University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Study to help ESN find its network

Exchange students don’t just want parties, but cultural events too. No surprises here, but a detailed study will help the Erasmus Student Network find its audience more effectively, Anne Saabye hopes

A new study on the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is designed to make the network better at recruiting students. The findings bring no big surprises, but will help the organization target their audience more effectively, according to the author Anne Saabye, who is doing her journalism degree at the Århus School of Journalism.

She sums up her conclusions to the University Post:

»I asked the international students if they want parties, but they also want another, more cultural, focus too«.

145 students responded

She is also a member of ESN. Her timely dissertation, »A revitalisation of the ESN Copenhagen,« addresses reforms within the organisation and the needs of the target group, which are past and present Erasmus students.

The dissertation, which focussed on Erasmus students’ knowledge of the organisation, went out to over 1,000 international students and 750 Danish students who have just come back from exchange. 145 responded.

Read more about ESNs problems with alcohol-related events on the University Post: Student network associated with drunken revelry

Better off with, than without

96 per cent of Danes and Internationals who responded are not active members of ESN. Most students are acquainted with ESN. But they are not members because they just don’t have the time or have never made the effort.

Most Erasmus students find the organization adds value to their short-term stay in the city. Only a small percentage (12 pct.) seem to think that they are better off adapting to life in Copenhagen without the help of the organization.

Her research is being used to reorient the organisation and steer it back on course.

Making adjustments

Two years ago, the ESN focus was on cultural events. However, in the following years it shifted to parties, according to Saabye.

Now she thinks ESN is on the right track again, focusing on both themes in order to please incoming and current Erasmus students.

Is this what Erasmus students want? According to Saabye’s dissertation it is. The majority of survey respondents want ESN events to be a balanced mix of parties and cultural events.

Change of values

Swift changes have been made recently and two party promoters that ESN previously worked with have been ousted due to their alleged tactics of promoting parties based on alcohol consumption. Now they are reverting to their core value which is to help Erasmus students enjoy their time in the city, not just by means of alchol, Saabye explains.

»We worked with people who had different values. Now we have stopped,« she claims.

Read a previous statement by Anne Saabye on this on University Post: ESN: We have been naive

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.