03.02.2016 | Blogpost

A student’s view on transparency and anti-corruption

Lea Meister
Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, UK
Transparency and corruption free education are not only crucial for high quality education but for equal access to education – two of the most important goals of the European Students’ Union (ESU). Therefore, the implication of students in combatting corruption is crucial and can be supported through student ownership of their own education and student participation in university governance, quality assurance and curriculum design.
In order to promote student ownership in education, and hereby making them accountable participants in ethical governance and management, advocacy for the treatment of students as full partners is priority for ESU. In a principle of modern collegiality, staff and students should take decisions about the future of their Higher Education institutions democratically and autonomously. ESU is educating and providing student trainers to support the development of national student unions and their members in order to grow stronger and facilitate an increased participation in all relevant bodies (Read more about ESU’s New Pool of Trainers: http://quest.esu-online.org/Pool+of+Trainers+2016).
ESU addresses transparency and quality education through advocacy for student participation in quality assurance processes and through the promotion of the concept of student-centred learning, which fosters partnership between teachers and students through innovative approaches and increases motivation and interactive forms of learning and assessment. This also prevents the progression of education through non-transparent means unrelated to the development of skills and new knowledge. ESU provides various seminars for students to become competent members of quality audit teams or ambassadors of student-centred learning.
Respect for Others, Equity and Social Justice as some of the underlying principles for a corruption-free environment are addressed through ESU’s work in the area of what we call the Social Dimension of Education. ESU is advocating for equal access to education regardless of student background and supports groups underrepresented in higher education. Through sharing best practices for inclusion, such as in the peer-learning project PL4SD, and training students to act in a non-discriminatory manner, ESU promotes the awareness of students for fairness and respect to others.
About the author
Lea Meister was born 1986 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. She has a Master’s degree in Eastern European History and Slavic Languages from the University of Basel in Switzerland. She has been active in the student movement since 2009. She has served as a policy officer at the Students’ Union of the University of Basel and as the International Officer of the Swiss Students’ Union. Since 2014, she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the European Students’ Union (ESIB) and has acted as its Vice-Chair since July 2015. Her main working areas are the Social Dimension of Higher Education and the Public Responsibility for Education.
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