Involving students in the university governance
Increasing the participation of students in the decision-making process and ensuring active participation of student representatives in the governance of the university through a well-established representation system. The influence of student representatives on the university governance also contributes to the enhancement of the trust of students in their representatives and the credibility of the representation system. The below system of students’ participation in the decision making process is suggested.
Students as members of university boards: student representatives should be part of the university board and have the same rights as all other board members, including the right to vote.
Student representation structures: clear representation systems among universities such as councils, senates or government. Structures are officially recognized by the university and have clear by-laws mentioning their rights and duties. Their participation (level, modalities, etc.) in the decision making process is clearly defined in the by-laws.
Meetings and communication with the central administration: students are invited to upper management meetings for consultation or voting.
Potential challenges and suggested solutions
The main obstacle identified is the resistance of the central administration. The modalities and the role of students in the university governance should be well prepared in advance in according to a clear and transparent policy that would lead to the university buy-in.