The ministers responsible for higher education in the European Higher Education Area committed in the Bucharest Communiqué from 2012 to collect and share data on the social dimension of higher education ("we encourage the use of peer learning on the social dimension and aim to monitor progress in this area"). The PL4SD database addresses this need.

 

content and objective of database

The PL4SD database collates and catalogues policy measures in the European Higher Education Area that address the social dimension of higher education.

The database presents measures which share the common objective of reducing barriers to higher education access and of providing a conducive study environment for all students that can lead to their successful completion of higher education.

By presenting measures from different national higher education systems within the European Higher Education Area, the aim of the database is to facilitate a "peer learning" process. Peer learning enables countries to exchange knowledge and experiences in a given area, compare and contrast different policy approaches and identify best practices for addressing specific problems.

The database is therefore intended to serve as resource for policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and students who are committed to the improvement of the social dimension of higher education.

 

scope of database

The database aims at providing a diverse collection of policy measures related to the social dimension of the European Higher Education Area.

The participation of countries in the peer learning process and in this specific database is voluntary, although encouraged within the Bologna Process through the Bucharest Communiqué (2012). Hence, the database provides a selection of measures that could be of interest to other higher education systems within the European Higher Education Area.

 

sources of data

The database contains data collected from four different sources:

        • Data from national ministries in charge of higher education: The core of the database is based on data collected by the PL4SD project from ministries in charge of higher education (from countries which chose to participate in the data collection). The data was collected based on a questionnaire, which can be found here. In addition to responses within the questionnaire, countries have the opportunity to upload links to additional documents or reports.
        • Data from Eurostat/Eurydice: The data from ministries is complemented by existing data that is collected by Eurostat and analysed by Eurydice.
        • Data from national stakeholders: In a second round, national stakeholders are invited to provide measures as well. Therefore, the PL4SD project collects data from national rector conferences, student unions, and other relevant stakeholders at the national or international level.
        • Data on research literature: The PL4SD consortium will continuously screen for publications (books, journal articles, reports, etc.) related to the social dimension of higher education for specific countries and/or specific topics.