April 2005 - CoCo-Newsletter #3

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April 2005 - CoCo-Newsletter #3

CoCo-Newsletter #3

Dear member,

    Still some weeks to go until Star Wars III will make the picture complete. Edition III of the CoCo-Newsletter doesn?t lodge the claim to give a complete picture but it will give

    you some information on hot CoCo topics.

    The newsletter mainly focuses on content issues and CoCo-activities around them. In order to make it useful and simple, we?re trying to keep it short. In case you have further questions, don?t hesitate to ask us for information! We also recommend you to forward this newsletter to other people within your organisation in case they are in charge of one of the topics.

Enjoy reading!

Yours sincerely,

    The CoCo

    (Lea, Angie, Kjersti, Angele, Klemen)


1 EUA Conference in Glasgow

    2 drafting policies

    3 Bolkestein-directive: far reaching changes 4 GATS-update

    5 EU setting up network of elite-universities 6 CoCo tours in spring

    7 CoCo general overview

    1) EUA Convention in Glasgow

    stndrdFrom the 31 of March to the 2 of April took place the 3 Convention of European

    Higher Education Institutions. EUA Conventions took place before the ministerial

    conferences after Bologna. This time, EUA prepared alike ESIB a call towards the

    ministerial Conference in Bergen. The convention also served the goal to define future

    fields of work for the EUA. During the Conference a new President of EUA as well as a

    new board were elected (consult EUA webpage for more information We

    hope for a further fruitful cooperation with the new elected president and board.

    ESIB was represented by members of the EC, the BPC and the CoCo. The CoCo was

    involved in planning one of the workshops at the convention dealing with the theme of

    financing HE, related to the systemic level of public and private financing to HEI. The

    discussions and outcomes derived from the 9th European Student’s Convention in

    Luxemburg were brought into the discussion in the respective working group. The

    participants of the working group were much interested in the work we did.

    After the Convention there was a possibility for the students present in Glasgow to meet

    with Mr. José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission.

    Find more information, background texts, presentations and speeches on the website for

    the convention

2) drafting policies

Preparing the Board Meeting 48 in Bergen, CoCo is now drafting the Policy Papers that

    will be discussed there. They are results of seminars, workshops and discussions that

    intensively took place in ESIB in the past half year. If you additionally want to contribute

    to those issues in advance, send us your ideas and comments! The Papers will be sent to

    the ESIB board list before April 30

    th so that you have enough time to read and discuss them within your organisation.

    Financing of Higher Education The topic of financing of higher education has been dealt with by CoCo since spring 2004

    and we have given trainings on the topic in various countries and occasions. During the

    trainings and through general questions from the member NUSes, a variety of questions

    and issues have been raised. These experiences formed the basis for the organising of

    the 9th European Student Convention (ESC) in Luxembourg from 17thst to 21 of March

    2005 on the topic of financing of higher education.

    Financing of higher education has earlier only been part of other, related discussions in

    ESIB, and not a subject to specific discussion as such. The aim of the Convention was

    therefore to discuss some of the major issues in depth and to move from assumptions to

    a more reflected and informed debate in order to build a future policy on financing of

    higher education, to be discussed and voted upon at BM48.

    The Convention covered the following topic clusters; Governance and management and

    the internal use of resources, Alternative sources of financing, Tuition fees and their

    arguments, Student support systems and Intellectual Property Rights and patents.

    During the extensive discussions in the Working Groups the participants worked on one

    topic of their choice (in all 5 WGs) for about 8 hours. Several topics where debated for

the first time in an official ESIB-setting, at least in an in depth way; such as intellectual

    property and patents, voucher systems and alternative sources of income higher


    More than 90 students from throughout Europe participated in the Convention which was

    organised in cooperation with UNEL and ACEL which also had the external inputs from

    different parts in the European debate on financing of higher education.

    While awaiting the policy paper draft, some additional reading on tuition fees is attached

    to the newsletter. We are very interested in hearing news about developments in the

    field of tuition fees in the different countries, so feel free to keep us updated (info can be

    sent to

    Intellectual Property At the ESC in Luxembourg, the Working Group 4 started the discussion on Intellectual

    Property (IP). Central Questions dealt with were:

    - “Should knowledge be public or private?”

    - “Should research and intellectual property be a source of financing for higher

    education institutions?”

    - “Who should get the money: students? teachers? universities? the state?”

    Angele and Angie wrote an Information Paper on IP that was handed out at the

    Convention and is being sent to the ESIB board list these days. The Working Group and

    the Paper were ESIB?s first steps in this field and provide the basis for an ESIB position

    on IP.

    Following the plan of work for 2005, we will take these discussions as an outline for a

    Policy Paper on Intellectual Property for BM 48. To get more in detail and lighten up

    knowledge gaps in this field, more intensive research and knowledge-building in our

    organisation will be the next steps.

Education services and trade in the EU internal market

    As a follow-up of the motion on the Board Meeting 47 in Tallinn, ESIB closely followed the

    discussions on the EU Directive on Services in the Internal Market, also referred to as

    Bolkestein-Directive. Main elements were lobbying with responsibles in the EU,

    cooperation with other organisations, a detailled argumentation guideline and an info-

    package for ESIB-NUSs. The main aim was and is to get education and education-related

    services out of the directive.

    To strengthen ESIB?s position and provide a more thorough basis for ESIB activities in

    this field, we are working out a Policy Statement on this issue. Due to the rapid changes

    in the development of the Bolkestein Directive, the focus will be kept a bit more general,

    namely on trade with education services in the EU internal market.

3) Bolkestein-directive: far reaching changes

EU-Council Summit in Brussels, March 22-23

    On 22ndrd and 23 of March 2005, the European Council in Brussels decided to introduce

    far reaching changes to the Bolkestein directive. In the Presidency Conclusions, it says in

Point 22:

    "22. For the completion of the internal market, the European Council has identified the

    following priority areas:

    In order to promote growth and employment and to strengthen competitiveness, the

    internal market of services has to be fully operational while preserving the European

    social model. In the light of this ongoing debate which shows that the directive as it is

    currently drafted does not fully meet these requirements, the European Council requests

    all efforts to be undertaken within the legislative process in order to secure a broad

    consensus that meets all these objectives. The European Council notes that effective

    services of general economic interest have an important role to play in a competitive and

    dynamic economy.“ The directive is not being drawn back, but important parts will be changed, especially

    concerning the health- and the water-sector. It’s not clear yet if the "country of origin

    principle", the heart of the directive, will be kept in or abolished. The changes are

    scheduled to take one year.

    This decision is the result of activities by both the civil society and several governments

    of EU-member countries:

    NGOs and Trade Unions, had a demonstration on March 19th in Brussels with more than

    60 000 people on the streets. th. France, supported by Germany, Belgium and Sweden, intervened strongly in the debate.

    The coming year will show which direction the directive will finally take. This has to be French prime minister Chirac said that the directive must be reworked to "respect social

    especially seen in the light of the coming two EU-presidencies, being UK in autumn 2005 rights and public services". Analysts see the reason for Chirac?s actions here in a fear of

    and Austria in spring 2006, both in favour of liberalisation of the EU internal services a "Non" at the referendum on the EU-constitution on may 29

    market. In a speech in the UK Parliament on March 29th, Tony Blair pointed out that "the

    services directive is at the heart of this next phase of the Lisbon programme", and that

    "The Commission remains committed to the main principles of the directive".

    Ann Mettler from the neo-liberal Brussels think tank "Lisbon Council" commented that

    she didn?t understand why the socialist groups were claiming victory, and said that "This

    will look very different when the British take over."

    What does this mean for ESIB and NUS activities on Bolkestein?

    The decision to “introduce far reaching changes” in the directive gives us the chance to

    further influence the development of the directive. It should not be seen as a one-year-

    pillow to lean on until we continue our activities, but as a kick-off to intensify our

    lobbying to raise awareness for the dangers that Bolkestein could have on education and

    to explicitly exclude education from Bolkestein. Especially taking into account the coming

    two presidencies of the European Council, our activities have to be even stronger both

    on the national and the EU-level.

    Further reading

    Presidency conclusions of the Council Summit in Brussels on March 22-23 2005:

    aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en (Pt. 22: Bolkestein Directive)

    Report on "Bolkestein directive to stay, but will be watered down", March



    rdExtensive report on BBC news: "EU agrees to reform services plan", March 23


    Video of the press conference of Commission President Barroso and Luxembourg Prime

    ndMinister Juncker on March 22:

    Article in the Guardian: "Straw upbeat after EU summit", March 23US-analysis in the Washington Times:

    only in German:

    Analysis of Bolkestein and education:

    Analysis in Austrian daily newspaper "Der Standard": only in French:

    Article in Liberation:

    Article in Le Monde:,1-0@2-3214,36-630271@51-627482,0.html

4) GATS-updates

    The next World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting will take place in 13

    th to th18 of December in Hong Kong, and will be the end of this round of negotiations.

    ththThe 4 and 5 of April we attended a meeting with Education International (EI) on GATS

    and education in Paris. ESIB has also earlier cooperated with EI, who share our view to

    take education out of the GATS-negotiation. In February representatives from EI visited

    several of the national negotiation delegations to the WTO during the Geneva-meetings.

    The national delegations spoken to by EI, represents a broad spectre of the countries

    that have joined or are considering joining the WTO services negotiations. The talks

    included amongst others Brazil and South Africa (whom have not yet committed and will

    not commit on the education side), India (who are on the verge of committing) and USA

    and Australia which are more aggressive in their request to other countries. EI also met

    with EU, but the minutes of this meeting are not ready yet, but will be covered in a later


    ESIB is cooperating with the Asian Students Association (ASA) who are organising a lot of

    events up to the meeting in Hong Kong. We have not been able of to participate in these

    meetings yet, out of obvious financial reasons. NUSes interested in more information on

    the negotiations or taking part in events up to the negotiations (on their own expence)

    can contact for more info.

    The ESIB-policy on GATS can be found in the policy paper on Commodification of

    Education, .

    Otherwise Education international have a newsletter “Tradeducation” to be found on their


5) EU setting up network of elite-universities th of march, education-commissioner Jan Figel’ presented the main elements of the elite-network in an information note: At the beginning of march, the EU-commission made its plans more concrete to set up a Universities in the EU-area can apply for being taken into the network, an independent European network of elite-universities. On 7jury should together with the EU-commission select 6 out of them. The junction of this

    network should be a “European Institute for Technology” (EIT). The timeline for realising

    this idea is not set yet, neither has the idea as such been discussed intensively, but the

    main elements of the organisation of the elite-network are already made clear in the

    information note:

    The EIT will be mainly dependent on private sponsoring and commercially oriented

    research. To assure the needed “real autonomy” of the EIT, it should be able to select its

    own students and act independently from civil service rules. Also, the EIT should pick its

    own research profile and “only” be responsive to the (private) donors.

    The goal of setting up this elite-network is to attract the best students worldwide and

    develop world-class research, to be able to keep up with the USA in the global

    competition and this way come closer to the Lisbon objectives.

You can order the information note at the homepage of the EU: SEC(2005) 354

6) CoCo tours in spring

In the coming months, one main part of CoCo activities will be touring through Europe to

    give trainings and workshops to the NUSs. Find here an overview on the tours that are

    fixed for spring:

Latvia tour

    In cooperation with Latvian student union (LSA) CoCo will hold again a seminar and

    training on the territory of an ESIB member union at end of April/ beginning of May. The

    idea is to empower Latvian student activists with the knowledge and information about

    topics dealt with by CoCo.

    The topics to be presented and discussed were suggested by LSA and developed further

    by CoCo. The topics were chosen mostly on the basis of the current situation in Latvia

    and policy priorities of the union itself.

    1. Brain drain, related problems and possible ways to deal with it

    2. Funding of HE (trends in Europe, threats, opportunities, possible positive solutions

    to lack of funds, efficiency of using public money, alternative sources of funding,

    effects of tuition fees…)

    3. Funding mobility (vertical, horizontal, programmes/foundations, other


    4. Student influence in decision making processes on institutional and

    national/international level (including motivation of students)

    All topics should include the quality assurance dimension. National quality assurance and accreditation system should be outlined and discussed within issues.

    Day 1 will be devoted to more demanding audience of academics and civil servants. The level of presentations should be high and advanced. There will also be possibility for us to get in touch with relevant people from the country.

    Day 2 will be devoted to student activists-motivating them, giving practical suggestions and presenting them cases from other student experiences.

    V4 tour As we told you in our previous newsletters, we were planning training for the V4 (Czech, Hungarian, Polish and Slovak) NUSes on commodification issues. Although the V4 NUSes have worked very hard to try to organise this training in April, Hook's application to the IVF (International Viscegrad Fund) was not accepted. This means that we wil have to postpone the tour till June, as Hook has also put in another application for that date. If this application is successful, the training should be a great experience for all the V4 NUSes, as well as CoCo, since we then plan to have a combination of some new and (by the time) 'old' CoCo members involved. We will keep you posted!

Norway tour

    We have had some difficulties finding an appropriate date for the tour as the Norwegian NUSes are quite busy organising the Board Meeting in Bergen in May. The training which will focus on Transnational education both relating to students and institutions and the Norwegian Scholarship programs for foreign students and their effect on brain mobility will are now scheduled for autumn 2005, and will be a task for the next CoCo. The tour will be organised by a local union in Tromsø.

7) CoCo general overview

CoCo-members and contact details:

Angele Attard:, +35/ 699867603

    Angelika Striedinger:, +43/69912170546 Kjersti Moe:, +45/ 60835491

    Klemen Miklavic:, +38/ 631339424

    Lea Brunner:, +41/ 797197546

    Country-responsibilities and topic-division:

Topics division:

    Autonomy Klemen, Lea Bolkestein Angie, Lea Bologna Lea

    Tuition fees Kjersti Brain Drain Angele, Kjersti Financing Kjersti, Klemen GATS Kjersti, Angie TNE/ globalisation Klemen, Angele Lisbon Angie, Klemen TRIPS Angele, Angie

Country division:

    ? Angele: Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Czech, Malta, Spain, Portugal, Italy

    ? Angie: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania,

    Greece, Romania

    ? Kjersti: Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland

    ? Klemen: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, UPS-UP, Estonia,

    Latvia, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Armenia

    ? Lea: Germany, Swiss, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Georgia, Macedonia,


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