EUROPE: Student protests at Bologna's 10th year

As education and science ministers of 46 European countries meet first in Budapest then in Vienna next week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Europe's adoption of the Bologna process, student activists from across the continent plan to converge on the latter city where they will hold a 'counter-summit'.

Students have been protesting against Bologna's implementation for the past few months with blockades and strikes affecting 80 universities. But their representatives claim they are also trying to make the process work by providing their views on how education can better meet students' needs.

A report in The Student Voice, the monthly newsletter of the European Students' Union, said Europe's education ministers should acknowledge the protests and follow up by giving students better possibilities to decide on the present and future of their own education.

Chair of the union, Ligia Deca, said that although the Bologna reforms were not close to the end, higher education ministers would meet to celebrate the occasion and to reaffirm their commitment to the goals.

Deca said the student summit preceding the ministerial conference would "further promote students' view on the reform agenda but also to bring the students' contribution to the ministers".

"The ESU will present its limelight publication Bologna at the Finish Line which takes a look back at what has been done in the past 10 years but which also has a forward looking emphasis by making suggestions to the further action on the priorities that were set last year in Leuven/Louvain-la-Neuve.

"Furthermore, the student summit will be the place where ESU's documentary Faces of Bologna, an attempt at giving implementation of Bologna a human face, is screened. Finally, the ESU seeks to make a declaration to the ministers on the students' concerns and proposals for higher education in Europe during the next decade."