EELISA is approaching its second year and promoting students involvement is a key to ensure a transformative and successful implementation. Laura Tierling, interim leader of EELISA Work Package 7 “Mobility, inclusiveness, and student participation of EELISA”, gives us an insight into their plans for the beginning of the academic year 2021/22. Whether you are an EELISA academic or a student, don’t miss this preview of the proposals Laura’s team is working on.
Q. What is the main focus of Work Package 7 at this moment?
A. In 2021, the work of WP7 concentrates on the implementation of the Erasmus Without Paper project, which is a constituting part of the European Student Card Initiative of the European Commission and will facilitate the administrative processes that make mobility within the Alliance possible. Another important focus lies on the topics of inclusiveness, more specifically on gender equality, and student participation.
Q. What actions are you planning to facilitate such mobility of students?
A. There are many actions planned to reach this goal such as the creation of a dedicated EELISA Welcome Desk, the enhancement of the linguistic and multicultural skills of the administrative staff, and the implementation of the European Student Card Initiative. At present, the most advanced elements are the EELISA Welcome Desk, and the implementation of the Erasmus Without Paper project, as mentioned above.
Q. And what about inclusiveness?
A. We just set up a workgroup dedicated to the topic of Gender and Gender Equality within the Alliance. Of course, every institution is represented, and the group will tackle for example the development of a Gender Equality Plan on the EELISA level, and how to promote gender balance effectively.
Of course, there are more topics linked to inclusiveness: The Alliance focuses also on the promotion of social diversity, and another priority is to facilitate the integration of students with special needs.
Q. Finally, what are your plans to boost the participation of students?
A. We are currently looking for our first EELISA Student Ambassadors. In total, almost 70 students are starting their mobility within the Alliance at the beginning of this academic year, and they will have plenty of opportunities to get engaged and share their experiences. For example, they can produce their own podcast series and spread the word about the advantages that come along with being part of the EELISA adventure. Moreover, we are organizing a workshop for the elected EELISA Student Representatives in the middle of September. The aim is to carry out a scheme of their involvement at every level and in every body of EELISA. The students are at the core of our Alliance, and we will make sure that their voices and opinions are heard loud and clearly because EELISA is not only being built for students but with them.