On the past weekend, the 1st and 2nd of June, the National Movement of Students’ Associations of Higher Education held a meeting at the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal. NOVA Students’ Union was once again present at the “Encontro Nacional de Direções Associativas” (ENDA).
In this ordinary meeting, students from all over Portugal discussed and defined positions on a broad range of issues like social action and school abandonment, the law of financing bases, the organization of the Higher Education system, the legal system of Institutions and basic law of the Educational system, among others.
During these two days, NOVA SU also presented a motion, which we deem worthy of highlighting.
1) Regarding the students’ accommodation, it was considered that it is still being neglected, and there is a need for the government to reinforce the budget allocation to all the Institutes of Higher Education. It is extremely important that the responsibility imposed by the Constitution and the Law is assumed and the State budget is used correctly. The National Housing Plan should be reviewed insofar as it should cover all the students in Portugal.
2) The values guaranteed for the social meal, and the maximum monthly price of accommodation for students who live in the residences of Social Action Services, suffered a major increase in the past two years. The movement voted to establish an affordable maximum value on both cases.
3) Numerous measures have been presented by NOVA SU, which actively contribute to increasing the environmental sustainability of Portuguese institutions of Higher Education, including cigarettes-adapted rubbish bins, automatic or pedal taps, book reuse program, among others. The main goal was to kick-off a students’ led campaign for more eco-friendly Universities, with the collaboration of the various stakeholders in Higher Education.
4) As regards the level of access to Higher Education, although students recognized the necessity to promote territorial cohesion, we strongly condemn the reduction of vacancies in the institutions of Lisbon and Oporto. There is a need to discuss this strategy settled by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. We also believe students should be involved in the process of the decision making.
5) Another subject pointed out was the necessity to set criteria for the attribution of scholarships, that should also consider the educational costs and other living costs due to what the frequency in Higher Education entails.
6) Furthermore, Portugal, through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education, should take the lead regarding the evolution of Artificial Intelligence. The implementation and the reinforcement of courses from bachelor programs to PhDs with this subjects was one solution mentioned.
The Session ended with the presentation and discussion of a proposal presented by NOVA SU to receive the next meeting (ENDA). The proposal was approved, and it will take place on the 1st and 2nd of September, on the facilities of our new campus in Carcavelos.
In conclusion, we dare saying the meeting was a huge success. The positions which were firmed are ones of enormous importance. Furthermore, and regarding NOVA SU solely, we firmly believe our participation was a frankly positive one. Whether by presenting our motion, by running for the position of host for the next meeting, or even by our constant participation in the discussions and subsequent networking, our presence was a notable one, and we are thus continuing to actively promote NOVA SBE students’ values and ideas throughout the country.
António is a Bachelor in Management student at NOVA School of Business and Economics, current Vice President of NOVA Student’s Union and member of Associação Académica de Lisboa. Besides his interest in Educational Policy he is also enthusiastic for sports and entrepreneurship.
Rodrigo is the President of the Masters Students’ Network, Vice-President of NOVA SU, and a member of NOVA’s Economics Club. Having finished his Bachelors in Economics at ISCTE Business School, he is currently in the 1st year of his Masters in Economics at NOVA. Besides his obvious interest in economics, he is also fond of politics and financial markets.
Last modified: 20/06/2018