QUEST workshop 2 empowers students to work on quality

BRUSSELS - The second QUEST (Quest for Quality for Students) project Workshop took place in Brussels from 8 to 12 February. About 25 students from all over Europe engaged in different training activities like debates, group work and brain storming exercises and pondered how more quality can be achieved through student involvement and engagement. 

The QUEST project is built on two pillars that aim at defining a student quality concept and then looking for means to apply and promote this by student experts’ from the European Students’ Union (ESU) on quality and to empower student led quality vision in member unions. The participants of this second QUEST workshop were both current members of the ESU QA Student Experts’ Pool and newcomers, students with quality assurance and student representation experiences on local and national level that afterwards became student experts in the ESU Pool as well. 

The purpose of the QUEST Workshop 2 was to empower the different student representatives to engage with quality process to enhance and assure the students’ learning experience. 
 
The workshop kicked-off with a strong debate on a rather common hot topic regarding the student role in a Higher Education Institution; therefore the participants argued whether students are passive consumers of education whose opinion should be sought through surveys and focus groups or they are partners in their educational experience who shape what they learn. 
 
Hence the quest for quality is all about improving students’ learning experience, the participants were also involved in campaigning skills building
exercises, that also brought more reflection on the different typologies of student leadership, tactics for effective negotiation and identifying and implementing different mechanisms for quality enhancement at institutional level. 
 
Furthermore, the participants also got to contribute to the QUEST project research component, as the preliminary results of the research were presented and the students got the chance to offer their feedback and thoughts on the current findings of the research team.
 
A visit to the European Parliament and meetings with lobby groups (Neth-ER) and the European Commission’s representatives offered participants the change to widen their perspectives on the European dimension of higher educational policy. 
 
A role-play – campaigning for change – facilitated a first practical use of the skills learned during the workshop. Groups of students had to convince their staff and the university leadership.
 
After this training, all participants will be able to continue campaigning for students’ interests in their countries and organisations. QUEST Workshop 3 will take place later this year (probably in the end of summer – the dates will be announced).
 
In the mean time, the Student Experts’ Pool is waiting for new interested students to become involved, especially from the countries not represented yet. Please contact secretariat@esu-online.org for further information. Mention ‘QUEST project’ in the subject line.