Students created the ECIU University Student Council model

ECIU | 2024-04-24

At the beginning of April this year, student representatives from ECIU member universities met at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) to develop a model for an ECIU University Student Council. Students from all the 13 ECIU member universities in Europe and Mexico attended the meeting. Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) was represented by Osvaldas Žilinskas, studying bachelor’s in Informatics Engineering.

“We gathered in Hamburg to discuss and lay the foundations for the future ECIU University Student Council: what it should look like, who could be elected, what it should be responsible for and what it should do,” says Žilinskas.

Student Council will represent the needs of students

Since 2019, KTU has been developing the ECIU University with partnering higher education institutions. Students are a large part of this organisation, and to represent them as effectively as possible, there was a need for ECIU University to have a team representing the students. The meeting at Hamburg University of Technology was dedicated to creating a model for the ECIU University Student Council.

“During the first day of the discussion, we were getting to know the student representatives of each ECIU member university, and their specificities, to discuss how different universities involve their students in the activities of the ECIU University, what is and should be the role of the ECIU student ambassadors in the overall context of the ECIU University,” says Osvaldas.

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to combining and adapting the vision outlined by representatives of different universities, to build a solid foundation for the ECIU Student Council.

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ECIu Univresity students' meeting at Hamburg University of Technology

“We discussed many things – from how and when student representatives should be elected in local student unions to the role of student representatives and student ambassadors in the ECIU University,” says a KTU student, who took part in the discussion.

In addition, the students elaborated on the role of the Student Council in the governance and development of the ECIU University itself, what the Council should look like, and who could be elected to it. According to Osvaldas, the meeting went well, and in a short time, the students managed to discuss many different subjects.

“We decided that the ECIU Student Council should represent the needs of ECIU students and researchers, initiate change and actively monitor all activities of the ECIU University, involve student ambassadors in working groups and of course build a strong, cohesive and community-based ECIU University,” says KTU student of the Faculty of Informatics.

The discussion will continue, as several more meetings are planned in the coming months. A physical meeting in October 2024 is planned for the finalisation of ideas and documents.

Getting to know European universities

For KTU second year informatics engineering student, the trip offered many memorable moments. After returning from Hamburg, he said that the best way to describe the whole experience was the feeling that after two days of interaction with students from other universities, it seemed that they had known each other for several years.

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Getting to know peers from other ECIU partner universities – a very valuable experience.

“I strongly recommend everyone to take part in the ECIU University activities, as they allow you not only to broaden your knowledge but also to get to know very different people and cultures, thus help breaking stereotypes,” says Žilinskas.

Most of all, Osvaldas was impressed by internationality, cultural differences and, above all, the friendliness of the TUHH community.

In his free time, the KTU student had the opportunity to get to know Hamburg better.

He says that the city is very unique and different as it is made up of four different boroughs.

“The most charming district of Hamburg is the one where TUHH is located. The old, cosy and self-contained houses, the narrow streets and the long, curved lanterns give the streets a German atmosphere,” says the student, who represented KTU at the ECIU University students’ meeting.

Osvaldas also had the opportunity to discuss what it is like to study at different ECIU member universities.

“KTU allows you to study micro-modules and get ECTS credits for it, which are included in the total basket of credits. Also, KTU has an ECIU mobility programme, which is not available at other universities,” says Osvaldas, convinced that KTU students get the most of ECIU University membership.