Who are the newly elected ESU representatives? What are their studies of interest and what policy actions are they focusing on in ESU?
Fernando Galán, Chairperson
Fernando Galán from Spain is Chairperson of ESU since July 2015, having served as vice-chairperson and, a year earlier, as a member of ESU’s Executive Committee. Since he began his university education as medical student at the University of Cantabria (Santander, Spain) he has been involved in different levels of student representation at national and university level. He has also been Erasmus student at the Università Degli Studi di Bari (Bari, Italy) and participated in several international student exchanges. Fernando’s work as a student representative has been mostly focused on the fields of student-centred learning, online education, rankings, recognition and quality assurance. As ESU representative, Fernando has participated in the Bologna Follow-Up Group and different experts‘ groups of the EU, Council of Europe and UNESCO.
Blazhe Todorovski, Vice-Chair
Blazhe Todorovski was born 1987 in Skopje, Macedonia. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and he is currently following his Master Studies of Business Law at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. Blazhe has been involved in the work of student organisations since the beginning of his studies. Since July 2012 he has been member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union. In the upcoming term he’ll serve as one of the Vice-chairpersons of ESU. His main working area has been Quality of higher education with main focus on Quality Assurance. In the coming year, aside from Quality Assurance of Higher Education, he will be also responsible for Mobility and Internationalisation. In spare time: sports and hanging out with friends.
Lea Meister, Vice-Chair
Lea Meister was born in 1986 in Schaffhausen Switzerland. She has a Master degree in Eastern European History and Slavic Languages from the University of Basel in Switzerland. She currently studies Educational Sciences. Lea has been active in the student movement since 2009, has served as a policy officer at the Students’ Union of the University of Basel and as the International Officer of the Swiss Students’ Union. Since June 2014 she was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union and will be its Vice-Chair as of July 2015. She has mainly been working on the social dimension of and public responsibility for education, where she did not only analyse the links between the two mentioned topics but as well assessed the students’ view about the social dimension in their countries. Else: Summer, sea, mountains and reading in several languages.
Liva Vikmane – member of the Executive Committee 2015/2016. 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 studying International relations and in her spare time enjoys a good read and hiking.
Karolina Pietkiewicz – a member of the Executive Committee of European Students’ Union in 2014/15 and 2015/16 engaged in the local, national and international student movement for several years. Working in mobility and internationalisation field with and for the national students’ unions from all around Europe with the main focus on mobility, internationaliation at home and recognition. Former representative in Bologna Process Council by Ministry of Science and Higher Education and former International Officer of Students’ Parliament of the Republic of Poland and Chairperson of the University of Warsaw Students’ Union. Holding Bachelor’s in applied linguistics and studying management at the University of Warsaw. In spare time: bookworm dreaming of winning the next Masterchef.
Cristi Popescu is a member of the Executive Committee of European Student`s Union. His work focuses on quality of higher education, dealing mainly with quality assurance, student centred learning and transparency tools. He is studying now Political Sciences at the National School for Political Studies and Public Administration of Bucharest. He represented the Romanian students as president of the National Alliance of Student Organisations in Romania (ANOSR) in 2014-2015 and was a board member of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ARACIS). He believes student involvement in decision-making processes is essential to have quality higher education systems and ensuring access to higher education to all talented people, despite their background, is the best long-term investment societies can do.
Rebecka Stenkvist has been engaged in the student movement since many years. As a member of the Executive Committee of European Students’ Union her main focus lies in the area of social dimension, including lifelong learning and student support. As former Chairperson of the Swedish National Union of Students and the Student Union of Södertörn University as well as in the board of ESU her experience in the student movement is broad. Rebecka is a student of rhetorics, Swedish language and communication at Södertörn University.
Tijana Isoski is elected member of the Executive Committee of European Student`s Union for the second mandate in 2015/2016. Her work focuses on quality of higher education, and her main areas of work are student-centred learning, structural reforms of higher education and online learning. She is content coordinator of PASCL project (Peer Assessment of Student-Centred Learning) fostering implementation and developing guidelines for assessment of student-centred learning approach. Coming from Serbia, Tijana is studying Economics- International Trade at the University of Belgrade. Throughout the years, she has been fighting for students’ rights as student representative on her faculty, international officer of Students Union of Serbia and Deputy Secretary & Internal affairs of the Mediterranean Student Network.
Viktor Grønne (23 years old) is a member of the European Students’ Union’s Executive Committee 2015/2016. Prior to this he served one year as the Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator. His working areas include Mobility & Internationalisation and the Social Dimension, with an emphasis given to recognition of prior learning and global student issues, including the post-2015 process. Before his time in ESU he served on the study board and in the Academic Council in his university, as a coordinator of the Danish-Zimbabwean student partnership, and three years as a Danish representative to the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions. Viktor holds a bachelor in Business Administration and Organisational Communication, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School.
William BENN is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union for the 2015-2016 period, after having served one year as ESU’s Membership Coordinator during the previous mandate. This year he will be focusing on public responsibility, especially dealing with matters of employability, financing of higher education, and student governance. Additionally, he will be tasked with the establishment of ESU’s new Trainers Pool, aimed to provide close support to student representatives throughout Europe. Former Chairperson of the Aquitaine Union of Students in France, and elected to the administration council of the Bordeaux Montaigne University, he holds two bachelor degrees, in International Commerce and History, and will be studying a Master’s in Conflict Resolution in Paris. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to out-of-the-way places, and reading.
Chiara Patricolo, Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator
Chiara Patricolo is the European Students’ Union Coordinator for Human Rights and Solidarity for mandate 2015-2016. She is a member of the Academic Senate and of the Student Council of the University of Bologna and president of the Regional Council of Students in Emilia-Romagna. She has a bachelor in International Relations and is currently studying for a master in International Relations and Diplomatic Affairs in Forlì, part of the university of Bologna, where she has been the leader of the local students’ union from 2012 to 2014. She has been UdU’s –the Italian Students’ Union- international officer from 2013 to 2015. She loves reading, travelling and meeting new people.
Martin Retelj, Membership Coordinator
Martin Retelj – a Membership coordinator 2015/2016, included in Public Responsibility and Quality clusters. He is former member of the international board of Slovenian Students’ Union and he acted as head of social and health affairs committee at Students Clubs’ Association of Slovenia. He studies international relations at University of Ljubljana. In his spare time he is voluntarily firefighter, likes to go hiking and motor riding.
Melanie Frohlich, Equality Coordinator
The second mandate as Equality Coordinator for the European Students’ Union (ESU). Besides working on equality (related), issues the fields of expertise are new approaches to teaching and learning and social dimension in general. Former Bologna Expert in Germany and student representative within the Executive Committee of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Working within the students’ movement since “almost forever” on different levels. Studying Spanish and Chemistry to become a teacher at some point.