Trade unions of the higher education and research sectors call the Ministers of the Bologna Process to provide effective support to academics


In order to guarantee quality higher education and research and to develop “a more inclusive, innovative, interconnected and resilient European Higher Education Area (EHEA)” , it is crucial that staff are properly valued and supported.   

In the run up to the 2024 Tirana Ministerial Conference of the Bologna Process, ETUCE’s member organisations call on Ministers to commit to the following goals in the forthcoming Tirana Communiqué:  

  • Strengthen academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and other fundamental values, such as freedom of knowledge, science, and speech, and ensure that they are effectively monitored across the EHEA with the involvement of the staff in the process;
  • Encourage cooperation instead of competition among institutions, staff and students within the Bologna Process;
  • Guarantee sustainable and long-term public investment and funding in higher education and research to ensure high quality education and research and a supportive working and learning environment for staff and students;
  • Ensure research-based quality teaching and learning, parity of esteem between teaching and research, a shift from quantitative towards qualitative assessment of teaching and research, and responsible, transparent and collegial evaluation of staff;
  • Strengthen collegial governance and effective social dialogue with the trade unions of academic staff, in particular in relation to the digital and green transitions of higher education and research and their impact on the jobs and working conditions of the staff;
  • Make the academic career attractive for highly skilled personnel by guaranteeing attractive salaries, fair pensions, decent working conditions, job security with permanent contracts, reliable career paths, and equal opportunities for staff in higher education and research;
  • Ensure the health and safety of academics and researchers, and equip them with effective support to fight against fake news and protect them from hate speech and harassment;
  • Recognise that innovations in teaching and learning such including digitalisation must be underpinned by pedagogical practices, and guarantee work-life balance for the staff, respect their right to connect and disconnect and to telework;
  • Respect and protect intellectual property of higher education and research personnel when developing open science and education; 
  • Support access of early career academics to quality induction and preparation for the profession, permanent contractual status and fair career development pathways;
  • Ensure equal access to quality continuous professional development for all staff to take place during normal working hours;
  • Ensure equal access and the incorporation of the social dimension of higher education and research for both staff and students and greater equality in the recruitment, retention, career development and evaluation of academic staff.

Read the full ETUCE Call here: in English, in French, in Russian 

Please also consult the specific national demands of ETUCE member organizations here:  

Germany, GEW – English version , German version 

Norway - NAR, English version 

Sweden – SULF, English version

Ireland – TUI, English version

 Ireland – IFUT, English version

Denmark – DM, English version

Slovenia - SVIZ, Slovenian version

Poland – ZNP, English version

Finland – OAJ, English version

Kosovo – SBASHK, English version

Lithuania – LESTU, English version

Poland – ZNP, English version

France – FERC-CGT, English version, French version

Italy – FLCCGIL, Italian version

Albania – FSASH-SPASH, Albanian version

Malta – MUT, English version

Romania – ALMA MATER, English version

Serbia – TUS, Serbian version

France – SNCS-FSU, English version, French version