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The value of participation in the learning process

Alfonso Martin Gallego - Member of the AQU Student Committee

Under the pretext of encouraging student participation, the AQU Catalunya Student Affairs Committee has just been set up. And I'm proud about it, yet I'm puzzled. In fact, I feel obliged to say pretext because I increasingly question whether there is really any student participation. In this regard, the psychologist Ariadna Salva Aige is carrying out a commendable project, within the framework of the Ramon Llull University's Students Council, to determine the causes why students don't get involved in representational bodies. Her initial question of whether students appreciate the value of participation in their learning process should be the point where we begin.

In recent years, anyone wanting a qualification to get a foot in the labour market has just had to study somewhat like a robot. That's all. The university's fundamental role of social interaction has been lost to the detriment of thousands of virtual networks that prostitute themselves to any bidder. Interaction now takes place from home, and campuses have to offer another type of response to an avalanche of new issues. British localism reins yet again and people want visible and pragmatic results at a grass roots level in order to give their credulity and trust in supranational entities, the age of which has a noose hanging over its head. All this is due to the poor social and political management that has been invading Catalonia over the last few years. I remember in one of the Inter-University Council of Catalonia's Student Committee meetings, which brings together the student representatives from all the Catalan universities, one of the student reps reproached the chairperson for his inactivity. It had been some time that he had allegedly been wanting to change things and so they had encouraged him to participate more actively in representational bodies. The result was that he was on more than eight committees and still nobody had heard him say or do anything. How can we hope to involve thousands of students in Catalonia if not even their representatives place their trust in the bureaucracy that government gets suffocated by?

We should stop throwing up our hands in horror and use them instead to restore the trust and hope in the university community. This is what encourages me to participate very actively in this new AQU Student Committee because I sincerely believe that we can only remind others of words like responsibility, obligation, etc. through our own coherency and by acting accordingly. We need to banish once and for all any dread of coherency that must be the symbol of our society. And we need to revive our values and accept that it can only be in the face of these values that we are accountable; it is not up to anyone else to judge us. Under the pretext of encouraging student participation, the AQU Catalunya Student Committee has just been set up. And I'm proud about it, yet I'm puzzled.


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© 2010 AQU Catalunya - Legal number B-21.910-2008