Mainstreaming Social Dimension in EHEA: Strategies, Tools, Raising Awareness
Making our systems more inclusive is an essential aim for the EHEA as our populations become more and more diversified, also due to immigration and demographic changes. We undertake to widen participation in higher education and support institutions that provide relevant learning activities in appropriate contexts for different types of learners, including lifelong learning. We will improve permeability and articulation between different education sectors. We will enhance the social dimension of higher education and improve opportunities for access and completion, including international mobility, for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Bologna Yerevan Communiqué 2015
The Austrian National Strategy for the Social Dimension in Higher Education takes up the overarching, long-term goals formulated in a number of resolutions from ministerial conferences related to the Bologna Process (most recently the Yerevan Conference in 2015, see above). These goals are at the same time referred to in the Austrian ministerial steering documents for universities (Austrian National Development Plan for Public Universities 2016-2021) and universities of applied sciences (Development and Funding Plan for Universities of Applied Sciences through to 2017/18).
The Austrian National Strategy lays out three broad target dimensions with three action lines and practical measures for each:
I. More inclusive Access;
II. Avoid dropout and improve academic success;
III. Create basic parameters and optimise the regulation of higher education policy.
This PLA targetted members of the European BFUG, ministerial officials dedicated to a national Strategy on Social Dimension, Experts on Access and Social Mobility, and national HE as well as student representatives. Next to our attendees from Austria, we also welcomed participants from other countries of the European Higher Education Area who have developed, or are in the process of setting up, a national Strategy on Social Dimension.
This peer learning activity has been co-funded by the Austrian Ministry for Science, Research, and Economy, as well as by the Project „Pro.Mo.Austria – Promoting Mobility. Addressing the Challenges in Austria“-a KA3-activity of the European Commission. We thank the University of Linz for their friendly Support. Thank you for your participation!