ETUCE Calls Ministers to Improve the Status of Employees in Higher Education and Research in Europe


30 April 2015

At the upcoming Bologna Ministerial Conference in Yerevan on 14-15 May 2015, 47 European Ministers responsible for higher education and research are to adopt a Ministerial Communiqué.

The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), the European Region of the global union of education employees, Education International, which organises amongst other education employees, employees of the higher education and public and private research sectors, has been supportive to the implementation of the establishment of the European Higher Education Area and will be present at the Bologna Ministerial Conference.

Education International in its recent report published for the Bologna Ministerial Conference, Creating a Supportive Working Environment in European Higher Education (2015), underlines that higher education suffers from budget cuts, deteriorating working conditions for staff and an unsupportive environment, for which the Bologna Process is responsible.

Trade unions of employees in higher education and research in Europe are seriously concerned on the following:

 1) The precarious employment has been increasing, including short term, and poorer and poorer working conditions;

2) We experience increasing loss of academic freedom;

3) The foundations of research being under attack.

4) There is inadequate public funding for higher education and research in Europe.

Thus, ETUCE and its member organisations call the Ministers responsible for higher education and research and the European Union institutions to include in the Bologna Ministerial Communique: 

1.            the Public funding of Higher Education, and

2.            the creation of a supportive environment for academics (lecturers and researchers).

We also call national governments and the European Union institution to take actions for:

- Solidarity within the European Union and throughout Europe that will enable the balanced development of Higher Education and Research;

- An ambitious, multi-year recruitment plan for Higher Education and Research staff based on secure employment;

- A significant increase in core funding for Research Institutions/Bodies and Higher Education Institutions;

- A policy for the development of all areas of research, guaranteeing diversity in subjects and in approaches to research, the respect of research methods, together with appropriate time frames and academic freedom for individuals and higher education and research institutions;

- A policy of eliminating inequality, in particular gender-related inequality;

- The restoration and development of a democratic approach and a team spirit within Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutions/Bodies.


The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) represents 131 Teacher Unions and 11 million teachers in all countries of Europe, 4.2 million teachers in the EU, from all levels of the education sector. ETUCE is a Social Partner in education at the EU level and a European Trade Union Federation within ETUC, the European Trade Union Confederation. ETUCE is the European Region of Education International, the global federation of teacher unions.

Phone : +32 (0)2 224 06 92