Trade Unions reaffirm the importance of investment, academic freedom, and fair working conditions in Higher Education and Research


The Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC) members of ETUCE met in Brussels on 14-15 March 2017 for their biannual HERSC meeting. More than 40 delegates representing 26 European countries attended the event.  HERSC is a permanent body of ETUCE, which represents 45 ETUCE member organisations  with Higher Education and Research staff.

Several important issues were discussed at the meeting, including the following:

  • HERSC members expressed their solidarity with dismissed teachers and academics in Turkey and demanded from European ministers to raise awareness about the persecutions against Turkish education personnel.
  • HERSC members discussed the 30th Anniversary of the Erasmus mobility programme and made suggestions on how to strengthen the programme in the future.
  • HERSC members highlighted the importance of social dialogue and sufficient public investment in Higher Education and Research in Europe.
  • HERSC members expressed their concerns on the developments of The European Pension Fund for Researchers (RESAVER).
  • HERSC members discussed the European Commission’s Proposal for Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in the light of digitalisation and intellectual property rights of academics and researchers.
  • HERSC members learned more about the work of European Quality Assurance Registry (EQAR).

The Standing Committee agrees on the need to further develop investment in Higher Education, as well as to promote mobility, academic freedom, supportive working environment and fair conditions for researchers.

Additionally, HERSC Members elected its new chair Rob Copeland (UCU, United Kingdom) and vice-chairs Annette Dolan (TUI, Ireland) and Alessandro Arienzo  (FLC-CGIL, Italy).

This meeting follows the ETUCE Regional Conference that took place on 6-8 December 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia. The Conference resulted in the adoption of ETUCE Resolutions regarding various topics of interest, including Higher Education and Research.