Financing project 'FINST' entering next phase

LIVERPOOL - ESU’s project Financing the Students' Future (FINST) is set to address issues that students are facing with financing and tuition fees. This is done on by increasing the knowledge of how different financing systems and current changes affect students and by increasing the capacity of national unions of students and student representatives. Next upcoming event of the project is a Consultations Seminar, taking place from 24 to 27 November in Liverpool. which will enable participants to look at financing of higher education form different perspectives.

Student exchanges
During this project, 18 student representatives will have a possibility to experience a different students environment and exchange information on how financing of higher education is being tackled in other countries. ESU’s partners in the project, NUS UK, ÖH (Austria) and EUL (Estonia) will each host 6 students.
The first 6 students experienced how the funding debate looks like in the United Kingdom. They got to know the NUS UK Headquarters in London, where they were able to see and meet the people that represent students in the UK. The programme included work shadowing with representatives of NUS UK and they visited local students unions. Moroever, the participants wrote blogposts about their experiences which can be read on the FINST website: http://www.esu-online.org/projects/current/finst/.

The next exchange will take place in December, when another 6 student representative will be visiting and working with ÖH and will get to know the financing issues that they are dealing with in Austria.

Research
The project includes several research activities, which have kept the research team rather busy. The teams has  carried out a desk research to have a strong background knowledge and understanding of different Higher Education funding systems in different European countries. It has also been collecting data through a survey among 45 member organisations of ESU in order to understand the perceptions of national student unions about financing of Higher Education in their countries, their priorities and policies regarding public financing of Higher Education and how students are satisfied with the existing financing systems and mechanisms. Currently, five articles are being written that focus on different aspects of the research by analysing the data which was gathered.

Consultations Seminar
The projects’ Consultations seminar will take place in Liverpool, UK, from 24th until 26th of October. Invitations to the ESU Board and to stakeholders are sent out and the project team is preparing the sessions, debates, panel discussion and workshops that will enable participants to look at financing of higher education form different perspectives.

The FinST project team is looking forward to welcome almost 100 participants that will debate on various themes such as the different missions and perceptions of Higher Education, current trends in financing of Higher Education, the financing of student support services and how to improve the financing systems through the instruments that are being introduced.