STUPS – Student Participation Without Borders is the name of an ambitious European project co-financed by Erasmus + Program, which aims to strengthen and promote the role of students in the good governance of Higher Education institutions and in student participation to fight inequalities. It develops over 32 months with a 312,489 EUR budget.
The project is a transnational and interuniversity initiative, led by the University of Huelva in Spain. It is aimed to lay the foundations of a European network —focusing on the development of new practices to promote student participation and finding genuine solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of higher education.
Multisectoral learning, teaching, training activities and dissemination events will be held at the European level. These are the diverse actions to be carried out during the project, which seeks to promote a high level of participation and its mainstreaming. Moreover, innovative products and services will be generated to encourage student participation and ensure equality and inclusiveness.
Specifically, three groups of learning, teaching and training activities will be organized: a pilot test of student participation indexes; a simulation of MOOCs on student participation and soft skills; and a workshop to stimulate participatory processes and integrated management. Likewise, two major international multiplier events will be held to spread the knowledge gained within the Higher Education Community and more importantly through students.
The STUPS consortium consists of five members and is led by the University of Huelva (Spain). It is a well-balanced and complementary team, which includes three higher education institutions, a public agency for evaluation and accreditation of university activities, and the most representative student organisation in Europe with members from 40 countries of the European Higher Education Area and Bologna Process (EHEA). The University of Évora (Portugal), the University of Applied Sciences of Upper Austria (Austria), the European Students’ Union (Belgium) and the Directorate of Evaluation and Accreditation of the Junta de Andalucía (Spain) are the partners involved in the consortium.
The target group of STUPS are students, student leaders and students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. Likewise, the project pays special attention to university managers with competence over student participation, inclusion and equality to engage in dialogue and raise awareness of the benefits of cooperation.
The specific objectives of the action lines aim to increase and improve the knowledge, cooperation, training and awareness of student participation, which is an invaluable source of social innovation. This is key for establishing efficient governance and a more inclusive higher education system.
The work method is participatory, open and transparent –based on horizontal and multidirectional cooperation.