From the 8th until the 11th of March student representatives from across Europe visited Amsterdam for the European Student Convention (ESC) on modernisation of higher education. The ESC was organised by the Dutch National Student Association (ISO, Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg) and the Dutch National Student Union (LSVb, Landelijke Studenten Vakbond) as part of the Dutch presidency of the European Council. The ESC focussed on several topics: digitalization, internationalization and curriculum design. After three days of interesting discussions, workshops and speeches of keynote speakers, the students presented their conclusions and recommendations to the Dutch minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker.
The student representatives recommended among other things, that digital learning should be used as a supplement, and not been seen as a way to replace or reduce the availability of traditional learning. Digitalisation should never be used as an excuse for budget cuts to higher education nor impose extra costs for students. Besides that, the students called for a stronger internationalization of curricula, as well as the inclusion of exchange programs within the curricula to improve flexibility. To conclude, the students emphasized that it is very important that students are involved in the process of curriculum design. Especially since they are experts of their own education.
ISO and LSVb are satisfied with the success of the conference and are looking forward to spread and discuss the recommendations amongst Dutch policymakers and experts of higher education.