EÜL to promote advocacy capabilities of international students in Estonia

The Federation of Estonian Student Unions has launched a new project “Growing Ties: Student Democracy in a Transnational Era” (ÜHA). The purpose of the project is to improve student advocacy in Estonia in accordance with the growing numbers of international students. The project is set to take place until August 2021. It will offer international students various skills to represent their own rights as well as the rights of fellow students, skills to get accustomed to work and internship in Estonia and opportunities to network with current student activists in Estonia. In addition, EÜL will help facilitate the opinions and viewpoints of international students to the general public.

The broader purpose of the project is to encourage internationalisation of higher education and to alleviate societal unease concerning migration. Transnationality in higher education showcases that students might have ties to more countries than one (their home country and their country of studies, for example) and emphasises the possibility that the student’s skills and knowledge may find application in more than one society simultaneously.

The project is coordinated by EÜL’s project manager Renate Gross, in whose opinion internationalisation is a natural part of our ever evolving world and having students from different countries perceive Estonia as an attractive place for obtaining a higher education should be warmly welcomed.

“International students are a great example of how people can live in several societies concurrently in our contemporary world, at the same time the new transnational world has created challenges in integrating international students and having them be democratically represented. We hope to contribute to better understanding and use of transnationality within the students and our societies as a whole,” disclosed Joonatan Nõgisto, Vice-Chairperson of EÜL.

During the project we intend to organise an advocacy training seminar and an event on internship and work opportunities for international students. EÜL’s annual Summer University will cover the topic of higher education internationalisation and transnationality this year, taking place in English for the first time ever. We also aim to organise a public seminar discussion on transnational higher education as well as help publish opinion pieces by international students in media outlets.

This project is part of a larger project “I Am European”: Migration Stories & Facts for the 21st Century, coordinated by NGO Mondo and funded by the European Commission and the National Foundation of Civil Society (KÜSK).