13.-15. October, NOKUT invited engaged students from different organisations to a student gathering in Asker. The theme for the seminar was «students as partners in their own education: how Centres of Excellence include and stimulate students in their work». This included the development of the centres, teaching, centre projects, programme designs and learning resources.
The seminar started off with an introduction to the weekend, after which we were divided in groups with students from other CoEs to exchange thoughts and experiences. In addition to us from bioCEED (from both UiB and UNIS), there were students representing Engage, Excited, CCSE, ProTed, Matric, CEFIMA and several other student organisations. As students from different organisations were brought together, this laid the foundation of a network and possible cooperation across CoEs.
During the weekend, we had workshops in debate technique, scientific writing and also a student involvement session with a representative from SPARQS (Students partnership in Quality Scotland). In the end, the students discussed and evaluated the outcome of the seminar in groups, and together we decided on some success criteria for student engagement. First of all it is important that student involvement is facilitated. There has to be a culture for student engagement, and for this to work, it is also important with direct communication between all parts of the institution. In addition, students should be the one running the activities. It was also discussed that student engagement should be welcomed by all parts of the institution, both from the students, from lecturers and from the institutional staff.
During the seminar we also discussed what we as student representatives in bioCEED wanted to work more within our institutions. It was argued that one goal could be to increase our activities outside the institutions, and also include students even more than has already been done. In addition, the advantages of better communications between the different CoEs was highlighted, and this student seminar was a nice way to improve the contact between students from different organisations and universities.
Ingvild Eldøy and Mari Vold Bjordal