Achieving true equity within Higher Education, despite being high on the education policy agenda for years, continues to remain a significant challenge for policy makers, who, despite years of initiatives, have not yet managed to make large enough inroads into the problem. To this end, two consortia researching the topic – the EQUNET consortium bringing together 8 partners from 6 EU countries, and the DEP consortium (enter description) have decided to merge efforts to create a one-of-a-kind instrument to synthesise the current debate and suggest ways forward.

The EQUNET/CEPS Symposion is a think-tank style event, which will bring together researchers from both the projects together with the leading academics in the field for an intensive 3-day signature event intended to consider visionary and innovative policies to deal with the equity gap, and get away from the staid iterative and gradual process that has characterised EU policymaking and left millions stranded without better life-opportunities.

The themes of the meeting have been chosen by the visionaries themselves, in line with their views of the most pressing problems and the most effective solutions, with a format which will allow 6-8 ideas to be presented over the 3 days, with each idea needing to face the test of an expert audience, but also with the ability to be enhanced and matured by the audience, and for a few select ideas, to be further examined in detail by the research projects sponsoring the event.

Rather than a one-off event, the meeting will form the basis of a series of actions on equity – networking these experts together to form a joint consensus and joint voice on how to meet the challenges of Higher Education today. To this end, the networks will sustain a private social community amongst these researchers and experts, and will further tap their knowledge and expertise through participation in a DELPHI study being sponsored by the EQUNET network.

The results and recommendations, together with presentations from all participants on their chosen themes and challenges will be made available publicly after the event.