Croatia has passed this year a National Action Plan for Enhancing the Social Dimension of Higher Education.
The importance of the social dimension of higher education has been heavily emphasised in several ministerial declarations and communiqués over the past decade. The social dimension emerges from the notion of higher education as a public good that should be affordable to everyone, regardless of the socioeconomic status of specific social groups.
Within the context of the Yerevan Declaration, ministers of higher education of the countries participating in the Bologna Process have adopted the Strategy for the Development of the Social Dimension and Lifelong Learning in the European Higher Education Area by 2020. In the framework of the Strategy, European ministers of higher education committed themselves to the development of effective public policies aimed at ensuring greater access to quality higher education, especially for students from underrepresented and socially vulnerable groups. At the same time, they agreed to adopt national plans or strategies to identify different under-represented and vulnerable groups of students and to adopt specific measures and activities to improve access, successful learning and completion of studies.
The initiative to launch such a national plan was made in 2014 by the Institute for the Development of Education (http://www.en.iro.hr/), which has since played a key role in the plan’s development.
The plan is now available in English and can be accessed here.