European Student Services Conference - Berlin, August 21-25, 2017

Societal Responsibility: Challenges for Student Services between Safety and Open Societies

The 39th French-German Colloquium, a European Student Services conference jointly arranged by DSW and the French Cnous was held August 21-25, 2017 at the invitation of Studierendenwerk Berlin in the German capital. With a view to current trends and challenges it was entitled "Societal Responsibility: Challenges for Student Services between Safety and Open Societies".

The Studentenwerke and student services organisations in Europe have been pursuing their social mission with great care and are committed to provide for the social, economic, cultural and health concerns of students, so as to make a key contribution to equal opportunities in higher education for all students.

This social responsibility is facing an increasingly complex social reality which is characterized by more openness, diversity and tolerance, freedom, rapid development of knowledge and dynamic institutional and social change on the one hand. On the other hand, terrorist attacks, the rise of nationalist or populist movements, and increasing social marginalisation and discrimination pose new challenges for the Studentenwerke and the universities.

The colloquium looked at the social mission of the Studentenwerke and their European partners in a tension between openness and safety. The European tradition of open and democratic higher education institutions was discussed at the same time as safety on campus for all, in an effort to underline the interests of a democratic society in personal and social security for all, in diversity, tolerance, respect and freedom.

The following topics were on the conference programme:

  • Current Developments in Higher Education Policy in Europe - the situation of student services in France, Germany, Italy and the UK
  • European Student Card - Vision and current status of an EU pilot project
  • Self-understanding of the modern European university in the tradition of the Enlightenment: openness, democracy and freedom as a basis for higher education and science
  • Safety on campus: perspectives against radicalization and violence
    Keynote and parallel workshops on prevention of violence, risk- and crisis management
  • New Services for New Student Groups?
  • Innovative student services projects in the fields of counselling, student housing, international student support and dining services - examples of best practices in six parallel workshops

The colloquium was aimed at all student affairs and services staff in the European Higher Education Area.

A conference program and practical information are available below.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

With the support of the Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk (DFJW).