Shaping the Future of European Education: A GLOBED Scholar’s Journey at ESA24

What is ESA24?

The European Student Assembly (ESA) stands as a key initiative of the European Universities Community, co-funded by the European Union. It annually gathers over 220 students from the European Universities Alliances to partake in pivotal policy debates and advocacy, influencing European governance.

This year, Salim Menaceur was selected as one of the top 20 finalists for ESA24, out of a highly competitive pool of 163 applicants from the ECIU University alliance. The ECIU is a consortium of 14 universities, including Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which generously funded Salim’s participation. This support underscores the alliance’s commitment to fostering real-world solutions through academic collaboration.


An Assembly of Ideas and Innovation

The European Student Assembly 2024 (ESA24) served as a melting pot of cultures and ideas, with students from 41 different alliances discussing 11 pivotal themes. These themes ranged from enhancing voter engagement to addressing Euroscepticism, and included promoting sustainable growth, ensuring the dignity of migrants, and optimizing benefits from AI. Salim Menaceur contributed to Panel 9, focusing on the role of higher education institutions as places of opportunity for all, highlighting the assembly’s commitment to European collaboration and student empowerment.

After three months of online preparation, the selected students engage in preparatory work within their panels, including expert consultations and policy drafting sessions. The members of Panel 9 met in Strasbourg at the European Parliament from April 10-12. During this three-day session, they worked diligently to finalize 8 policy recommendations concerning the role of higher education institutions in providing opportunities for all, showcasing their commitment to enhancing educational accessibility across Europe and voted on in the last day of the assembly where all of them passed by the majority of the votes.


Salim’s insights

As a master’s student in GLOBED – Erasmus+ M.A. in Education Policies for Global Development, engaging in this panel was profoundly relevant and enriching. It allowed me to apply my academic knowledge directly to real-world issues and collaborate with fellow students from across Europe to draft policy recommendations to foster inclusivity and opportunity in higher education.

The discussions were not only a platform for learning but also a chance to contribute to the broader dialogue on education policies in Europe, especially as we approach the European elections of June 2024. I am excited to see how our contributions will influence future policies and continue to advocate for change.

The ESA experience was a remarkable blend of academic theory and practical application, enhancing my understanding and passion for European policymaking. It was truly inspiring to see so many young voices dedicated to shaping a more inclusive and equitable future for European education.


What’s next?

Following the assembly, students like Salim will continue to advocate and disseminate their proposals, meeting with stakeholders at various events, and conferences. This ongoing engagement underscores the lasting impact of ESA24 and its role in shaping future European policy initiatives.