Heads of University Management & Administration Network Europe

HUMANE Autumn Seminar, University of Trento (IT), November 8-9, 2018

Politics, protest and engagement: working with a changing landscape of student activism in the 21st century

Hosted by the University of Trento

While sit-ins, marches and clashes with authorities are still features of student activism, only a tiny proportion of the student body in most universities is involved in this kind of political activity. 

Does this mean that the majority of students are politically apathetic?  Doesn’t generally low 18-25 voter turnout at national elections demonstrate this?

The reality is that institutions’ experience of campus activism is extremely nuanced.  Students are involved in manifold forms of political activity that often falls somewhere between ‘political’ activism and civic engagement.  Their political expression can take many forms, whether it be as activist representatives in agitating for a greater student voice in formal university governance, partnering with extra-institutional campaigns such as Fossil Free, participating in student union/university administered volunteering programmes, or signing up to highly effective single-issue campaigns using sophisticated social media campaigning techniques.  And, of course, a tiny proportion of students are being radicalised by extremists.   

With contributing speakers from Italy, France, Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands and Australia, as well as student activists, our seminar aims to explore how university administrations have gone about adapting to this changing landscape.  The programme promises to be of interest to heads of administration as well as their key colleagues involved in managing student affairs.  

The programme includes a short tour of the MUSE -  the Trento Science Museum, followed by a drinks reception.  The HUMANE Dinner will be in the spectacular ‘Big Void’ of the museum.