An ETUCE delegation led by Susan Flocken, European Director participated in the Paris Ministerial Meeting on 23-25 May where ministers for education from 48 European countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum and  the 20th anniversary of the Bologna Process.The Magna Charta Universitatum is a document that was signed by 388 rectors and heads of universities from across Europe and beyond in 1988, the 900th anniversary of the University of Bologna. It contains principles of academic freedom and institutional autonomy as a guideline for good governance and self-understanding of universities in the future.

Many encouraging speeches of ministers and global decision-makers (e.g. UNESCO) focused on highlighting the importance of the Bologna Process which brings together European countries to work together for excellence and high quality of higher education and research while changing social and economic environment needs to ensure innovation, academic freedom and democratic values in universities.

Susan Flocken, European Director underlined the importance to take further steps to reach gender equality in higher education in the opening ceremony of the event when in the stakeholders' round table of 7 European organisations she was the only female leader. She reminded the ministers and participants in the event the importance to ensure supporting working environment to academic staff and to ensure academic freedom and institutional autonomy in Europe. Susan Flocken brought to the attention of ETUCE’s call to the ministers that “The future of the Bologna Process is jeopardised by inadequate working conditions and the low status of employees in the sector” and highlighted the ETUCE Report “Academics United to Quality Higher Education”. Both these important documents entailing the demands of the education trade unions to the ministers were presented at a press conference on 23 May before the Paris Ministerial Meeting.

Andreas Keller, GEW, Vice-president of ETUCE was invited to the panel of a workshop on Teaching and learning and European Universities Network. He underlined the importance of inclusiveness when European Universities Networks will be established among European universities for joint programmes. He requested more support for academic staff by raising awareness against fixed-term contracts in higher education and research.

The ministers adopted the Paris Communique about the future priorities of the Bologna Process. The document, due to input of ETUCE delegation in the Bologna Follow-Up Group, which drafted the text, includes important references to support staff, e.g. identifying that staff has an essential role to play in higher education governance and teachers should be supported on pedagogical training and continuous professional development of higher education.

After the Paris Ministerial Meeting the Bologna Policy Forum took place with the involvement of ministers for education from all over the world and adopted a Statement on further international cooperation on higher education.

Please find the ETUCE Call at: https://www.csee-etuce.org/en/news/archive/2583-the-future-of-the-bologna-process-is-jeopardised-by-inadequate-working-conditions-and-the-low-status-of-employees-in-the-sector?highlight=WyJjYWxsIiwicGFyaXMiXQ==

And the ETUCE Report at: https://www.csee-etuce.org/images/attachments/AcademicsUnitedforQualityHE-EN.pdf

Paris Communiqué