Project partners will organise peer-learning activities dedicated to supporting countries within the European Higher Education Area to improve their policy on the social dimension. The peer-learning activities aim to deepen and to sustain the exchange of good practice between countries at different stages of policy implementation.
At the Rome 2020 Ministerial Conference, education ministers across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) endorsed the “Principles and Guidelines to Strengthen the Social Dimension of Higher Education in the EHEA”. They thereby committed to develop policies that encourage and support national authorities and higher education institutions (HEIs) to fulfil their social responsibility and to build an inclusive, innovative and interconnected EHEA by 2030.
As the PAGs have recently been adopted, national authorities and higher education institutions are in the process of considering and planning how to implement them in their systems. Shared learning and peer-to-peer support are effective methods to help countries and institutions find joint solutions on how to enhance their policies and practices. The peer-to-peer support and counselling approach will not only allow national authorities and higher education institutions to learn from each other and to draw up action plans to optimise their policies and practices, but will also contribute to a shared ownership and commitment among national authorities and stakeholders of the different EHEA member states.
The peer-learning activities (PLAs) aim to bring together representatives of national authorities and higher education institutions in different policy implementation stages, in order to:
Each PLA will take a closer look at three to four principles:
Each PLA is intended to last 1.5 days, and will be interactive. They will be conducted by the project partners and experts, selected on the basis of their wide-ranging experience in facilitating peer-learning activities and expertise in the field of social dimension.
The PLAs are intended for a maximum of 30 participants from up to 15 EHEA countries in different implementation stages, who will be engaged in mutual sharing and exchange of knowledge, concerns and ideas on the PAGs. For each PLA, an open call and survey of the current status of implementation and good practices will be distributed by the BFUG secretariat to the ministries of education of the EHEA countries.
The selection of 15 EHEA countries for each PLA will be based on a balance between countries that have successful implemented the specific PAGs in their national policies and those that face challenges, the size of the country and the HE system (covering both smaller and larger systems), and the geographical distribution (countries from different parts of Europe).
The report will be freely available on the inclusivehighereducation.eu platform.
The first peer-learning activity (PLA) in the context of the PLAR-U-PAGs project took place on 16-17 November 2022 and was hosted by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education in Zagreb. The first PLA focused on the Principles and Guidelines (PAGs) 1, 5 and 10. Participants from 16 EHEA-countries took part in the PLA. They included members of ministries and representatives of universities, national and international organisations. Also the students’ voice was heard. The European Commission provided a keynote speech at the start of the programme.
The second peer-learning activity (PLA) in the context of the PLAR-U-PAGs project took place on 9-10 February 2023 in Ghent and was hosted by the Support Centre Inclusive Higher Education. The second PLA focused on the Principles and Guidelines (PAGs) 2, 4 and 5. Participants from EHEA-countries took part in the PLA. They included members of ministries and representatives of universities, national and international organisations. Also the students’ voice was heard.