The issue of equal access to education has been threaded throughout the Bologna Process agenda for several years. The Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG) only decided in 2005 that this matter required formal investigation and precise recommendations. A year and a half later, a working group on 'social dimension and data on mobility of staff and students within the Bologna Process' has produced a report that defines the social dimension
, presents comparable data on social access in Europe, and supplies recommendations for the future of this field.
The report states that the social dimension should be defined broadly and be regarded as a process leading to an objective, allowing each country to apply their specific social situation while striving for a common societal goal: the ‘student body entering, participating in, and completing higher education should reflect the diversity of our populations’. The working group essentially proposed two actions to be taken at both the national and European level
Bologna countries should report to BFUG their national strategies for the social dimension and equal opportunity by 2009, including action plans and impact management;
student survey data should be collected with an aim of providing comparable and reliable data concerning the social dimension.
These recommendations will be discussed in the upcoming Bologna Ministerial Meetings in London.
Bologna Process secretariat website