Commonwealth Students’ Association launches strategic planFebruary 14th, 2013
The CSA will engage and empower students in the Commonwealth to influence key education decisions and policies.
The Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA) has launched its strategic plan to guide its work in representing the voice and concerns of students in the Commonwealth.
The CSA Steering Committee – an elected team of nine student leaders from across the Commonwealth – developed the strategic and work plan and the communication strategy last week, with guidance from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Youth Affairs Division.
The CSA will engage and empower students in the Commonwealth to influence key education decisions and policies and to contribute to development in their own societies. The association was launched last year at the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Mauritius.
Under its strategic plan the CSA will represent, advocate and build the capacity of national student organisations and their leaders. It aims to conduct research and provide reports on students’ concerns, and mobilise resources and collaborate with partners to help deliver its work.
CSA Steering Committee member and the Secretary-General for the Zambian National Students Union, Thompson Kamhuza Luzendi, said: “The CSA will play a critical role in ensuring that students voices can be heard and will work with students leaders to contribute to policy discussion in relation to education and other areas where youth are concerned.
“In our vision we have clearly stated that we want to be a credible voice which will be a valued partner and which will work to ensure that students of the Commonwealth have that basis and background where they will be able to positively contribute to the development of their society in their own countries.”
Danielle Grufferty, Vice-President of the UK National Union of Students and CSA Steering Committee member said: “Primarily this is about building a membership organisation. We have found that there are many gaps in many Commonwealth countries where there is no national student voice, so we want to support students in the Commonwealth to set up national student bodies.
“The student experience is often varied because different countries have different education systems. But you do find a lot of the barriers are the same: it is a lack of funding, a lack of state investment in education and lack of a student voice in decision making.
“We hope the CSA will change the way governments view education – that the student voice is really important and that students should be treated as partners and not as consumers. If we are involved in some of those discussions hopefully that culture will change.”
The Steering Committee members will each serve two years