus have the
       possibility to network.




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Update, where necessary, the Bologna Process Policy Papers following the
London Ministerial Summit.The European Union and the Lisbon
Agenda

Introduction

The European Union has increased its profile within the European Higher Education
debate, playing a major role in promoting national reforms.

In the past year, ESIB has prioritised its contribution to the Lisbon aims for growth
and jobs matched with social cohesion and sustainability in the European Union. As
the joint interim report describes, there is a sustained public effort to implement the
Lisbon goals, but there is too little progress on the benchmarks on social inclusion. In
a European Student Convention organised in Vienna in March 2006, ESIB stressed
that in order for the Lisbon Strategy to move up a gear, the active contribution and
participation of students at European, national and local levels is needed. Students
as a major actor in Higher Education and Higher Education Institutions have
constructive policy suggestions on many of the issues dealt with in the Education and
Training 2010 work programme. ESIB should push for a more concrete focus on
social issues, rather than just economic outcomes, as well as continually assessing
the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of programmes proposed under
the heading of Lisbon. Our voice needs to be strengthened in order for our proposals
to have maximum impact.

Following the approved project “Towards 2010” that will be coming to a close in the
first part of next year; ESIB has received funding for another project called “Lisbon &
Students”. The project involves 4 meetings with various stakeholders to discuss
Lisbon-related issues, 3 regional trainings and the 14th European Student Convention
in Portugal. The project also includes a research project called “Lisbon with Student
Eyes”.

Overall Objectives

      Strengthen the student involvement within the structures and debate on the
       Lisbon Agenda. This includes also developing capacity for innovation and
       putting student issues on the political agenda.
      Conduct the necessary research to build argumentation on issues tackled in
       Communications by the European Commission and on issues related to Lisbon
       Agenda and Higher Education.
      Successfully complete the activities within the “Lisbon & Students” project for
       2007.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Conduct a thorough research, produced in “Lisbon with Student Eyes”, on
       how exactly the Lisbon agenda influences students and higher education.
      Based on the results of “Lisbon with Student Eyes”, conduct further research
       in the main fields tackled by the Lisbon agenda and develop student-related
       argumentation.


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Training
      Prepare training materials on Lisbon agenda and higher education.
      Conduct the first regional training in Spain on the effects of the Lisbon
       agenda on Higher Education.
      Conduct trainings, on request and when funding is secured, for members on
       the effect of the Lisbon Agenda on Higher Education.


Development
      Host meetings with other stakeholders to discuss issues under the Lisbon
       agenda in February and November in Brussels.
      Develop the Lisbon-oriented content for the concluding conference “Higher
       Education Beyond 2010” to be held in Malta.
      Organize and develop the content for 14th ESC Portugal on the subject “How
       can HE contribute to a sustainable society and social cohesion?”
      Produce a policy paper on “Bologna and Lisbon” to be presented at BM 52 for
       adoption.
      Review and update a clear ESIB internal and external strategy on where to
       stress the Lisbon agenda and where to formulate elaborated alternatives
       according to the opportunities and threats we see in the development.

Develop competence on the European Commissions targets to tackle
Equity and Efficiency and Lifelong Learning in the Lisbon
Agenda.Financing of Higher Education & Student Financing

The financial situation of students and higher education in general is worsening.
Although it is generally acknowledged that there is a lack of funding for higher
education, it is being promoted that the main source of income should come from
the private sector, especially from learners. This has led to a trend of implementing
negative policies for students that is sweeping Europe. Student grants are being
transformed into loans, while an extra financial burden is being imposed through
higher tuition fees. Statistically, reports such as Euro-student show that an increasing
amount of students are finding solutions in employment. In 2007, ESIB wants to
prioritise filling up this funding gap in higher education with means that do not
burden student themselves.

Of further note is the recent open promotion of tuition fees, by the European
Commission, as a funding method that may increase equity, quality and
student motivation. ESIB has to address this issue and effectively put forward
serious alternatives to the argumentations and research put forward by pro-
tuition fee organizations.

Overall Objectives

      Develop argumentation and push for alternative solutions to financing higher
       education.
      Coordinate the fight against tuition fees at a European Level, and suggest
       serious alternatives to the argumentation and research put forward in favour
       of tuition fees.


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      Provide NUSes with comparative information on the use of tuition fees,
       student loans and grants.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Prepare an argumentation and information paper on financing of students for
       NUS-s.


Training
      Create a Handbook on the Financing of Higher Education.
      Provide targeted advice and assistance to NUSes on financing and tuition fees
       issues within their particular countries


Development

European Qualification Framework (EQF)

Introduction

The European Commission's proposal for a European Qualifications Framework (EQF)
is currently under discussion between the Parliament and the Council. The proposed
EQF creates an 8-level reference framework to which all learning can be aligned on
the basis of learning outcomes. As a meta-framework, it should help different
national systems to articulate with each other.

ESIB's priority within the EQF debate is to influence the final recommendation and
the implementation of national frameworks in a way that access possibilities to
different education programmes are significantly improved for learners. An EQF must
prevent dead-ends and provide possibilities for new, non-traditional learning paths
within the education system. ESIB needs to strive for strong RPL mechanisms to be
implemented alongside the EQF.

ESIB launched a project together with 5 stakeholders from 5 countries to investigate
and exchange experience about the implementation of the EQF from the view of
stakeholders. The 5 partners will launch national dialogues with all stakeholders and
feed the results of these dialogues together on the European level. Partners are BDA
(German employers' confederation), SVIZ (Slovene teachers' trade union), EON
(Norwegian school and VET students), AUGent (Gent University Association) and USI
(Union of Students in Ireland). ESIB will be coordinating the project whereas the
content would be developed by the abovementioned partners.

Overall Objectives

      Influence the decision-making on EQF towards a learner-friendly instrument.
      Encourage a top-bottom and bottom-up debate, with the inclusion of all
       stakeholders, on the EQF.
      Aid members in gaining expertise on EQF




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      Successfully complete the activities within the “Lisbon & Students” project for
       2007.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Investigate different ways national QFs are implemented in several European
       countries, with a special focus on the fact how the EQF and the QF for the
       EHEA relate to each other in national implementation.


Training
      Include the topic of QF in training seminars conducted on request of
       members. If possible conduct the training with the project partners.


Development
      Organise the communication between the partners in the project. Coordinate
       and prepare meetings involved in the EQF Stakeholder Project.

Mobility

Introduction

The new mobility programmes will start in the upcoming year. Even though there
have not been many changes due to the lack of commitment of funds by the EU,
ESIB should continue its pledge to investigate the issues related to mobility
programmes in order to be able to put forward suggestions how these can be
continuously improved. ESIB should also strive to pass on its expertise to members
in order for them to be able to promote and discuss mobility issues on their national
levels.

Also of note is the current trend of using mobility as a means to attract international
students to the European Union. Following the introduction of Erasmus Mundus, and
also following the rationale promoted by the external dimension of the Bologna
Process, a new Tempus programme has been developed and a new Erasmus
programme is being launched for the Mediterranean area. ESIB should gain further
expertise on Erasmus Mundus and collect information about these new mobility
programmes. ESIB should thus also investigate how these “mobile” students are
being taken care of by host countries – also building argumentation for
improvements based on good and bad practices.

Overall Objectives

      Gather expertise on all European mobility programmes and pass this on to
       members and associates.
      Build capacity and argumentations to deal with the various issues related to
       mobility, most especially the issue of visas.




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Specific Outcomes

Research
      Research the mobility programmes being launched next year and prepare a
       concise information paper to be distributed to members and associates.
Training

Development
      Update ESIB policy on mobility programmes if necessary.
      Develop a coherent strategy to promote ESIB’s position on Mobility issues on
       a European level.
      To organise, if funding is secured, a campaign on mobility – making mobility
       a reality for all students, in cooperation with the NUSes and Education
       International. The campaign should take into account international trade in
       higher education and the rights of international students in Europe.

Doctoral Studies and Research

Introduction

The European Higher Education area is being ever more linked to the European
Research Area because policy makers are realizing that it is highly difficult and
incoherent to disconnect higher education from research. This is the rationale
followed both within the Bologna Process and the Lisbon Agenda. ESIB also believes
that in order for good, high quality education to be provided, high quality research
must be part and parcel of any higher education policy. Thus ESIB has to keep on
developing its competence in Research policy.

ESIB also recognizes and promotes a holistic approach towards the three cycles in
higher education. This is why ESIB has invested resources in developing policy within
all three levels. Also, since ESIB represents national unions of students that
represent doctoral students and is also gaining recognition on a European level
within this topic area, it is imperative that ESIB keeps on building further
competence on this issue. This would also include encouraging doctoral students
represented by our members to involve themselves within ESIB’s internal debate and
the development of policy.

Overall Objectives

      Develop expertise and visibility towards other stakeholders in European
       Higher Education as a representative of doctoral candidates and early stage
       researchers.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Research how many doctoral and research students ESIB represents and how
       ESIB members work with this policy area.




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Training

Development

Develop a strategy on how ESIB should concretely be involved in the issue
of doctoral and research studies until 2010.Equal Opportunities

Introduction

We live in a day and age where democracy and the market economy are considered
a standard way of life, where everyone has the opportunity to be involved with the
governance of his country and is free to seek one’s interests. Unfortunately, few
people realize that various unseen patterns of exclusion exist within our society and
in higher education and thus not all are truly free to express themselves or be
involved.

ESIB has always taken the lead in promoting equal opportunities for all in higher
education – since we believe that higher education, being a basic human right, is the
key to actively develop oneself and society as a whole. Unfortunately, structural
inequalities, stereotypes and discrimination still exist in Higher Education and these
in turn are reflected in society. It is also important to note that cultural and ethnic
discrimination and harassment may still be found within Higher Education
Institutions, with foreign and minority students often being subjected to forms of
discrimination within areas such as access, examination and social welfare. ESIB
should address these problematic issues and continuously put forward suggestions
on how discrimination can be removed from within Higher Education.

ESIB believes that gender equality is a critical component for human development. It
is also a well-known fact, fostered and prioritized by the Council of Europe and even
the European Commission [through the Lisbon Objectives and other strategic
documents likes the Roadmap to Gender Equality], that education and gender
equality are essential for the social and economic development of European societies.
Thus gender mainstreaming strategies are needed within all levels of society so that
European countries can achieve societal and economic goals while also allowing
individuals to achieve their full human potential.

ESIB will be organising two projects next year. The first, “Open your mind – Fighting
discrimination in Higher Education”, has received funding from the Council of Europe.
The second, “Gender Equality in Higher Education – Does the X make the
difference?”, is still awaiting funding confirmation.

Overall Objectives

      Empower ESIB and its members to increase their engagement in equality and
       gender issues by producing the knowledge and tools needed to tackle these
       issues on a national and European level.
      Conduct research and raise awareness on the problems of inequality and
       gender issues within higher education in Europe and thus identify and tackle
       the different patterns of exclusion.



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      Successfully complete the activities within the two projects “Open your mind
       – Fighting discrimination in Higher Education” and “Gender Equality in Higher
       Education – Does the X make the difference?”

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Conduct research on equality issues to be presented at the seminar prior to
       BM 52. The research will focus on identifying the different patterns of
       exclusion faced by under-represented groups within Higher Education and
       student representation and presenting various examples of good practice that
       aim at solving this problem.
      Conduct research on gender issues within student organisations and Higher
       Education to be presented at the Seminar prior to BM53.


Training
      Organize an equality oriented training seminar prior to BM52 in the United
       Kingdom. The training will focus on raising awareness on the realities of
       exclusion within higher education and student representation and will offer
       participants the tools necessary to overcome these patterns of exclusion
       within their organizations and within higher education as a whole.
      Organize a gender equality oriented training and discussion seminar prior to
       BM53 in Lithuania. The event will focus on gender issues related to financing;
       the labour market; equitable access and completion; student representation;
       science and research; and gender mainstreaming.


Development
      Produce a policy paper on possible means of combating discrimination in
       Higher Education presented at BM 53 for adoption.
      Following BM 52, publish the 2nd edition of the Equality Handbook.
      Following BM 52, begin coordination of a European-wide campaign against
       discrimination in Higher Education
      Produce a Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for ESIB. This would be presented
       at BM 53 for adoption and promotion amongst members.
      Produce a policy paper on gender equality in Higher Education to be
       presented at BM 53 for adoption.
      Following BM 53, publish a handbook on gender issues in Higher Education

Ensure that all ESIB policy papers promote the same stance with regards
to gender equality Values and Social Outcomes of Education

Introduction

When deciding on policies and measures, people and politicians always assess the
“value” to be received by individuals and society as a whole. The definition of the
word “value” brings forward two meanings; firstly, an amount, as of goods, services,
or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair




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price or return; secondly, a principle, standard, or quality considered worthwhile or
desirable.

Likewise when one discusses the value of education one is confronted with a similar
contrast. The real value of education has long been discussed in Europe and around
the world. The reasoning that education’s main value is its ability to help society and
its citizens grow was, and still is, fostered by many academics, politicians and also
ESIB.

Nowadays the value of Education, according to other experts in the field, has
another interpretation. When one hears certain European experts and politicians
speak about education we hear a good amount of talk about financial “resources”,
economic “progress” and “profit” [as well as employability, efficiency, top-20s,
commodities etc] – all in the name of achieving the “most competitive economy in
the world”. ESIB believes that these trends are leading to the commercialisation of
education, in certain cases also the corruption of academic values and a redefinition
of what one expects a “student” to be.

ESIB needs to address these issues and keep on strengthening the European voice
for high quality education that is accessible to all. As opposed to those that simply
speak of “profit”, “resources” and “progress”, ESIB should strive for an education
system that is beneficial for both societal and economic growth.

Thus, ESIB needs to discuss how education can be “profitable” to society, rather
than being solely profitable to individuals or companies; explain what benefits
education can bring to human “resources”; and make clear how societies can further
“progress” thanks to knowledge that is accessible to all.

Overall Objectives

      Encourage a debate on the societal values of European Higher Education
      Encourage a debate on the effects of Private and Public provided Higher
       Education
      Promote the fostering of democracy, social inclusion, equality and academic
       values in HE

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Research the effects of private and public provided education; seeking to
       come up with example of good practice and tangible results that can further
       ESIB’s cause.


Training

Development
      Continue ESIB’s commitment to the “Corruption Project” coordinated with the
       Magna Charta Observatory.



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Higher Education in a Globalized World

Introduction

Higher education continues to develop in a global context, often characterising the
modern educational landscape by new economically based models of Higher
Education provision, supply and management. The inclusion of education in the
WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services, OECD’s work on developing higher
education scenarios and the World Bank’s interest in education in its work for 2007
means that Europe will be facing new challenges that affect all students. Also the
work on the external dimension of the Bologna Process invites us to further define
and promote our policies on a global level.


In order to continue to properly represent the students’ perspective in face of these
challenges, it is necessary for ESIB to engage with new stakeholders in new arenas
which are fast becoming an integral part of the HE landscape. Thus, for example,
education-related projects within the Lisbon Strategy of the European Union and
scenario-building projects by OECD still lack a critical student input. These trends
also necessitate for ESIB to improve relations with employers’ associations and
international NGOs such as the WTO and the World Bank.


This globalising trend of HE also extends to the globalisation of provision of higher
education, and thus Trans-National Education (TNE) still remains of critical
importance to our work. Our strategy in this field will be based on Quality Assurance,
Recognition, Financing and Tuition Fees and Student Rights. Here ESIB will focus on
promotion of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the OECD/UNESCO guidelines
on cross-border provision of Higher Education, while working towards the
development of new tools to enhance best practice within these fields with the
relevant stakeholders.


ESIB should also keep in mind that the globalisation of higher education, have
exposed learning to new methods of delivery. ESIB should not only look into gaining
more expertise in this area but should also look at how student rights and
representation are being addressed within these new modes of learning.

Overall Objectives

      Promote positive international integration and regulation in the field of Higher
       Education.
      Promote easy and transparent recognition of qualifications, and the
       ratification of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, in all European countries.
      Gain more competence in the area of new modes of learning such as TNE,
       distance learning and e-leaning.
      Promote student rights and initiatives on an International level and within
       new modes of learning.
      Investigate how the policies on the attractiveness of the European Higher
       Education area and the discussion of the external dimension of the Bologna
       Process are affecting international students and the issue of brain gain and
       brain drain.



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Specific Outcomes

Research
      Research how and if students are represented in online universities, e-
       learning and distance learning courses.
      Research on the conditions of international students studying in European
       countries and Higher Education programmes provided or supported by
       European Higher Education Institutions outside of Europe.


Training

Development
      Create a strategy on how to represent students’ rights in new modes of
       education.
      Work on building a coherent and consistent input in the e-learning debate.
       This would include a strategy on how to best use ESIB contacts within the e-
       leaning community and also running a “Special Interest Group” within
       European Forum for Quality in E-Learning (EFQUEL)

Produce a policy paper on the Future of Higher Education to be presented
at BM 52 for adoption. The policy paper should concretely push forward
ESIB’s view of Higher Education beyond 2010. Development of the
Student Movement

Introduction

Students have always struggled in order to voice their opinions and to be included in
the decision making that effects their present and future. With the massification of
education, the continuous struggle for the recognition of student rights and the drive
for high quality, accessible higher education for all – the demands on national unions
of students has increased tenfold.

On a national level, unions of students need to be strong, updated, informed and
prepared to perform at all levels to represent the opinions of students. They need to
be able to tackle the issues that will effect higher education and students and thus
they need to possess the tools to better voice their opinions and pressure both
government and university authorities to, not only hear, but listen to their opinions.

On a European level, the national unions of students’ need to further consolidate
themselves within ESIB – in order for the European Student Movement to act as a
whole. ESIB needs to invest time and resources in encouraging national student
movements to grow – for this in turn will bolster the impact ESIB can have on the
European level.

It is also important to note that many other student organizations exist on a
European level. This is something that certain actors, who disagree with ESIB policy,
are trying to exploit in order to diminish ESIB’s role as the European student
representative body in higher education. ESIB should be proactive in communicating


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its opinions to these various European student organizations, and where possible,
invite them to contribute to the internal ESIB debates on Higher Education. The
further consolidation of these organizations within ESIB, through the associate
organization status, will not only strengthen the European student movement, but
will also bring with it new perspectives and ideas within the organization.

On an international level, the student movement is lacking drive and focus. ESIB
should start building better relations with the other continental platforms of students
so that in the long run, the international student movement will once again be active.

Overall Objectives

      To promote student initiatives and to safeguard student rights.
      To empower NUSes with the tools needed to strengthen the student
       movements in their countries.
      To continue to consolidate the European Student movement within the
       structures of ESIB through further involvement of members and associate
       organizations.
      To start a concrete dialogue with other continental student platforms.

Specific Outcomes

Research
      Produce a handbook on Student Rights and how to promote and protect
       them. This would serve to promote the European Student Rights Charter and
       Student Rights Day.


Training

Development
      Promote the European Student Rights Charter on the European level so that it
       may be endorsed and fostered by the various stakeholders and student
       organizations in Europe. Work with the national unions of students for the
       Charter’s promotion and possible implementation on the national level.
      Promote International Students Day and coordinate activities with the rest of
       ESIB members to celebrate the event.
      Produce a plan on how to further involve Associate Organisations in the work
       of ESIB.

The Internal and External Development of ESIB

Introduction

No organization can survive in this day and age if it does not continuously develop
itself internally and externally. ESIB needs to focus on three areas. Firstly, its internal
structures; secondly its finances and thirdly its public relations.




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ESIB needs to keep on strengthening its internal structures to make sure that its
external capacities can run smoothly. This means that ESIB needs to invest resources
in strengthening its secretariat and creating internal procedures and structures that
are clear, easy to use and are up to date with the needs of the organization. ESIB
needs to improve its project management, especially in the light of the fact that the
upcoming projects are very demanding. Apart from having a full time Chairperson in
Brussels, that should strengthen the coordination of the organization, ESIB should
aim to hire a project manager in order to better it’s planning and reporting. For ESIB,
the optimizing of the internal organization is the most urgent priority. The EC
commits itself to work out specific proposals to solve problems on organization and
communication. The actions of the EC in this domain will be evaluated during BM52.

ESIB also needs to aim to diversify its finances. Thus ESIB needs to look for new
sources of income, whilst also aiming to continually better its use of current funding
sources [especially project applications]. ESIB should also strive to outsource its
financial bookkeeping in order to be able to dedicate more time to financial
management.

With regards to external representation, ESIB has to continuously strive to make it
known to other stakeholders, why ESIB is THE student representative body in Europe
and what role we wish to play within the European Higher Education debate. In
order to do this, ESIB needs launch itself in the media arena with a planned and
coherent public relations strategy. This would involve refreshing ESIB’s image;
backed by a website that is a landmark for European student initiatives and policy;
with newsletters that are issued periodically and effectively pass ESIB’s opinion on
current higher education affairs; and reinforced with publications and material aimed
at promoting the organization, its members and its policies.

It is also imperative to note that, in organizing itself, its events and in communicating
to externals and its own members, ESIB has to aim to be innovative and as decisive
as possible.

Lastly, ESIB will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year – and this is the
opportunity to reflect on past achievements whilst also envisaging future goals.

Overall Objectives

      Further strengthen ESIB’s infrastructure and working methods in order to
       tackle ongoing organizational problems.
      Continue to diversify and increase ESIB’s finances
      Increase the effectiveness and regularity of ESIB’s internal and external
       communication
      Promote and celebrate the 25th year of ESIB

Specific Outcomes

Research




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      Produce a publication on the 25 years of ESIB. This would serve to promote
       ESIB’s work in the past 25 years in the field of student representation and
       European higher education.
      Keep on investigating new means of financing through the creation of a
       Finance Taskforce and further involvement of the Commission for Internal
       Audit in financial issues.


Training
      Organize a training for trainers – for both ESIB officials and interested
       members and associates. Also investigate the possibility to eventually provide
       a certified ESIB training for trainers.


Development
      Develop the ESIB website into a hub of student related information. The ESIB
       website should evolve into a tool that serves the organization’s external and
       internal needs.
      Produce a new institutional image for ESIB. This would also entail the
       production of material [both web and non web based] that would promote
       ESIB and its policies.
      Continue developing ESIB’s finances. This would involve continuous
       improvements in project management, the further strengthening of relations
       with ISIC, and the further development of the new per diem system, amongst
       others. Also issue a call for a Finance Taskforce.
      Continue developing ESIB’s secretariat in Brussels. This would involve the
       hiring of a project manager, the effective use of having a full time
       chairperson in Brussels and investigating the introduction of a scheme to
       include interns within the secretarial work of ESIB.
      Increase communication and involvement of ESIB within the European Youth
       Forum and its activities.
      Produce a new membership questionnaire aimed at collecting information
       relevant to promote members and associates of ESIB.
      Initiate a dialogue with members and associates on how ESIB can better its
       structures to reflect the needs and workload of the organization. Develop
       adequate portfolios for the Executive members and the Chair. Investigate the
       possibility to hold an event or part of an event solely dedicated to discussing
       this issue with members and associates.
      Optimise the internal organization and communication of ESIB.




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