Edition 211 - November 2018

Reykjavik student conference focuses on quality in a broad sense

Quality in higher education is a multidimensional concept that touches upon the study environment as a whole - yet, students are all too often unaware of quality assurance activities. The Icelandic Erasmus+ project Bologna Reforms in Iceland aims to improve this situation by training students to use their voice as effectively as possible. This was the objective of a national conference entitled: “High quality at universities and students’ environment – or what?” held within the framework of the project in Reykjavik on 13 October 2018. 

The conference was organised by the National Union of Icelandic Students (LÍS) and Rannís, and gathered stakeholders in Icelandic higher education, including students, quality managers, national authorities and providers of student services. Experts from Ireland and the Republic of Macedonia provided training in English to students on quality assurance and enhancement within higher education institutions. In addition, participants attended mini-sessions on various topics, such as the results of Eurostudent VI and their meaning for student life in Iceland, the housing situation of students, the response of universities to sexual harassment and abuse and the student initiative Student Refugees. 

The key to raise students’ interest in quality affairs is to ensure that the topic is accessible and comprehensible. Student representatives, who may be active in quality work at their institutions only for a limited period of time, need to be able to diveeasily into the field. In order to make this process smoother, LÍS launched at the conference an informal podcast for students as well as a guideline that will help them entering the world of quality in higher education. These tools are available in Icelandic only, but any organisations interested in receiving more information are very welcome to contact Rannís or LÍS that will be happy to share experience and advise. 

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