The ESN (Erasmus Student Network International) and UNIMED jointly organized the first Mediterranean Student Summit, hosted by the University of Barcelona on 2nd and 3rd November 2022.
The Summit brought together 16 students from 8 countries, namely Algeria, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Unfortunately due to visa issues, some Southern Mediterranean students could not join the event.
All the sessions of the Summit aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue and reflecting on the values that students should share as the future Mediterranean Generation. One of the key solutions identified by the participants, to the main challenges the Mediterranean region is facing, is to increase mutual awareness and understanding among students and to promote the added-value of international experience, whether there are short or long term mobilities, or participation in international or regional meetings like the Summit.
Students also worked to define the challenges faced by their own universities and discussed on how internationalisation can help to improve them, above all by strengthening mobility opportunities.
They had the chance to meet representatives of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and in particular its Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, at the UfM headquarters to discuss how the new generations can play a key role to address societal challenges that affect the Mediterranean region. Among the key points that emerged during the discussion, the need for students to be part of the civil society and play an active role to contribute to the change by making their voices heard was particularly stressed.
The stay in Barcelona was also enriched with traditional lunches and dinners, walking around the city, as well as a guided tour of the University of Barcelona Historical Building.
This pilot initiative was made possible by the financial support of the University of Barcelona, the European Investment Bank Institute and of the UNIMED member universities who sponsored their students’ and also some Southern Mediterranean students’ participation.
This experience received very positive feedback from the attendees and all stakeholders involved and convinced us of the need to make this Mediterranean Student Summit an annual space for dialogue among Mediterranean students, to act as a spokesperson of a Generation that asks to be more integrated in the decision making.
Our wishes for the second edition: make it grow in size and scope. Are you ready to help?!