February 12 on the day 100 years since the unions met in Uppsala for a discussion on the formation of the Swedish student unions' national organization. An important day in the history of student influence and SFS. Therefore, it was extra fun to see that so many were interested in our webinar "student participation for the future today.
The following panel participated in the webinar, which was moderated by SFS chairman Simon Edström:
- Coco Norén, Vice-Chancellor Uppsala University
- Agneta Bladh, Special Investigator Internationalization Inquiry
- Jacob Färnert, Chairman of the Uppsala Student Union
- Anna Ivert, Chairman of the Uppsala Technological and Scientific Union
- Anna Ruus, Student and doctoral student representative
It was a rewarding and instructive discussion about how we can build and develop a strong student influence. Several in the panel mentioned that it is extremely important that there is a culture that sees student participation and students' presence in rooms where decisions are taken for granted. Student representatives also need to be given the conditions required to participate on equal terms. Among others, Jacob Färnert also addressed the lack of resources many student unions suffer from and emphasized the importance of having sufficient resources to be able to build a strong student influence in the long term.
The panel also talked about the opportunity for international students to be part of the student influence. Anna Ivert shared her experiences at the Uppsala Technological and Scientific Corps, where one of the full-time employees is an international student, with difficulties in obtaining information and knowing where to turn. Agneta Bladh also sent a message to politicians about adopting the Internationalization Inquiry's proposal that exchange students in the formal sense should also be classified as students.
The webinar was part of SFS 'anniversary seminar which is organized on the occasion of SFS' 100th anniversary in 2021. During the year, we will arrange seminars around the country. Each seminar has a theme and we will deal with current political issues that concern both the academy and students' life situation. The seminars are currently digital due to current corona restrictions, but may be arranged physically later. SFS follows the situation closely and follows the Swedish Public Health Agency's restrictions.
Please read SFS debate article in Ergo on the same theme