The Social Dimension in European Higher Education -
Conference reporting

From 25th to 27th of February 2015, the joint conference of Eurostudent and PL4SD took place in Vienna. More than 200 policy makers, practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders from all over Europe participated and actively contributed to a peer learning process on the social dimension. A strong focus of the conference was put on networking and exchanging knowledge and experiences on the social dimension in higher education.

Within the framework of the conference, Eurostudent V and PL4SD results were presented as well as a broad range of recent research on the social dimension. With this conference reporting, the key findings of presentations and discussions are made available as well as presentation files of all conference contributions.

In order to enhance further networking, a list of the conference participants including contact details can be found on the conference websites. On the grounds of data protection, the list only is available for the participants within the internal area of the website.

Some visual impressions are available here: Pictures of the conference.

A standardised feedback questionnaire was provided to all participants, the results can be found via the following link: Feedback from participants.


Key Note speeches and panel discussion:

Introduction:   Welcome Speeches & insights into Eurostudent and PL4SD results

Key Note #1:   “The Social Dimension in European Higher Education”

Jan Sadlak, President of the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence

Key Note #2:   “First Generation Students: From a student‘s experience to a nationwide support network”

Katja Urbatsch, “”, Germany 

Key Note #3 & #4:   "The institutional role in student support"

Blaženka Divjak, University of Zagreb, HR and
Liz Thomas, Liz Thomas Associates - higher education research and consultancy, UK

Panel Discussion: 
"The future of the social dimension in the European Higher Education Area"


Thematic Tracks:

In the framework of 9 thematic tracks – the core element of the conference – recent research on the social dimension as well as Eurostudent V and PL4SD results were presented:

# Towards a national strategy

#2  Access

#3  Special student groups

#4  Mobility

#5  Student support & funding

#6  Study and work

#7  Expectations and student assessments

#8  Retention & success

#9  The Eurostudent Network


With the joint PL4SD and Eurostudent conference, the foundation was laid for further development of social dimension policies and for a strong peer learning process throughout Europe.

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