BUDAPEST – Thirty experienced students’ representatives from all over Europe gathered in Hungary from 3 to 9 February to explore different ways to improve organisational knowledge management at European, national and local levels.
These discussions took place in the form of a study session called “Stronger students’ participation for the open society: sharing practices and developing innovative approaches” held at the European Youth Centre in Budapest. The meeting was organised by the European Students’ Union (ESU) and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.
“ESU is a complex organisation with a diverse membership structure, but also a high turnover within its political leadership that is elected every year. At the same time, the policies we are dealing with demand a rather extensive engagement and require a certain level of expertise. Similar things can be said about the member unions that operate in different cultural contexts. They have to grasp international trends fast in order to be efficient in the policymaking processes. Improved knowledge management, including organised training seminars on quality and published toolkits that provide tips for media campaigns, can enhance specific competences. It can also be helpful to improve the level of intercultural literacy, especially in relation to any decision making,” says Karina Ufert, ESU’s Chairperson.
Students shape a community for quality
All these demands are not a novelty for membership-based international organisations, such as ESU. Experience shows that it is possible to improve the knowledge management within organisations by involving a community of experts in the field. Therefore, the participants of the study session were invited to shape such a community, by building from scratch a structure that could help in providing quality trainings or other support.
“As an outcome, we have a well-defined concept of a trainers / facilitators’ pool, which will be further defined with ESU’s Executive Committee and the Board, before starting it up later this year,” Ufert explains.
Another practical aspect that was discussed during the study session was to develop an idea of quality enhancement visits, meant to assist member unions or candidate unions to ESU in that regard.
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012.