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UNIVERSITY ELECTION 2013: President of the student party Frit Forum, tells us about his platform, and why students should get involved in this year's elections
I represent Frit Forum which has a political platform on the centre-left of the political spectrum (much like the Labour party in the UK). This is opposite to ”Studenterrådet” [Student Council, ed.] which has the largest candidate list, and whose campaign merely says, that they ”represent all students” – but not much more. I see that as a problem.
First of all, for student democracy, secondly, because the election becomes irrelevant for most students if they can not see any difference between the candidates. Under 20 part of our students vote, and I’m guessing a part of the explanation is that is is hard to understand what this election is about.
First of all, i think that the most important thing is that students take their time to vote, and to encourage other student to do the same.
If students vote for me, i will try to secure at more equal finances per student, in contrast to how it is now, where certain faculties receive much larger resources than others per student. I will try to get large lectures videocasted, so students can see lectures they have missed, or would like to see again.
Here below is my in-depth interview on the University Post from 2012:
What are your main agendas?
»We have several agendas. One of them is to make sure people get through and education. We also think about the number of hours per week students need. The departments of Humanities and Social Sciences have the least hours, so another problem we want to take care of is bringing more support into the Humanities and Social Sciences.
»There are several areas where the University could cut expenses, for example their commercial budget (around 3 millions) which is also an important topic. And another point on the agenda would be an increased digitalisation in study – it would be a great tool to be able to watch lectures recorded and have the possibility of watching them again and again, or if it would be possible to have digital homework«.
3) The University of Copenhagen is increasingly seen as an international university, with half of Master’s programmes in English, and a large international student and staff community. Do you believe in internationalisation? And if so, do have any specific policy ideas in the area?
»Of course it is very important and we certainly have to do something about it. It’s very important that we have international students and English courses, as well as Danish students going abroad to study. Certain students are having a hard time being a part of the community, but international students should be involved with Danish students. We need student organisations, for the network, for the bond and to develop a good student environment«.
4) International students have been particularly hard hit by Copenhagen’s housing bottleneck. Any comments?
»This is a problem that Danes also have, for example when they have to move from Jutland to Copenhagen , but the University should be more committed to helping the international students. The housing issue is in fact part of a bigger political problem, which the University of Copenhagen cannot solve alone«.
5) International students everywhere, not just in Copenhagen, say in surveys they have a hard time making friends with people from their host country when on exchange (Danes). Any ideas?
»I think that the University of Copenhagen ’s mentor programme is a very good idea. It should be improved if possible. On the other hand, cultural differences are sometimes hard to handle, i.e. foreign students have a hard time adapting to the drinking culture«.
»I think all students should have the opportunity to be part of good student organisations. That would assure that students also meet outside their studies and it would create a greater student environment, for both international and Danish students«.
There are election for three levels: Bestyrelse = board of the university, Fakultet = faculty level (Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Law, etc), studie = department level (History, Sociology, Public Health, etc)
Frit Forum is only campaigning on the ”board of the university” level. On this level, the overall decisions are made regarding how financial resources will be used.
On this board, only one student is elected per year, so it is particularly important to know what each candidate actually wants to accomplish, beyond merely ”representing all students” [i.e. as the Student Council platform does, ed.].
First of all, vote! If you want to involve yourself more, then i would suggest you contact the list of candidates who are running in the election. You are welcome to contact me at 61 62 39 59, or email@example.com
See Frit Forum’s platform in English here.
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