II UNIMED Mediterranean Student Summit in Tangier (Morocco)28 Nov 2023
The second edition of the Mediterranean Student Summit, organised by ESN (Erasmus Student Network International) and UNIMED, took place in Tangier at Abdelmalek Essaadi University, Morocco, from 20th to 22nd September 2023.
During 3 days, 23 students from 10 UNIMED countries, namely Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, France, Spain (2 students from the University of Murcia granted up to 500€ by Campus Mare Nostrum, among others), Italy and 2 students from Ghana and Togo (observers and representatives of All-Africa Students Union – AASU) had a unique opportunity to meet their peers from neighbour countries, to dialogue with and to learn from them.
All students have presented their country, focusing on some key cultural facts and the current situation of their Higher Education system. This exercise has been fruitful in terms of mutual knowledge and understanding and to realize that some challenges are the same on both shores of the Mediterranean.
They also had the chance to discuss – both onsite and online – with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), represented by Joao Lobo, and the European Commission, represented by German Bernal Rios, the challenges faced by their own universities and how internationalization can help to improve them, above all by strengthening mobility opportunities, and how the new generations can play a key role to address societal challenges that affect the Mediterranean region.
As reminded during the opening ceremony, the students had a responsibility by attending this Summit and reached one the main objectives that was to come up with recommendations addressed to the governments and ministries that will gather on the occasion of the first UfM Ministerial Conference on Higher Education, that should take place next year.
The work initiated during the event is not over and some online meetings with all the participants are already scheduled to continue the discussion and work on the final document that sums up the main recommendations. UNIMED and ESN will then join their forces to make the students’ voices heard by all actors.
This year’s edition has been made possible thanks to the contribution of many partners: the European Investment Bank Institute, the contribution and sponsorship of some of our members, the contribution of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) and the important support from the hosting university, the Abdelmalek Essaadi University, who decided to maintain the event despite the tragedy Morocco had recently faced. This summit showed us, once again, that everything is possible when working together and joining the efforts.
This experience received very enthusiastic and positive feedback from the attendees (have a look at the highlights and testimonials of this edition here!) and all stakeholders involved and convinced us of the need to make this Mediterranean Student Summit an annual space for dialogue among students, to act as a spokesperson of a Mediterranean Generation that asks to be more integrated in the decision making process.