The Commonwealth Students Association (CSA) is an organisation that aims to empower and encourage students to have a coordinated voice in decision making in the Commonwealth Education Sector.
At the 17th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM) held in June 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, students strongly advocated that they should be meaningfully engaged in policy formulation, implementation and monitoring. Students agreed that there was a need for effective and democratic student representation, in decision-making bodies within the education system.
The students at the Forum stressed the need:
· To encourage student councils and student bodies to be free from political interference
· For a greater focus to be placed on the role students can play in the decision making processes of the Commonwealth.
· For the development of governance standards for student bodies and organisations in the Commonwealth
Student participation in the decision making process is integral to providing a greater voice and more effective role for youth in the Commonwealth. In the 2008-2012 strategic plan, the Commonwealth Youth Programme agreed to work for and with students by, “contributing to the re-activation of democratic student platforms by coordinating secondary and tertiary student bodies and involving them in decision-making processes”.
18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Youth Forum
Through regional student consultations and an open, online consultation the draft constitution and concept documents were been developed. Student leaders from across the Commonwealth were invited to share their knowledge and expertise and as a result the consultations have:
· provided a clearer idea about the status of student engagement each region;
· provided an understanding of the needs and aspirations of tertiary students and have helped to identify and share best practices.
· explored the possibility of building and strengthening regional and national networks;
· identified the capacity challenges facing student youth organisations and proposed steps to support an enabling environment for student youth organisations to function with independence, legitimacy and respect.
The consensus among the four regions was that a Student Movement across the Commonwealth is necessary and would have their full involvement.
At the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Youth Forum held in August 2012 in Port Louis, Mauritius; student leaders gathered from across Commonwealth and finalized the framework documents and the Commonwealth Student Association was launched. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Commonwealth Student Association and a Steering Committee was commissioned.
The Commonwealth Student Association:
The Commonwealth Student Association will promote:
· Unity among student organizations in all Commonwealth nation states
· The values of the Commonwealth to protect the rights of the students of the Commonwealth,
· Decision-making, policy formulation and implementation by students on all issues in the Commonwealth
· The creation of environments for student unions and student movements to build their respective and collective capacities, to freely express and advocate.
· Gender equality amongst students across the Commonwealth
· The spirit of consensus among students, to contribute actively to the development of student movements
· Justice and empowerment of Commonwealth youth and students.
For more information please contact:
Commonwealth Youth Programme
Youth Affairs Division
+44(0)207 747 6462
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