29.06.2015
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Letter from the Chairperson in July

Dear readers,

 
Thank you for turning your eyes on our newsletter once again and to my words. This is the last time I will be the one addressing you as my mandate as ESU chairperson ends on June 30th. So I will take this opportunity less to address the events of June, which you can read about, but to say some words about my time in ESU and my hopes for the organisation and education policy.
I have been elected in ESU for three years, it has been an exciting time that has changed my life. I am very grateful for growing up in the student movement and in this organisation especially.  It is hard to explain to those of you who have not been inside ESU how special it really is. ESU is many truths at the same time, it is a very professional and at the same time very activist organisation, it has strong expertise but is at the same time very idealistic. It is a scrappy underdog but it also packs a wide policy punch. It is a whirlwind of an experience full of chaos, love, learning and serious lobbying.
We succeeded with things in these years that I am not sure even we thought possible. All of our core issues are at the top of the policy agenda. We have pushed policy in a positive way and at the same time dared to criticize. This is the hallmark of a representative organisation, it will always be our job to speak even when it is uncomfortable. In the field we work this role can be quite lonely and tough. Being a progressive voice is never easy, and even at a European level people look for more comfortable voices that don’t endanger the status quo.
But in this day and age when the world is literally burning and the very role of education is under threat there is no space for being a weak student voice. I am very proud to have been part of that voice for these years. We have had challenging times, we have had to overcome a lot together. I am very grateful to my hardworking and caring team members for this, in all parts of the organisation. I am so very happy to have gotten to know everyone in and around ESU. My only regret is not having had more hours in the day to talk to all of the great people that I have meet.
We have made a real difference in making sure that higher education will have better quality and be more accessible for students and those who are not even in higher education yet. My hope is that the organisation continues to set the agenda for higher education policy and to remain a strong voice for those who don’t have one. The people staying and incoming to the organisation are amazing people and they will make ESU even stronger, of this I am sure.

Best wishes to all,
Elisabeth

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