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EquNet 1st Newsletter



EquNet - 1st Newsletter
December, 2010

Dear Colleague,

1. Evolving Diversity – an overview of equitable access to Higher Education in Europe

The 1st EquNet Research Report is published!

The G20 London Communique sets Europe the task of ensuring that Higher Education systems reflect the diversity of our populations.

In this spirit, EquNet’s first report gives a comparison of the state of equity in access to Higher Education in the EU27 + EEA countries, and of the evolution of the concept and the actual state of diversity in Europe’s Higher Education institutions today.

Its indicators tackle:

  • entry into Higher Education
  • equity as defined by socioeconomic background
  • income and expenditure of students in Higher Education
  • the effect of work on studies.

The numerical indicators are matched with various examples of practice from around the continent.The report also uses this data to make insights on perceptions of equity from European policymakers, considers the validity of different ways of measuring equity and the validity of current policy-initiatives.

Download the Report for free from the EquNet Repository.

2. EquNet events in the autumn 2010

The results of the project’s first year and the outcomes of the first report, the “Evolving Diversity”, were presented at various events during the autumn 2010.


Over 150 delegates from Institutions of Higher Education in Europe gathered round at the first EquNet Conference in Tallin on 15 October 2010 that had the focus on “The Social Dimension in Higher Education Reform”. The event was organized within the context of the EURASHE 20th anniversary conference. Besides introducing the research results, recommendations and conclusions of the report, delegates had the opportunity to share their opinion and experience on the related workshops that were discussing the following topics:

  • the socioeconomic background of students in mass Higher Education
  • studies for social advancement
  • financial barriers in Higher Education

Click here to access presentations from the 1st EquNet conference.


EquNet was invited to the main conference of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, to give an overview of how poverty and inclusion/exclusion issues are reflected in Higher Education policies in Europe.

Fabio Nascimbeni and Anthony F. Camilleri, coordinators of the project, gave a presentation highlighting the work of the EquNet project in general, as well as more specifically:

  • the role of Higher Education in alleviating poverty
  • exclusion factors based on socio-economic background
  • strategies to increase the participation of under-represented groups in Higher Education

You can learn more about the event, the ‘Circus Against Exclusion’ here, while you can view the presentation given by the consortium on this link.


The first outcomes of the EquNet report “Evolving Diversity” were introduced at the Sixth EDEN Research Workshop in Budapest, 24-27 October 2010, where 125 experts from 26 countries discussed the latest research results. The focus of the event was “User Generated Content Assessment in Learning: Enhancing Transparency and Quality of Peer Production”. The engaging keynote speeches are available for download on the Conference web-site, while the EquNet poster can be found in the EquNet Repository.


The theme of the EUCEN Conference in Lille, France, 19 November 2010, was “From Rhetoric to Reality, The European Universties‘ Charter on LLL”. With this context, Anthony F. Camilleri, coordinator of the EquNet project, presented the projects initial result with highlighting that:

  • Lifelong Learning is not living up to its potential in enhancing equity in education
  • Access to Lifelong Learning is still marred by numerous barriers throughout Europe

In light with EquNet’s commitment to dedicate an entire report (in year 3 of the project) to lifelong learning issues, the workshop was also an opportunity to brainstorm with lifelong learning professionals about what research questions should be addressed around this topic. The results of this discussion, will be fed back into the research plan for the third report, and presented at future conferences.


The EquNet/CEPS joint symposion, hosted by the Centre for Education Policy Studies – CEPS (link) at the University of Ljubljana was held on 22-24 November 2010. The event brought together a panel of experts in equity from throughout the European Union and the Western Balkans. The focus of their discussions were the following three topics:

  • Conceptualising Equity for Policymaking;
  • Universal Higher Education, diversity, society and equity;
  • Equity in Higher Education systems, mechanisms and financing

Presentation abstracts, information on the EquNet project, its further activities can be found on the EquNet page.

3. Introducing the Consortium

EquNet brings together 8 leading European Stakeholder and Research organisations, with the aim of enhancing equity in Higher Education. Over the project's lifetime, the partnership gathers research on the topic, engages with actors in the field through advocacy and consultation, propose policy solutions to decision makers and network with peers, experts and stakeholders.

The partner organisations are:

  • MENON, Belgium
    Nikitas Kastis, Fabio Nascimbieni
  • Scienter, Italy
    Claudio Dondi, Anthony Fisher Camilleri, Daniela Proli
  • Centre for Educational Policy Studies, University of Ljubljana – CEPS, Slovenia
    Pavel Zgaga, Klemen Miklavic
  • Hochchul Information System GmbH – HIS, Germany
    Kai Muehleck, Dorit Griga, Dominic Orr
  • Zentrum fur Soziale Innovation, Austria
    Barbara Kieslinger, Andreas Bohonnek
  • European Students Union, Belgium
    Natalia Tarachiu, Melinda Szabó
  • European Association of Institutions in Higher Education – EURASHE, Belgium – Stefan Delplace, Iva Voldanova
  • European Distance and E-Learning Network – EDEN
    András Szűcs, Ildikó Mázár, Lívia Turzó

Anthony F. Camilleri – Scienter, Italy
Fabio Nascimbieni – MENON, Belgium

4. Participating in the EquNet Network

We invite you to be part of the EquNet social community by joining EquNet Facebook Page, where you can regularly receive up-to-date information on the development of the project and present your own ideas in the topic of equity in Higher Education.

Would you be interested in receiving regular updates in connection with the ongoing activities of the project, please send your contact details (name, organisation name, e-mail address) to Lívia Turzó.

5. Future plans

Inclusive Higher Education – European Competition for Equity

The project consortium is planning to organise a photo, video and essay competition on the topic of equity in HE in Europe. Everybody can take part with a self-made photo, video or a short written essay on this topic. The main objective of the competition is

  • to support the project’s networking activities by motivating people, especially students
  • promoting the project on grass-root level
  • to increase awareness, providing visibility
  • to provide a platform for a continuous voluntary work for people who are interested in the topic

Further details and the Call for submissions will be available in January 2011 on the project’s web-site.

The work on the second EquNet report has already started, it will focus on migration flows and the impact of equity policies in Europe. Articles analysing the findings further will be published on the EquNet web-site in the coming weeks.


We wish you Relaxing Holidays and Happy New Year!


The EquNet Team





EquNet is supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission.

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EDEN is a contributing partner in the EquNet project.

Last updated 3573 days ago by EDEN News