As the European trade union federation of teachers, researchers and educational staff, ETUCE not only promotes and defends the rights and status of the teaching profession but also advocates for quality education for all.

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ETUCE represents teachers and education staff in the higher education and research sector.

  • ETUCE monitors  the implementation of the European Higher Education Area by bringing in the view of the trade unions'  into the implementation of the EU2020 process on higher education and research. In relation with the EHEA, we are promoting the UNESCO-Council of Europe Lisbon Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications, and it advocates for its ratification.
  • ETUCE is engaged in the Bologna Process as active member of the Bologna Follow-Up Group.
  • ETUCE advocates for the improvement of quality in higher education and research with the help of a supportive environment.
  • ETUCE monitors the adoption of the EU research policy initiatives, the implementation of the European Research Area Framework, the adoption of the Horizon 2020 initiative and the work of the European Institute of Technology.
  • ETUCE contributes to EU events, conferences, temporary and permanent working groups and experts' groups on this field.


  • ETUCE continues the existing cooperation and seek new ways of cooperation with other unions, professional organisations and agencies working on this education area, e.g. with the E4 group.  EI-ESU Agreement of Co-operation (2010).
  • ETUCE, via Educational International, has been recognised as a consultative member of the Bologna Follow-Up Group (BFUG) under the Bologna Process.
  • ETUCE is a member of the European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR).
  • ETUCE and EFEE with the participation of the European Commission form the European Sectoral Social Dialogue for Education,  which has had a working group on discussing about higher education and research.
  • ETUCE has been an actively member of  the Open Method of Coordination Working Group on Modernisation of Universitiesof the European Commission (2010-2012, 2012-2014, 2014-2016).
  • ETUCE has been an actively member of  Working Group of the European Commission on Fourth Cohort of the Institutional HR Strategy Group (2013-)

ETUCE is most involved in the following issues concerning the European Higher Education Area and the Bologna Process:

  • Implementation of Bologna process
  • Academic Freedom
  • Democratic citizenship
  • External dimensions
  • Governance reform
  • Mobility
  • Modernising universities
  • Quality Assurance
  • Social dimension
  • Student-Centred Learning
  • Supportive Environment
  • Investment to higher education and research
  • University Ranking


. Fighting the Crisis an Essential Contribution of Higher Education and Research (2012) was adopted by the ETUCE Conference, the Regional Conference of Education International, in Budapest on 26-28 November 2012. In order to boost the number and the quality of university teaching staff and researchers in Europe, and therefore to develop HER, attractiveness is a fundamental dimension of careers. Permanent employment, transparent, fair and non-discriminatory recruitment methods, the right sort of working environment, efficient facilities, full autonomy in research and in teaching, collegiality, career opportunities and adequate salaries –such are the major factors that make careers in teaching and research attractive.

. EI Report: Academic Perception of the Bologna Process (2012) is a report of the Education International to the Bologna Ministerial meeting in Bucharest, April 2012. The study highlights how academic staff views the state of affairs within the European Higher Education Area, especially after the impact of the Global Economic Crisis. The study was undertaken in 2011 among the EI member organizations in EHEA in the form of a survey.

. "Higher education is not for sale!" – an ETUCE Statement (2011). ETUCE conveyed a statement on higher education in response to the Communication of the European Commission entitled "Supporting growth and jobs – an agenda for the modernisation of Europe's higher education systems"

. ETUCE Statement on the Public Consultation on the future EU Programme for International Cooperation in Higher Education and Human Capital Development (2010) regrets that there is a new development in higher education, which is the international competition for money – including for fee-paying students. The system has moved from an academic competition to an economic competition and is harmful to HE and research in general and distorting its purposes. An open academic debate is a basic prerequisite to the development of research and this is the basis for research based teaching in higher education.

. The Bologna Process: the case for a Supportive Environment for Academic staff, and the key features of a Supportive Environment (2010) highlights characteristics of  supportive environment, which form a coherent 'package', and which are consistent with the UNESCO Recommendation (1997).


Higher Education and Research Caucus (2012) was organised for higher education and research members during the ETUCE Conference in 2012.Agenda and Background document

ETUCE and EFEE hold a special seminar for employers in Higher Education in 2010 under ETUCE project: "Performing and Improving the Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education".

ETUCE / EI  co-organised a "Time for Student-Centred Learning" campaign with the European Students' Union in 2010, which concluded its final Stakeholders' Forum in Leuven, Belgium, in October 2010. A toolkit which helps staff and student unions to advocate the concept of student-centred learning was also launched at this event.

More information
ETUCE Circular 2/2013: Social dimension of higher education and higher education in the world
ETUCE Circular 2/2014: Quality assurance and mobility in higher education
ETUCE Circular 1/2013: New university ranking launched by the Irish Presidency
ETUCE Circular 2/2012: Bologna Ministerial meeting and BFUG Policy Forum
ETUCE Circular 3/2011: Extension of tuition fees? The effect of the crises on the EU higher education policy
ETUCE Newletter 3/2011: The second Higher Education and Research Standing Committee meeting of this year was hosted by ZNP, Polish trade unions on 12 – 13 October in Warsaw.
ETUCE Circular 2/2011: EURYDICE: Modernisation of higher education

Standing Committee for Higher Education and Research

The Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC) is a permanent body of ETUCE, which represents 45 ETUCE member organizations having higher education and research staff. HERSC meets twice a year. Composition