Andrea Ugrinoska and Maarten de Groot – EPM topic on “The Future of the University – it’s in OUR hands!”

Another proposal for the EPM is coming from Andrea Ugrinoska & Maarten de Groot who want to focus on three major questions regarding the future of the university: “1. What were the causes of the different student protests that have emerged in European university cities over the last one or two years and how did the protests come to an end (or not)? 2. What are the underlying fundamental questions about the organization of university education and the role of the university in society that these protests have called attention to? 3. What can and what should students do to make their voices heard?


Amsterdam4 Andrea and Maarten are interested in the topic as they both live in cities where protests about the university have taken place, respectively Skopje and Amsterdam. Although the reason of the protests is slightly different, they consider that at the roots of the protests stands the purpose of education in general and that every student should be interested in understanding what they are fighting about. The success or failure of the protests depends on the support and involvement of everyone, nationally as well as internationally. The main purpose of the event would be to inform the European young citizens exactly what’s going on and not to get negatively influenced by the mass-media.

IstanbulAsked how they think AEGEE can improve the situation, they replied: “As Europe’s largest interdisciplinary student association, we believe that AEGEE doesn’t only have the responsibility, but also the potential to make a difference here. The difference to be made should not only be sought in the direction of (European-level) advocacy. We can and we must be more creative and innovative than that. We should realize, first of all, that awareness-raising among our own members and among the general public is key to any open discussion and, as such, to societal change. As both our generation and our association is known for its ‘connectedness’, we’d better make sure to exploit this to the fullest and target the public through a variety of (social media) campaigns and activities.

AEGEEans all over Europe, as a large community of young people can have a great impact on the perspective of others around them, not only colleagues from their universities, but also family and friends:

Each and every one of us can tell about Skopjehis or her own experiences at home, share personal viewpoints and learn from one another and from fellow activist students. It is in the exchange of stories from students from very diverse social, cultural, national and educational backgrounds that resides the almost unique value that AEGEEans can collectively add to the discussion on the future of university education.

If the topic will be accepted at the Agora, both Andrea and Maarten are willing to be Content Manager of the event.


Written by Gabriela Cioata, AEGEE-Bucuresti


You can read the full proposal here (login required).