SLG Meeting 2014
Lund University hosted the inaugural meeting of U21 Student Leaders´ Group (U21 SLG) at the end of February 2014. 27 representatives from 14 institutions gathered to form one of the largest international student leaders’ groups. In line with the U21 theme of global citizenship, important student issues were discussed and important bonds were forged across continents. The meeting resulted in the decision to establish a student group with an interim organisational structure until a statute can be introduced. In conjunction with this decision a shared vision for the U21 SLG was agreed upon:
The U21 Student Leaders’ Group (U21 SLG) is a global network of student leaders that seeks to be a strong and united student voice throughout the U21 network. As a student engagement forum, the U21 SLN will give Universitas 21’s activity a student perspective.
To lay the foundation for the discussions, the delegates had the opportunity to listen to key people from the past and future. Among them was Frank Coton, who gave a much appreciated presentation about U21 which inspired a vivid discussion on how the network could develop its work on student-relevant issues. Jo Odds, a student representative from the former U21 Student Network (active between 1998-2004) spoke about her experiences from that time. She shared exciting best practices and recommended that the delegates should keep a focus on the important discussions on U21 issues, rather than the structure of the Student Leaders’ Network.
Karin Frydenlund held a session about intercultural communication. Through laughter, a card game with questionable rules and a presentation she gave the delegates new perspectives on the challenges of working across borders which were very useful in the following discussions. Furthermore, the meeting provided formal and informal opportunities for the delegates to share experiences from the work at their home institutions. The delegates found that many of the current challenges for the students, as well as for the student organisations were the same throughout the global arena, for example work with flipped classroom experiences, student economy and diversity within the student body.