In a bid to save its weakening education system, the European Students’ Union has decided to consider European Commission for public consultation for Schengen visa’s future. According to the Union, they want to achieve equal educational and social opportunities for students coming from third-party countries. Currently, 46 countries are a part of the European Students’ Union.
European Students’ Union sent a statement to its 46 member countries that include concerns regarding student visa duration, post-study work rights, free movement within the Schengen countries, and a program allowing refugee students to get into the education system. All states welcomed the statement and agreed that the Schengen student visa still requires improvements. ESU said that students that engage in international mobility are a priority for higher education but have faced many issues including discrimination, travel limitations, and freedom of movement problems.
Caroline Sundberg, vice president, European Students’ Union, said that current visa regulations are limiting EU universities’ global reach. She said that higher education institutions are global, but if students aren’t able to participate in university programs, the purpose is defeated. The students are missing out on internationalization. According to ESU’s new proposal, students who aren’t from the European Union should be allowed to travel in all member states freely and be allowed to stay for 12 months after their program is over so that they can find employment.
Refugee status recognition
ESU also called for simplifying the process of refugee status recognition and also a program to let refugee status students apply for higher education during their waiting period. They should be given all rights and benefits what any other international students are given. The ESU is also trying to simplify the visa procedure and make it more accessible and affordable so that people from the less advantaged background can also fulfill their dream of studying in a foreign country.