In the Bologna Process, all the countries that embrace it should recognise the students as partners with full rights in the academic communities. The Prague Communique from 2001, was one of the first documents which acknowledged this and highlighted the necessity of students’ inclusion in “higher education reforms”. Two years later, the Berlin Communique marked the constructive participation of student organisations in the Bologna process and underlined the necessity to continuously include students in the decision-making processes.
It states that “students are full partners in higher education governance”. The Ministers also called on institutions and student organisations to identify ways of increasing actual student involvement in higher education governance. Students do not represent a minority in the academic community, but one of the basic pillars, being placed in the centre of the educational activities. As direct recipients of the education, students should have an important word to say when it comes to deciding the future of their universities or for instance when electing the rector of a higher education institution.
Unfortunately, the representation of Romanian students counts on average only 12,18% in the rector’s election process in the state universities. Therefore, it is no surprise that the rectors elected in 2016 have not included student issues as priorities of their institutions’ strategic plans. According to an analysis of the managing plans conducted by ANOSR, one-third of the rectors have not mentioned at all the notion of student-centred learning; only one rector approached the subject of students’ involvement in research activities and only five rectors proposed mechanisms that would reduce the university drop-out. Other issues, such as employability, student practice, permanent dialogue between university managing structures and students’ representatives, facilities for students (such as dorms, canteens, sports centres, scholarships and other financial support), counselling and increased rate of international mobilities for domestic students or facilities for students with special needs have not represented a priority for most of the rectors in public universities.
The European Students’ Union strongly believes that student participation in the decision processes would be beneficial for the whole academic community. Consequently, ESU underlines the importance of students’ involvement and supports the ANOSR request of at least 25% share of students’ participation in rectors’ elections in Romania.
Proposed by: ANOSR
Seconded by: CSC, UDU, PSRP, SKONUS, SURS, SSU, SKRVS, SRVS, ASM, SPUM, DSF, NASC,
FAGE, HOOK, CREUP, NUS UK, fzs