European Performing Arts Students’ Association (EPASA)
We believe that, in order to be successful, a performing arts institution must encourage a healthy partnership between administration, staff and students. An institution that provides an inclusive and accessible platform that empowers the student voice not only creates passionate and advanced artists, but also conscientious, valuable members of society.
We equally believe that students have the purity of thought and can therefore be the best defenders of the humanistic values within music and arts education. Accordingly, a well-supported Student Representation System (SRS) has the freedom to advocate for an arts and music education unrestrained by any political and financial control.
We strongly believe that in any HME Institution, region or country, beyond unfavourable specific (financial, political, structural) circumstances, a good and effective SRS can be settled without too much financial or infrastructural effort. It is predominantly about changing the institution’s mind-set as a whole, taking the action, and ensuring some minimum requirements are met in order to provide a platform for the student voice to be heard.
All HME institutions in Europe should have a well-functioning SRS. Our ideal institution:
- Is committed to working closely and effectively with the Student Representatives through a professional and mutually respectful relationship, ensuring that an excellent student experience is a priority for all students of the institution.
- Respects and understands the role and value that the SRS brings to institution’s life, and works closely together with the SRS to ensure clarity and mutual understanding of their respective roles.
- Ensures that the students are involved in all institutional decisions (students represented in all academic departments, including boards and other academic fora) and that communication channels are effective and clear.
- Is committed to equality and diversity and the fair treatment of all students.
Our commitment as the EPASA:
Advocate and support our vision and beliefs throughout the European HME institutions by:
- Supporting the members : listening and helping out students and institutions willing to make changes to face their situation regarding student representation and finding the best possible solution to their problems.
- Creating an information hub: fostering the exchange of information, good practices, and ideas at an international level. Promoting this handbook and the advancement of student representation in HME institutions among the membership.
- Connecting and networking: connecting HME students and SRSs at an international scale, and creating links and relationships between people living in different contexts and experiencing different realities.
Aims and objectives:
The Association has the following goals:
- To promote the social, economical, political and cultural interests of performing arts students;
- To promote equitable opportunities for all performing arts students regardless of their political belief, religion, ethnic or cultural origin, gender, sexual orientation, social standing or any disability they may have;
- To promote equitable chances of access to higher performing arts education for all people;
- To promote, establish and develop European and global cooperation, mutual understanding, social responsibility, information exchange and personal contacts with performing arts students and young performers, thereby equipping them for professional life in a modern, international environment;
- To provide assistance and support to performing arts students’ unions, groups, and individuals in Europe in their work To protect and advocate for performing arts students’ interests;
- To provide opportunities for performing arts students and young musicians to learn about other cultures and specialisms in a spirit of critical dialogue and artistic cooperation; and
- advocacy and lobbying activities for influencing policy making in the higher education and performing arts sectors.