New European project on Social Dimension

The project 'Peer Learning Activities and Resources to Underpin the Principles and Guidelines for Social Dimension across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA)' has been selected for project funding in the call for EHEA policy reforms. The launch of the PLAR-u-PAGs project will take place in Brussels on 14-15th June 2022. The project runs until May 2025.

Project objective

Enhancing the social dimension of higher education is a central pillar of the Bologna Process since its inception, and was reconfirmed by the 2020 Rome Ministerial Communiqué. The annexed Principles and Guidelines (PAGs) to Strengthen the Social Dimension of Higher Education in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) expressly spell out the key principles for social dimension enhancement for the next decade.

The general objective of this project is to support national authorities and higher education institutions across EHEA in the implementation of the PAGs and to support the activities of the BFUG Working Group for Social Dimension 2021-2024.

Project activities and outcomes

In this 3-year project an international consortium will organise four peer learning activities on the Principles and Guidelines to strengthen mutual learning and deepen the exchange of practices between EHEA countries in different implementation stages. Ministry representatives and higher education institution representatives will be supported to draw up national implementation and action points on how to overcome their specific challenges related to the PAGs.

Based on the identified needs, the consortium will develop:

  • a PAGs toolkit that includes information on the PAGs and innovative and feasible policy tools allowing higher education authorities and institutions to implement each of the principles at national and institutional level.
  • a comprehensive framework, self-assesment and guideline on how to implement a sustainable national and institutional strategy to enhance student mental health, including recommendations for national authorities and higher education institutions to install integrated mental health policies in higher education at the macro, meso and micro level.
  • a central scholarship web portal that is intended to serve as a central counselling and informative tool on student financial aid at EHEA level.

All outcomes will be integrated on the platform inclusiveuniversities.eu and are directly implementable. As such they will contribute to a more inclusive EHEA in the short-term.

Project partners

The project is led by the Ministry of Education and Training Belgium/Flemish Community and the Support
Centre Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO) in Flanders, in collaboration with the Institute for the Development of Education in Zagreb, the Ministry of Education, Science and Research of Croatia and the European Students' Union. Three individual experts will support the project activities.