A strong, independent and competent student influence is an important factor in the work of ensuring high quality in higher education. In addition to this important mission, student influence is a way for individuals to learn democratic processes, something that both the individual and society at large benefit from.
Student influence is organized through student unions, which, among other things, have the task of appointing student representatives to the higher education institutions' various decision-making bodies. The system is based on the willingness of students to exercise influence over their educations.
Student influence is regulated by the Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Ordinance and the Student Union Ordinance. Among other things, students are given the right to be represented when decisions are made or preparation takes place that is important for the educations or the students 'situation within the state universities' organization. Students also have the right to appoint three members to the board of their university.
For students at individual education providers (non-state higher education institutions), the Higher Education Act does not apply in its entirety, which means that the rules for student influence are not as comprehensive. Individual education providers can, for example, decide for themselves whether membership in a student union should be compulsory for students at the university.
However, both state higher education institutions and individual education providers must be included in UKÄ's quality assurance system. Within the quality assurance system, a student perspective must be included in the reviews. One purpose of student influence is for students to monitor the quality of education, which no higher education institution can ignore.
SFS is tasked with pursuing student influence at the national level, which takes place through dialogue with authorities and decision-makers.