Sunday 23rd of January, Hugh McLean, senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations Education Program, was the lecturer for the 8th GSF Academy session from the first module: “Finances and Sustainable Funding of Student Organisations and Movements”.
Hugh McLean is senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations Education Program, which is dedicated to promoting the right to education and education as a public good. Hugh was active in the student movement in South Africa from 1976, he trained as a teacher and started teaching in the early 1980s in a remote rural forced-resettlement village for Black farmers who had been dispossessed of their land and where started an education project for local youth. This was shut down by the Apartheid government after a few years. Hugh worked in the adult literacy movement with trade unions and rural farm workers for most of the 1980s.
Looking back at vast experience in the field, the session “Finances and Sustainable Funding of Student Organisations and Movements” will guide participants to a better understanding of the potential funding opportunities for student activism and unions. Maintaining independence is a key goal for the student movement, and it can be quite complicated in a world where acquiring funds potentially has strong political or commercial strings attached. Inspired by the best practices of cooperation among foundations, philanthropies and student organisations, this session explores how to ethically approach funding, keeping student-led agendas at the centre while designing trustworthy and reliable projects and more stable connections.
This session will also provide an overview of the existing funding opportunities, enlisting the philanthropies and foundations which are more open towards learners’ needs and their will to organise for a better future, inside and outside of their educational institutions.