A Conclusion of the Council and of the Ministers for Education of the Member States meeting within the Council (11.7.1993) concerns the furthering of an open European space for cooperation within higher education. The Council considers that, within such an open space, citizens should as a long-term aim have the opportunity to choose a place of study in any of the Member States; the necessary European dimension in education should be combined with a respect for the richness and diversity of the national and regional education and training systems. The Member Sates and the Community should therefore continue to work with determination in order to remove the remaining barriers to this open space, taking special account of the value of European cultural and linguistic diversity and of the financial problems experienced by individual Member States in relation to imbalance in student flows. Attention should be paid to strengthening higher education systems in less developed regions and contributing in this way to social and economic cohesion. The Council's Conclusions concern three specific areas: - Access: Young people should be able to pursue part or all of their studies in the higher education institutions of other Member States in ways which best match their needs. The Commission is invited to institute, together with the Member States, a review of obstacles to the attainment of this objective (admission regulations, arrangements for financing). - Quality: The Member States and the Commission could continue to support the establishment and/or expansion of networks between higher education institutions. Such cooperation could be built on the principles and experience which have been established within the ERASMUS, LINGUA and COMETT programmes. The aim should be to establish top quality in the networks through cooperation and division of responsibility. Networks could operate a variety of model projects (joint intake of students, new forms of financing cooperation). The Commission is invited to examine the possibilities of increasing long- and short-term mobility of staff as well as information exchange between educational institutions, and pilot projects on quality assessment. - Relevance of studies. The Member States and the institutions within them may need to further diversify their educational instruments and the content of higher education in order to meet in a balanced way the widening educational needs of students, the labour market and society as a whole. Member States and the Commission could support and promote this activity by furthering exchanges of valuable experience and know-how from countries with a wide range of options in higher education to countries with more restricted options for their citizens.
Policy making and guidelines
21 September 1993