Education International
Education International

News release: Higher education is a right, not a privilege

published 9 November 2007 updated 9 November 2007

Education International is joining with affiliates and Spanish partners to host a major international conference on higher education and research.

Marking the 10th anniversary of the landmark 1997 UNESCO Recommendation on the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, the conference will take place:

12 to 14 November 2007 At the Faculty of Law University of Malaga SPAIN

More than 250 professors, scholars, students and trade unionists from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America will gather to analyse problems and challenges, share success stories and best practices, and explore issues such as:

  • Academic freedom, how to protect and defend it
  • Gender equity in higher education
  • Careers in higher education, and the increase of casualisation
  • Strategies to resist commercialisation and privatisation
  • Responding to climate changes as a trade union responsibility

EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen pointed out that this is the 6th major international conference on higher education that has been organized by Education International.

"It's more evidence of EI's strong commitment to defending higher education as a crucial public service, and to resisting privatisation of higher education institutions," he said.

Van Leeuwen was critical of the fact that in too many countries reduced public funding and skyrocketing tuition fees are imposing barriers to all but the most privileged students.

"Higher education is a right, not a privilege," van Leeuwen said.

Along with van Leeuwen, the opening session will be chaired by Jose Campos Trujillo, General Secretary of FECCOO and a member of the EI Executive Board. Opening speakers will be Carlos Lopez Cortiñas, General Secretary of FETE-UGT; Adelaida de la Calle Martin, Rector of the University of Malaga; M. Miguel Angel Quintanilla, State Secretary for Higher Education and Research; Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga; and Salvador Pendón, President of the Regional Parliament.

For more information and the full program, please visit: www.ei-ie.org

Press contact: Nancy Knickerbocker, EI communications coordinator, +32 (0) 476 850 701