Between the 5th to 8th of October, it was time for the 83rd Nordiskt Ordförandemøte (NOM), in Vilnius! Andreé from SFS international committee Komit and Klara, SFS vice president, participated at this meeting. NOM is the collaborative body for Nordic and Baltic national student unions and SFS’s main platform for cooperation in the European Students’ Union (ESU). NOM-meetings both consist of seminar days, where we learn more about a topic from each other and from invited speakers, but also a formal meeting where we discuss and decide on our collaboration in matters regarding higher education.
The hosting of the physical NOM-meetings rotate amongst the national member unions, and this time it was the Lithuanian Student Union, LSS, turn! One year ago, SFS was the host of the 82nd NOM in Gothenburg.
Each NOM-meeting has a theme to focus on and this time it was the lifelong learning (LLL): The European skills agenda, and the concept of lifelong learning. The theme was also related to the fact that this year has been designated as the European Year of Skills, emphasizing the increasing importance of expanding educational opportunities for students and all individuals to reshape their learning experiences.
Thursday began with an introductory speech by LSS president Paulius Vaitiekus. After that, Marius Vaščega, who is the Head of the European Commission’s Office in Vilnius, spoke about the importance of lifelong learning and the role of the national student unions when it comes to engaging for change.
Friday was the first full day of NOM82 with mixed presentations and discussions on quality and flexibility in higher education in relation to lifelong learning. Friday began with a seminar by Aurelija Okunytė, Head of the E-learning Group at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, who talked about Flexibility: E-learning / distance learning, where one interesting aspect of international digitalization of higher education is the access to digital infrastructure in different countries. Then it was the turn of the participating national student unions to present their view of lifelong learning. SFS presented the Swedish higher education system in regards to lifelong learning.
Saturday was also filled with presentations and workshops regarding validation on prior learning and admission to higher education. Emily MacPherson, member of ESU’s executive committee, held an interesting presentation about accessibility in higher education.
Sunday was the last day of NOM and when the formal meeting was held. There, we first and foremost discussed the up and coming board meeting of ESU in Tallinn in November.
We had a great time with a lot of new knowledge to bring home to our continued work on both the national and european level. A warm thank you to the Lithuanian Student Union LSS for hosting and arranging a wonderful NOM-meeting!