The Kunsill Studenti Universitarji (University Students’ Council) is the oldest national student union in Europe. KSU was founded by Arturo Mercieca (later Chief Justice Sir Arturo Mercieca) in 1901, as the Comitato Permanente Universitario. The student union involved itself in student politics as well as national politics. KSU represents all students attending the University, Junior College, Medical School and the Malta Centre of Restoration – on both a national and international level.
Although times have changed since the organization was founded, the aim of KSU remains unchanged. Although Malta has progressed greatly since 1901, this does not reduce the importance of the contribution that each and every student can give to University and society in general. Life and University should not only consist in studying, and KSU is an ideal forum where every student can express his or her ideas regarding issues that, strictly speaking, have nothing to do with his or her studies. KSU gives the student the opportunity not only to attend, but also to form part of University.
Principles and Goals
Although in itself KSU is a dynamic organization and therefore it is open for change and debate, like other organizations, it finds its roots in a set of fundamental objectives on which the organization was founded. Over the past 113 years, KSU has been working:
• To represent students in whatever issues concern them, whether it is on a national or international level.
• To serve as an official link between students and the relevant authorities.
• To achieve the democratization of education in Malta.
• To coordinate activities with other organizations, and
• To cultivate an interest in students in the fields of education, socio-political and cultural issues.
• To pressure authorities into assuring the highest level of quality in Higher Education.
On an International level, KSU is a full member of ESU – the national unions of students in Europe. ESU is the representative of 44 National Unions of Students in 38 European countries, including KSU. Through these unions, ESU represents over 10 million students and is regarded by the European Commission, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the Bologna Follow-up Group, the European University Association (EUA) and various other stakeholders in education, as being the leading representative voice of all students in Europe.
KSU is also an official founding member of MEDNET, which is the Mediterranean Network of Student Representatives.
KSU’s Executive Committee is pushing forth the renewed emphasis that University is not simply an academic domain where one specializes within a particular field or profession, but it is a forum for exchange of experiences between students as well as one of the ultimate steps which completes the student formation process.
The work of the new council will be based on five principles, amongst them education of the highest quality, a council close to the students, stronger participation with more accessibility to everyone and a headed direction for the future of University students.
KSU has plans to extend its hands and be closer to the students. It is trying to look into effective means of communication to the benefit of students. The @KSU, a magazine featuring news updates, pictures of events, educational issues, library updates and information on up-coming events shall continue to be sent to the homes of all students attending the University of Malta, and other means of communication shall be looked into. The council will still be keeping a close eye on its website focusing more on content and maintaining KSU’s branding. Most importantly, KSU plans to get the message across to its members.
Students at University have now reached an ever thriving amount of over 13,000 students, hence it is high time to start focusing on the quality of education which students truly deserve. KSU shall promote student participation within Faculty Boards, in the University Council and on Senate, in order to foster a sense of belonging and active participation within the direction of our University and respective faculties. A detailed study shall be carried out on the issue of Credit Workloads and ECTS so as to ensure a fair system with learning outcomes at its very centre. KSU shall also keep constant consultation with the National Commission for Higher Education and monitor closely the implementation of NCHE’s proposed legislation for a Quality Assurance Framework for Further and Higher Education in Malta. A thorough report shall be carried out to examine Assessment Methods and Transparency of Results in both written and oral examinations. The Students’ Charter, which portrays the rights and duties of students and the University alike, shall be fully promoted and brought forward for full implementation.
Once again, Careers’ Convention will be held, this time during the month of February and KSU shall extend the invitation to a variety of employment firms and companies for students coming from different faculties. KSU will also publish a Student Organization Handbook which will be very useful for all student organisations, both those active and future organisations. Sub-committees will also be enhanced in order to create a better awareness of policies drafted by KSU. The Environmental Fair will also help students learn how to make our world a better place to live, in both small and big ways.
KSU shall continue to safeguard and represent students’ interests in the Parking on Campus issue whilst resuming consultation meetings with all stakeholders so as to consider both temporary and long term solutions. KSU shall strive to fully uphold Life Long Learning and aid Mature and Part-Time students in offering services which may be restricted to morning student hours by faculties and departments. KSU will also strive to reach an agreement with the University administration to give Gozitan students the choice to sit for examinations in Gozo, allowing them the comfort of their homes and eliminating travelling problems during examination periods.
In light of the above, the KSU Executive, shall do its utmost to perform with accountability and responsibility upholding and advocating the values of Participation, Communication, Representation, Space and Investment.