The report on “The State of Student Governance in the Commonwealth” published in 2016 takes a systematic review of the history of National Student Organisations in the commonwealth and their tendencies “to co-operate at national, regional and international levels.” It also addressed some of the challenges of representing students at high levels as well as the opportunity that the Commonwealth Students Association (CSA) presents at contributing to building such a representation. The report acknowledges the benefits of student engagement in various ways from positive social change, to increasing student skills and employability, as well as engaging democracy.
It is also acknowledged that the lack of resources is an issue in building and/or maintaining national student organisations (NSOs). Other issues included the reliance on voluntary effort, membership engagement, recognition of NSOs by governments and institutions, legal status and ability to represent student voices effectively, and the need for capacity building. The report’s recommendations are broadly classified with several specific recommendations. The broad recommendations are:
- Increasing the number of NSOs in the commonwealth.
- Increasing the effectiveness and sustainability of NSOs
- Raising awareness of student organisations globally, nationally and locally.
Finally, it nods at the growing interconnections in education at all levels, and the need for student representation at each of these levels to respond to developments accordingly while influencing academia, curriculum, and the question of access.
The Commonwealth’s article on this report can be found here: https://thecommonwealth.org/media/news/commonwealth-report-urges-governments-strengthen-student-voices