Students must become full partners in higher education development to keep it tuned to current and changing demands, according to the two students who presented their cases at the 14th Association of African Universities or AAU General Conference and Golden Jubilee Celebrations held in Accra, Ghana, on 6 June.
Felix Kwabena Donkor from Ghana is the president of the African Chapter of the Erasmus Mundus [alumni] Association. He studied environmental sciences through a joint European masters at Aalborg University in Denmark, with study periods in Germany and Portugal.
"We have to start seeing ourselves more as stakeholders and partners," Donkor said. "Our voice must be embedded in governance bodies. It is one thing to be present as observers, as is now fairly common in Africa, but what students say must also be reflected in decisions that are made."
Donkor has first-hand experience of situations where student voices carry actual weight in decision-making processes. In Denmark, he saw how education continually evolves under the influence of student input.