From Novi Sad to St Petersburg – successful challenge?
Students from all over Europe had the opportunity to join the Ride for Your Rights! Tour from Novi Sad to St Petersburg. The cycling Tour was organised under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Mr Thorbjørn Jagland and in cooperation between Campus Europae and Erasmus Student Network. On Wednesday, the 14th of September, the Tour entered eventually Saint Petersburg, its final destination! And this after having been on the road for over 4800km, during 10 weeks, passing through 12 countries and many different European cities. It gave students the opportunity to join the Tour and ride for raising awareness on still existing obstacles to student mobility.
The Tour has been an interesting challenge for the riders, from the logistical to the social point of view of the project. In many cities the Tour had the possibility to rest, meet young people and officials and take part in workshops. As Julian Walkowiak, the Campus Europae Student Council President and Head of the Tour, says: “We are aiming at creating a young Europe, through mobility. As we noticed, still obstacles remain to allow young people to meet, learn from each other and new cultures. However, the willingness to work towards the same goals exists, the proof is our Bike of honour, which gathered many signature from officials and celebrities among them you can find the signature of the European Parliament President, Professor J. Buzek” it allowed young people to develop mutual understanding through these activities.
Julian Walkowiak in front of the Bike of Honour signed by official supporters – St Petersburg, the 15th of September 2011
At the final stage, the Saint Petersburg Higher School of Economics welcomed the students for a closing meeting and a Workshop, which addressed the question of active participation of students in civil society and Higher Education. The discussions were based on participation of students in the university life and decision-making processes (presentation by Professor C. Ehmann, Secretary General of EUF-CE), project management of extra-curricular activities (presentation by Yelena Belokurova, Deputy Director of the German and European studies centre from St. Petersburg State University), opportunities that the EVS programme provides for Young Europeans (presentation by Aigulle Sembaeva, coordinator at the “Deutsche-Russischer Austausch”), examples of student projects (by Tatiana Tsueva, Director Advisor of Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg) and as well an example of student self-organisation in Russia (by Viktor Vorobrov, Head of the Independent Student Union of the Philology Faculty).
The riders and their Russian hosts – Saint Petersburg, the 15th of September 2011
After such successful closing, Campus Europae is looking forward to the follow-up meeting taking place in Luxembourg from the 12th to the 16th October 2011 in order to discuss further with the students what are the issues of student mobility and their means of addressing them in the upcoming year. We invite you to stay tuned, as in the next month, a movie will be published to present the Ride for Your Rights! Tour 2011.
Tour website: www.rideforyourrights.org