Students at LSE, credit Nigel Stead

LSE meets CIVICA: A student conversation


LSE’s CIVICA Ambassadors Liam Selsby and Fiona Gogescu hosted an online conversation with peers (on 21 October 2020), “LSE and CIVICA: What does our relationship mean to you?”. The event gave students the opportunity to reflect on LSE’s role in the CIVICA alliance and what they expect from the collaboration.

“We were met with a wide range of enthusiasm and interest into the prospects of our alliance,” said Liam, a third-year BSc student in Politics and History.

In the introduction, LSE undergraduates, master’s students and PhD researchers had the chance to learn more about CIVICA, its vision for the development of a European campus, and upcoming academic and extracurricular opportunities. The two CIVICA Ambassadors then split the students into two groups, according to their academic level, for specific input on their expectations from the alliance.

Undergraduate and master’s students showed excitement for the possibility of future exchange programmes, joint events, and the connection to other pioneering universities across Europe. The students raised concerns over current challenges due to the pandemic that may affect current and future activities. Yet, all participants welcomed LSE’s membership in the CIVICA alliance and looked forward to a deepened partnership.

PhD students discussed in more detail the opportunity to establish collaborative groups and networks with doctoral students from partner universities. “They proved eager to communicate with researchers across the CIVICA alliance who work on related topics or employ similar methodologies,” explained Fiona, a PhD candidate in Social Policy. “They suggested small conferences and thematic seminars as effective ways to connect with other researchers.”

The participants were receptive to the idea of sharing ongoing work and collaborating with fellow doctoral researchers. Fiona presented them the plans to create a platform where PhD students could identify scholars with similar expertise, and mentioned that postdoctoral researchers too will be able to benefit from these upcoming opportunities.

For the final part of the online conversation, the two groups reunited to discuss how they would like to stay informed about CIVICA’s upcoming events and activities, and made suggestions on promoting CIVICA around the LSE campus – both offline and online.

“The event was a huge success, and LSE’s CIVICA Ambassadors would love to continue to pursue such events in the future in order to propel the recognition of our alliance and continue to hear the voice of our students,” concluded Liam.  

In June this year, the European Commission upgraded LSE from associate partner to full member of the CIVICA alliance. LSE’s community thus became part of a network of more than 50,000 students and PhD researchers from universities across Europe.

Photo credit: Nigel Stead, LSE

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