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Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!

by Board of European Students of Technology
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Higher education in Europe: a students' tale!
Educational Involvement Responsibles in BEST
Educational Involvement Responsibles in BEST

In the month of April, our tale got a new twist. Due to COVID-19, the summer season activities of the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) got canceled, including the 4 BEST Symposia on Education in Budapest, Tallinn, Wroclaw, and Cluj-Napoca that were scheduled to happen in July 2020. These were the Symposia for which we asked for your support, and luckily we can tell you that they are not forgotten entirely. For a starter, they got postponed to the summer season 2021, and we truly hope that the extra time we get to prepare those Symposia will result in even better events! Secondly, we organised an online alternative event to compensate for all the canceled live activities. This online event was called BEST Virtual Summit (see link below) and I’ll tell you all about it in the next paragraph.

The topic of the BEST Virtual Summit, our online alternative for the Symposia, was closely related to the improvement of education and the aspect of Digital Literacy. All the involved speakers were asked to tell European STEM students what they thought education, work, and the SDGs would look like after COVID-19. The motto of the event was: ‘Do not undergo the changes, help shape them!’ It is just this spirit that should have been part of the BEST Symposia on Education as well, so we are happy that with this online alternative we could compensate for the loss of these live events.

As one Symposium on Education was actually going to focus on ‘The infinite possibilities of collaboration within digital literacy’, we already set up a great test case with this Virtual Summit. Not only did we hold keynotes, panel discussions, and training sessions during this online conference, we even had an online case-study - with more than 35 participants working on a real-life company problem around the inclusion of people with disabilities-, a series of podcasts and a Virtual Gala Dinner at the end. Are the limits of working online really infinite?

Well, you tell me: at least 100 people joined our online networking sessions (such as the Virtual Gala), 600 people watched the other 25+ sessions during a period of 7 days and 50 000 people were reached with the promo of this event! Plus, all these keynotes and discussions will remain on the internet for years to come, so that everyone can look back on these challenging times we faced during the previous months and see how and what type of action can be taken to go forward!

To conclude, I leave you with some pictures of our online event and the following inspirational words that I heard during the BEST Virtual Summit: “Don’t lose fate in the fact that your voices are heard and that you can have an impact on shaping the future of education.” - João

Laura on the topic of Education
Laura on the topic of Education
Student NGOs on their contribution to the SDGs
Student NGOs on their contribution to the SDGs
The Virtual Gala Dinner
The Virtual Gala Dinner

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In the month of December, our tale began. We started off strong by promoting our survey about digital literacy skills among European students of higher STEM education. This survey is the first step in our Educational Involvement programme, which aims to give European STEM students a voice in educational matters. The topic of this year’s programme is Digital Literacy and we started to raise funds for this cause at the same time our first survey answers started to float in.

After a month of promoting both the survey and the donations campaign we can proudly present to you the first statistics:

  • In total, we got around 640 answers on our survey. You can find how these answers are distributed across different countries and genders in the attached charts.
  • However, the people who saw our initiative are way more numerous. 
    • On Facebook the average statistics of 4 posts over the period of one month (14/11/2019 until 14/12/2019) are the following:
      • 5700 people reached per post
      • 120 likes per post
      • 230 clicks per post
    • On LinkedIn the average statistics of 2 posts over the period of one month (14/11/2019 until 14/12/2019) are the following:
      • 3450 people reached per post
      • 40 likes per post
      • 40 clicks per post
    • On Instagram the average statistics of 4 posts over the period of one month (14/11/2019 until 14/12/2019) are the following:
      • 1100 people reached per post
      • 85 likes per post
      • 25 clicks per post
  • Aside from all the people reached by the survey promotion, we also reached a bunch of (potential) donors through the GlobalGiving platform. 1700 people viewed our GlobalGiving campaign page and around 60 of them donated to this cause. Together they supported us with a stunning 800 euros and made sure we got vetted as a GlobalGiving permanent partner! We owe them all a big thank you and hope that this report will reach them, to show them our progress and future goals.
  • One of those future goals is to organize 4 BEST Symposia on Education, in which in total 88 students will participate. For all of these Symposia the first preparations have been made: 
    • We have set the places and dates of each of the events. We chose Budapest, Tallinn, Wroclaw, and Cluj-Napoca to host the symposia during the entire month of July 2020.
    • We have also divided the topics, concerning Digital Literacy, among those symposia. We came up with 4 themes: ‘Digital Literacy and the Gap of the Genders’, ‘Digital Literacy, do you speak it?’, ‘A, B, C, Digital Literacy!’ and ‘The infinite possibilities of collaboration within digital literacy’. Each of these themes will be worked out further by the facilitators of the symposia, in close collaboration with our Educational Involvement team within BEST and the relevant speakers of the Symposia.
    • For more information on each topic, or for applying to the events, check out this link: https://best.eu.org/educationalInvolvement/BESTSymposiaOnEducation.jsp.
  • Another future goal is to go to at least 3 conferences with the results of our survey and the report of our Symposia. This will happen from September 2020 onwards and will last until 2021. The more money we raise on GlobalGiving, the more attendees we will be able to send to these conferences. Raising donations is thus one way in which we allow more students to experience a high-quality conference and develop themselves in communicating with policymakers. Conferences we will try to attend include: 
    • SEFI Annual Conference
    • IACEE International Conference
    • ICL International Conference
  • The last goal we are striving for is other ways of disseminating our results, besides the conferences. This will vary from publications in journals related to engineering (e.g. GlobalEngineer IFEES-GEDC Bulletin) to the spreading of the survey results on our social media channels and maybe even till the point in which BEST writes a position paper regarding Digital Literacy among European STEM students.

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Organization Information

Board of European Students of Technology

Location: Brussels - Belgium
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @bestorg
Project Leader:
Fleur Dooms
Brussels, Belgium
$1,061 raised of $8,811 goal
 
67 donations
$7,750 to go
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