Blogs posted by Cristi Popescu

Here you can see all blogs posted by Cristi Popescu in relation to the FinSt project.
Posted on Wed 14 Dec 2011 at 16:08 by Cristi Popescu

Our adventure in Vienna didn`t stopped Monday when the weekend was over, we had one more slice from the Austrian recent history at the University of Vienna where one of the OH members gave us more information about the student protests in 2009. We visited the most important places used by the students during the protests and it was useful for me to see how they managed to do everything because in Romania we had a lot of protest in the last years trying to fight for our students rights. The thing that I founded very interesting was the fact that the protests were not leaded by a student or a group of students, but was leaded by all the students and every one of them could participate to what was decided. I also appreciated very much the way they managed everything and how the students were motivated to go on with this in such a big number for several months.

After our lecture about real participation of students in finding solutions on their own problems, we continued our day with a workshop about gender budgeting. It was a completely new subject for me and it was quite interesting to see how the financing system can be reflected in the gender balance perspective. We discussed about how the universities should be more opened to girls and boys in the same way and they should build their pr campaigns for example in such a way that the same groups are interested. We concluded that the issue about gender budgeting should be debated more in the European countries and the states should build long term strategies to assure the gender balance in Higher Education.

We ended our day by reading some materials about different Higher Education Institution Financing systems to be prepared for the next workshop and to do our “homework” that Tinja gave us.

Posted on Sun 11 Dec 2011 at 22:17 by Cristi Popescu

We finally had a little bit more sleep than the other days, so we started our day by visiting Vienna University of Technology. It was a great experience because I`m studying at a university of technology in Romania too, so it was easier to me to see the similarities and the differences between my university and the one from Vienna. We took a deeper look in how the election process of the local organizations in Austria is and I found it very interesting and very different of our system. It looks like the elections here are very similar with the parliament elections and what shocked me a little bit was that at their university was even a communist group of students who candidate at the elections. Fortunately, they didn`t get enough votes to be in the organization. I was also surprised about the big differences between the Public Universities student fees (like 400 euro/year if you don`t finish your studies in time) and the Private Universities student fees (like 1300 euro/year).

After having lunch at their university cafeteria, we visited the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences. We met there an Erasmus student which presented us the place and it was quite different of all the universities we had seen before in Austria. The best part was when we went to a place which was like a house of the students, place governed exclusively by students. It was like an ideal place for students where they can buy health and cheep food, participate at workshops, just stay and chill out, use the kindergarten and a lot of things for students. And the part I liked the most was that every student can participate at the decisions made there and the votes are equal. I would like to have such places in Romania too.

We also had a workshop where we discussed more about that place governed by students. That place was reopened after the 2009`s Austrian protests so it was interesting to discuss about its legitimacy and the reasons for demanding places like this for students.

The weekend schedule was a little bit more flexible for us. We didn`t discuss more about educational systems, but we visited the city of Vienna. I recommend you all to visit Vienna once in your lifetime if you have the chance to do so because is one of the most beautiful and interesting places from Europe. We learned more about Austrian history, about what really happened in the last century, not just the official story, things that were told to us by our guide who was very honest and cool to us. I want to thank you all the OH members who were very hospitable, cheerful and nice to us. They tried their best to make us feel like home in our first week in Vienna and to have the chance to see all the beautiful things in there.

Kind regards,

Cristi Popescu – National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania


''Posted on Fri 09 Dec 2011 at 11:04 by Cristi Popescu
After having an agreeable time at OH´s Christmas party a day before, we started our morning with presentations about each one´s country financing system. We found out from Velo that the Finnish education system also admits Universities of Applied Science where the maintainer can be a community, a group of communities, foundations or corporates. Edgar told us about the Lithuanian “Student Basket” and we all agreed the idea it was very good, but maybe the implementation is not perfectly right. Jorhe came up with an interesting prezi presentation about the Spanish system and we saw that 80% of the funds of universities come from National and Local Government and 20% come from student fees. On the other hand, Tinja told us that in Austria the universities are mainly funded by the state and 80% of the money goes to the basic budget and the rest of 20% is based on the universities performance calculated with some special indicators.

After the presentations, we took the launch at a Turkish restaurant (it seems like every day we eat a different culture´s food) and when we came back to the OH office we discussed about the perfect founding system. That was also an interesting debate and what is pretty clear for me is that there doesn´t exist a perfect recipe for the funding system that assures you it´s the perfect one because every time it depends on the context, the government visions and the social structure of each country.

We spent our evening in the OH´s office, where we were just blogging, facebooking, writing emails and stuff like that. We also took the dinner there, we bought some pizzas and we watched the Dunham Jeff´s show. It would have been more interesting maybe to go and see the city, but we were all a little bit tired and we wanted to save the best views of the city for the weekend.

Kind regards,

Cristi Popescu – National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania