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The “social dimension” is an elusive but critically important issue for European higher education. Indeed, the European Commission’s 2012 Lifelong Learning Programme call for proposals (issued just this month) singles out “the social dimension of higher education” as one of its five priority areas for multilateral projects. In the call, the Commission has indicated specific preference for projects focused on such issues as widening access for underrepresented groups, tracking the development of expanded access for these populations, encouraging increased completion rates in higher education, and further developing the notion of the “social responsibility” of higher education institutions. But what do we know about some of these topics already? Where are the gaps in performance and data related to these concerns? And are there examples of real progress in certain areas?
These are the kinds of questions that frame ACA’s next European Policy Seminar, titled The social dimension in European higher education. The day-long event will present a mix of the latest research results, new policy approaches and successful institutional strategies in the social arena. As is customary for ACA events, it will feature highly-qualified researchers, highly-experienced practitioners and highly-knowledgeable policy-makers working in this area. We hope you will consider joining us in Brussels on 14 October for this outstanding event.ACA European Policy Seminar: The social dimension in European higher education