In the Yerevan Communiqué (2015), ministers agreed that
"Making our systems more inclusive is an essential aim for the EHEA as our populations become more and more diversified, also due to immigration and demographic changes."
Yerevan Communiqué 2015
They also agreed to undertake to widen participation in higher education and support institutions that provide relevant learning activities in appropriate contexts for different types of learners, including lifelong learning. They will improve permeability and articulation between different education sectors. They will enhance the social dimension of higher education, improve gender balance and widen opportunities for access and completion, including international mobility, for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. They will provide mobility opportunities for students and staff from conflict areas, while working to make it possible for them to return home once conditions allow. They also wish to promote the mobility of teacher education students in view of the important role they will play in educating future generations of Europeans.
Finally, ministers approuved the Working Group on Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning report and commit to make the higher education more socially inclusive by implementing the EHEA social dimension strategy.
Report of the 2012-2015 BFUG Working Group on the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning
Widening Participation for Equity and Growth - A Strategy for the Development of the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning in the European Higher Education Area to 2020
2015 Yerevan Communiqué
With the Bucharest Communiqué (2012), ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the social dimension in higher education and thus to working towards the goal that
"[t]he student body entering and graduating from higher education institutions should reflect the diversity of Europe’s populations"
Bucharest Communiqué 2012
This goal had been formulated for the first time at the London summit of 2007, where ministers had also stressed "the importance of students being able to complete their studies without obstacles related to their social and economic background", after the social dimension had entered the Bologna Process with the Prague Communiqué in 2001 and gained importance in subsequent years.
To further this goal, ministers at their meeting in Bucharest in 2012 agreed "to adopt national measures for widening overall access to quality higher education" and to "work to raise completion rates and ensure timely progression in higher education". More specifically, they agreed to "step up [their] efforts towards underrepresented groups to develop the social dimension of higher education, reduce inequalities and provide adequate student support services, counseling and guidance, flexible learning paths and alternative access routes, including recognition of prior learning". They also encouraged peer learning on the social dimension and endeavored "to monitor progress in this area".
The PL4SD (peer learning for the social dimension) project, which seeks to support policy-makers and practitioners in developing effective measures for improving the social dimension of the EHEA, was one of the main response to the ministerial wish.
The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process Implementation Report is an important contribution to the monitoring of the social dimension progress in the area.
The European Higher Education Area in 2015: Bologna Process Implementation Report