BERGEN – Lea Meister from Switzerland has been elected as Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU). Along with Lea, two Vice-Chairpersons, Liva Vikmane (Latvia) and Blazhe Todorovski (Macedonia) as well as seven Executive Committee members were also elected at the 70th Board Meeting of ESU taking place in Bergen, Norway, from 9 to 14 May.
For the positions of the seven Executive Committee members, the following student representatives were elected: Beth Button (UK), Frederik Bach (Denmark), Chiara Patricolo (Italy), Gramoz Shpendi (Finland), Aleksandar Šušnjar (Croatia), Adam Gajek (Poland) and Milana Jankovic (Serbia).
Over 100 delegates from 45 national unions of students from 38 countries participated in the meeting. The newly elected leadership will represent more than 15 million students in Europe. Their one year mandate will start on 1 July 2016.
Lea Meister is currently studying Educational Sciences and she has a Master of Arts in Eastern European History and Slavic Languages from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She has a long history of student engagement, including being International Officer of the Swiss Students‘ Union (VSS-UNES-USU) and Higher Education Policy Officer of the Student Union of the University of Basel. Since 2014, Lea has been Vice-Chairperson and Member of the Executive Committee at the European Students’ Union (ESU).
„Student unions need to be at the forefront of the discussions and negotiations for inclusive education, at a high quality. We have to be aware of the hardships of groups and individuals and support all accordingly in order to reach progress not only in higher education, not only in our countries, but also to create a better future for Europe in general.” commented Lea when asked about her expectations for his term as a Chairperson.
Background on ESU´s new Vice-Chairs
Liva Vikmane was a member of the Executive Committee 2015/2016. She was working in the Social Dimension and Public Responsibility fields with the focuses on Social Dimension in Bologna Process, student support services and commodification of Higher Education. Liva has been active in the student movement for four years, previously holding a position as an International Affairs Officer at the Student Union of Latvia (LSA) and a Vice-chair on International students’ integration at Student Council of Riga Stradinš University. She also has been a student representative in national Bologna Process structures in Latvia. At the moment Liva is majoring in International relations and sociology and in her spare time enjoys a good read and hiking.
Blazhe Todorovski studies Law at the University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje. Since 2012, Blazhe has been member of the Executive Committee and from July 2015 he has been serving as Vice-Chairperson of the European Students’ Union. Blazhe has been involved in student representation and education policies at national and European Level, working as part of the ESU Quality Assurance Experts’ Pool expert pool and member of the experts’ pool at the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA).