Equitable access to education in Europe

Ministers pledge to remove all barriers to study, and create "appropriate economic conditions for students"

European ministers with responsibility for post-secondary education in the 46 countries involved in the Bologna Process recently met at the University of Louvain in Belgium to set priorities for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) for the next decade. The statement released following the meeting highlighted the importance of equitable student access to post-secondary education as follows:

“The student body within higher education should reflect the diversity of Europe’s populations. We therefore emphasize the social characteristics of higher education and aim to provide equal opportunities to quality education. Access into higher education should be widened by fostering the potential of students from underrepresented groups and by providing adequate conditions for the completion of their studies. This involves improving the learning environment, removing all barriers to study, and creating the appropriate economic conditions for students to be able to benefit from the study opportunities at all levels. Each participating country will set measurable targets for widening overall participation and increasing participation of underrepresented groups in higher education, to be reached by the end of the next decade. Efforts to achieve equity in higher education should be complemented by actions in other parts of the educational system.”