Students & Membership

As a result of MAC feedback from the first meeting in 2011 regarding including students within EAUC Educational Membership, this has been investigated further and has now received Board approval to implement these changes to the Membership. We are seeking input from the MAC on the implementation of this. Whilst we appreciate this relates to Educational Membership we would value hearing from the Company Members and Strategic Partners that are on the MAC on their views on this.

Background

We recognise that students, as well as staff, may benefit from Membership. We do not provide specific benefits for students nor are we proposing that we are re-defining Membership to focus on students. However, we do feel that we can add extra value and benefit to Membership by providing access to our Members and to widen this to include students. Currently we are approached by students of Member institutions to include students within their Membership. The main student audience are interns, green champions, student representatives, Student Unions and those doing specific academic courses such as PhD’s to gain information/resources. With the growing need for institutions to engage and work together with students to improve their sustainability performance we feel there is value in adding the ability for institutions to include students within their Educational Membership. We hope that by allowing students to benefit from an institution's membership of the EAUC, that members will perceive a further increase in membership value.

Proposal

To allow Educational Members to include students and Student Unions within their Membership providing Member access to resources and CPD discounts. However to ensure sustainability professional staff members retain sufficient networking space where they can raise sensitive or confidential matters, it may be appropriate to restrict or exclude students to some aspects of Membership. These may include:

* Access to the Member Discussion Network (e.g. JISCMail)
* Access to Communities of Practice (except with Convenor permission)
* Access to Regional groups (except with Convenor permission)
* Direct emails such as enews (which is not aimed at students)

Potential future developments could be a Student Discussion Network and/or Community of Practice and we could work together with NUS, etc on a student focussed newsletter. These would be dependent upon demand/need, cost and value.

As students may be engaged with Membership for short periods of time we need to ensure our data is kept up to date as much as possible so we may suggest that student Members have to actively rejoin each year.

A summary of the feedback is as follows:

1. Do you think including Students within Membership would be welcomed by most Members?
The consensus was that this would be welcomed

2. Do you think including Student Unions within Membership would be welcomed by most Members?
The consensus was that this would be welcomed

3. Should an institution be able to choose whether they wish to include students within their Membership? For example, if University of X informed us that they did not wish to include students within their Membership, all applications from students from that institution will be automatically rejected.
The consensus was that this is not required.

4. Should access to Membership by students and Student Unions be ‘approved’ by the Key Contact on a case by case process or should access be automatically granted? For example, can a Key Contact reject a particular student being added to their membership?
The consensus was that this is not required and access should be automatically granted.

5. Do you consider allowing students and Student Unions into your Educational Membership as adding value to your EAUC membership?
The consensus was that this would add value.

6. Should students have access to ALL Member benefits – such as regional and Community of Practice Groups and access to the Members Discussion Network or should there be some restrictions?
The consensus was that access should be restricted to exclude the Member Discussion Network and access to groups should be to the key contact/convenor’s discretion. Students and student unions will not be given voting rights – unless the Member institution chooses to assign the voting right to such an individual. Certain activities such as consultations and surveys will be segmented by ‘contact type’ and ‘student’ will be an option so where appropriate they are not contacted and/or responses are segmented and analysed separately.

7. Any other comments/thoughts?
It was suggested to utilize the domain name of the institution to verify the student. Whilst for the majority of cases this will be applicable there are some institutions that have various domain names and student unions often have different domain names to the institution, so this may not be feasible on all occasions.