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Only one week left till the EEF starts: Come to Berlin!
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Thursday September 11, 2003 09:07 by EEF Mobilisation team - European Education Forum info at eef2003 dot org
18th to 20th September at the Humboldt University in Berlin
Simultaneously with the European Higher Education Summit 2003 the first European Education Forum (EEF) takes place from 18th to 20th September at the Humboldt University in Berlin.
Only one week left till the EEF starts: Come to Berlin!
Simultaneously with the European Higher Education Summit 2003 the first European Education Forum (EEF) takes place from 18th to 20th September at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Students, pupils and teachers from whole Europe will come to Berlin to discuss during two days the current education policy and to develop alternatives. On 20th September the forum will end with a demonstration. The European Higher Education Summit in Berlin has published some documents on its official website which underline the direction of education policy which it is supposed to have in the opinion of the ministers.
On the 11th and 12th March 2003, the Italian-German Foundation "Villa Vigoni" held a conference on the state of the university reforms in Italy and Germany, both initiated by the Bologna process (http://www.villavigoni.it). Apart from the aspects internationalization and mobility of teachers and students, which are nothing more than pretext, they underscored that it is very important for the development of a European Higher Education Area to develop a competitive thinking between the different European Universities within the global education market.
In a report of the European Commission from 05/02/2003 (COM 2003 58 final), it is said that during the EU summit in Lisbon the European Council has defined their aim of becoming “the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world“. Further on it is said that universities’ income are to be diversified by generating income by selling services and using research results. Also contributions from students (tuition fees) are mentioned. The European University Association (EUA) writes in „Trends 3“, a report of the „EUA Graz Convention“ (05/29-05/31/2003) that in the Communiqué of the Bologna meeting in Prague in 2001, the European Ministers in Charge of Higher Education supported the idea that higher education should be considered a public good and is and will remain a public responsibility. But the EUA draws the attention to the conflict between the aims which were mentioned in the Bologna declaration: Cooperation and competition. They also criticize the demands of the EU (of the USA) during the current GATS negotiations on the education sector. The GATS negotiations which are led for the EU by the Commissioner responsible for Trade Pascal Lamy are influencing the education policy in the different rounds of negotiation. It is remarkable that according to a study of the EUA only one third of the Ministries of Education have developed a policy on the position of Higher Education in the World Trade Organisation's General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The situation is similar for the universities and the Rectors’ Conferences. Only students’ associations are well aware of GATS.
The aim is to give teachers and learners an open forum for exchange of ideas and discussion. On this occasion the current European education policy is to be analysed critically and alternatives are to be developed. The main subjects of the EEF are the Bologna process and the GATS treaty.
On Thursday and Friday evening there will be panel discussion and lectures about these subjects. During the day different groups and individuals from whole Europe offer more than 50 workshops. These workshops offer opportunity for intensive discussions and organization by the participants, so that real participation from
below“ becomes possible.
Two weeks before the start everybody involved in the preparation of the forum is in the final spurt. We are expecting participants from whole Europe and other continents: From France, Belgium, UK, Switzerland, Bangladesh, Spain, Ghana, Bulgaria, Norway, Rumania, Bhutan, Italy, Slovenia, Lithuania and the Netherlands pupils, students and teachers will come to Berlin to exchange their ideas about education policy and to develop alternatives. Accommodation, catering and of course rooms in the Humboldt University for about 1000 participants have to be organized.
The EEF ends on 20th September with a huge education demonstration against the current education policy, which changes education from a basic right to a service which can be marketed.
Everybody who likes to tackle critically with education policy is invited. It doesn’t matter, how much one already knows about education policy: Workshops are offered, which fit for anybody.
More detailed information about the program, the journey and accommodation are published on our website: http://www.eef2003.org.