European collaboration on higher education strengthens and enriches the student movement

The Union is founded on the values of the respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for the human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

– Article 2 , Treaty on European Union

Today, 9 May, we celebrate unity, solidarity and peace in Europe. Through Europe and the membership of the European Union, Finland has the opportunity to play a role larger than its size in the global world. For students, it offers the opportunity to internationalise through student exchanges and job opportunities.

Through the EU, we are part of a broader European community that essentially shares the same values and goals. We have extensive cross-border cooperation and in the recent years with an emphasis on topics regarding educational policy. European university networks have been established and the Union is working towards a closer European Education Area (EEA). The European Year of Skills 2023 aims to promote skills development and give a new impetus to lifelong learning. European cooperation in higher education is a continuation of the development of a society based on knowledge, civilisation and academic freedom.

Through the Union, we can travel and study freely in multiple different countries. Student exchange programmes such as Erasmus+ offer students a unique opportunity to learn new languages, cultures and ways of thinking. Over the last three decades, more than 10 million people have taken part in Erasmus exchanges. For many of them, it has been a life-changing experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives. The programme can be considered one of the most successful in Europe, and the Commission almost doubled the Erasmus+ budget for the period 2021-2027.

Today, let us celebrate the idea of peace in Europe, even as Russia’s aggressive war continues in Ukraine. Our history has shown that international cooperation and solidarity are the key to peace and to a European coexistence united in diversity. Indeed, the international objectives of the student movement clearly parallel those of the EU – to build a more solidary and broadly international world through intercultural understanding and cooperation.

Antti Regelin
Board Member, EU and ESU, internationality, climate policy

Latest news

See all news
SYL contact us SYL logo
Questions? Contact us!
We are the experts in student life, at your service. We are happy to answer any and all topical questions pertaining to students and higher education.