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Higher Education Days – Start the shaking process in Europe!

Yes! The shaking process has begun! Higher Education Days (HED) Project under the energetic slogan “Shake your HED!” wants and offers the students the chance to be proactive towards the development of their educational systems. Our first event took place on the 4th of November in Groningen, the Netherlands: students, who were face to face. The goal? First identify the problems of their higher education systems and then seek for solutions.

How do we plan to do the shaking process in Europe?
We take as many national conferences/round tables (like the one in Groningen), add three European events (on Recognition of Non-Formal Education and the implementation of Bologna Process) and end with an evaluation meeting in Brussels. The result will be a policy paper with our conclusions from the events which the HED Team will present in front of the European Policy Makers.

How did it all start?

The project started in the AEGEE – Education Working Group with the believe that students should have an active role in the process of improving their educational system. So, they should be offered a platform for identifying the problems, but, even more important, they should be encouraged to find solutions.

After catching the interest of more than 20 NGOs , HED became big enough to turn into an independent project, separated from EWG (although an important part of their members come from EWG).

How will we do it?

The project will bring together students from different universities, Education Policy makers and people who care about education. The project has a structure that divides the events in two phases. Phase 1 it’s subdivided in: phase 1.1 (inviting NGOs to tackle with National Higher Education Systems) and phase 1.2 and 1.3 (respectively the topics: implementation of Bologna process and recognition of non-formal education). Finally, phase 2 will bring together representatives from all the events developed during phase 1 to share their opinions and gain knowledge in order to produce a policy paper with the final conclusions. The policy paper will be presented to European Policy Makers as conclusions of all the events within Higher Education Days project.

In phase 1.1, which will take place from October to March/April, the discussions and round tables will happen in the form of one day local conferences/debate/round table in as many countries as possible. During these days, students will have the chance to debate on the most important issues that Higher Education is facing in their universities and countries, so dealing with Higher Education from a local and national perspective.

In this first stage of the project, topics as Bologna process and non-formal education may already appear; although they will be tackled more deeply in phase 1.2 and 1.3., when at least two European Events will deal with these two topics in a deeper way. For Bologna process, we will look at the main problems that appear in the process of its implementation, searching for ways to improve it and learning from best practices. A similar approach will be followed to tackle with non-formal education, trying to find ways through which we can get a better recognition, both in university and labor market, of the skills and competences gained though this issue is so important for our association.

The final stage of the project (phase 2) will take place in Brussels after August 2011, gathering all the conclusions and results from the previous conferences. The expected goal is to make a real overview of the current situation of the Higher Education System and seek solutions for the future. As it was already said, a policy paper will be created as final document that gathers all data acquired throughout the project.

What the future holds…

Next national events will take place in Bucuresti, Romania (26th -28th of November) and Delft, The Netherlands(2nd of December). Plus, to reach as many countries in Europe, the HED team will externalize the project and look for partners also outside AEGEE.

So, if you want to help us develop our project, contact us: hed@aegee.org!

Only together we can HeaD to the future!

Shake your HED!