FEF: Student elections in Belgium’s French-speaking community
For many years now, FEF, the union representing the students of the French speaking Community in Belgium, has been fighting to get a better recognition of students’ participation in their higher education schools’ decision-making process.
This recognition of students’ representation allows them to have a say in various meetings within their university and in the decisions that are made. It also allows FEF to be recognized as an official representative for students’ voices and pushes the Minister of Higher Education to take into account the positions held by the students’ movement.
Therefore, local students’ councils elections are a crucial time of the academic. It determines who will defend and represent each school’s students. Local representatives will have a say on various topics, going from exams schedule to courses in danger such as medical studies. Over the year, there is also a process of teaching the new delegates, in which older representatives have an important role to play.
As a federation of local councils, FEF launches a huge election campaign at the beginning of the second semester. This campaign, in collaboration with all of our members, allows us to inform students about their rights and their representation and why it matters.
Back in 2016, the participation (voting) rate to the students elections was average 29,37 %. With this campaign divided into two phases, one for the candidate recruitment, the other for the final vote, the main goal is to increase the participation rate and therefore, the student democracy.
All in all, these elections play a fundamental role bettering students’ representation and defense. This is why we insist on encouraging all the students to go to the polls and vote