From December 7-10, Deimantė Miliauskaitė from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) together with Andrés Lois Graña Sánchez from the Universidade de Vigo, represented ATHENA European University at the inaugural conference of European university student representatives in Coimbra, Portugal.
Students convened in Coimbra for a three-day discussion on critical topics such as the social dimension, mobility, teaching quality, and funding. The experience included exploring the city and gaining insights into its history, particularly the role of universities and student movements in liberation from dictatorship.
Approximately 80 participants, including General Coordinators of European university Alliances, representatives from the European Commission, the European Students Union (ESU), and the Erasmus + Portugal Agency participated in the event.
The event took place at the São Francisco Convent and Colégio da Trindade, featuring participants including Pedro Nuno Teixeira, the Secretary of State for Higher Education of Portugal, and José Manuel Silva, the Mayor of Coimbra, among others.
Turning to substantive discussions, topics ranged from student mobility and the social dimension in alliances to potential funding strategies. Deliberations extended to the mechanics of student representation in alliances and the projected impact of European universities on continental higher education.
ESN ATHENA looks forward to future conferences, recognizing the wealth of topics still to be explored in advancing European universities.