YUFE student reps focus on diversity, equity and inclusivity

  • Date

    Mon 19 Feb 24

Three new YUFE student reps

Diversity, equity and inclusivity will be a key focus for our new Essex student reps who are involved in our European alliance YUFE.

YUFE - Young Universities for the Future of Europe - connects ten universities across Europe and allows students to study a variety of modules at other European universities.

YUFE Student reps participate in the whole governance process of YUFE to make sure that every student-member is represented and heard.

Find out more about our Essex YUFE student reps:

Filippa Mitzelou

Biomedical Science student Filippa Mitzelou joined YUFE to be a part of a larger community and to make a positive change to different aspects of the student experience.

As a European citizen studying in the UK, she’s excited to help connect Essex with other European institutions while getting to know people who share the same passion.

“Together, our goal is to collectively drive transformative changes within our institutions, fostering a European higher education landscape that is not only more inclusive and diverse but also intricately interconnected.”

She’s involved with the Anti-harassment and Bullying Task Force, where she collaborates with students and staff from YUFE partners to address and combat instances of harassment and bullying.

“We actively work towards reforming our policies regarding anti-harassment and bullying, aiming to create a robust framework that fosters a safe and inclusive environment within our university community.”

She says being part of YUFE is more than just embracing challenges that come along the way; it’s about collaborative teamwork and building a community students and staff are a part of.

“Being part of YUFE means you're part of a diverse and supportive community that values your unique perspective.”

Justyna Sadowy

International Management student Justyna Sadowy joined YUFE to take part in collaborative projects with other universities and to help with building of international connections across Europe.

“Being a YUFE rep allows me to contribute to the development of joint initiatives, facilitate cultural exchange, and work towards common goals that benefit both the University of Essex and the broader European alliance.”

She added: “Being part of European alliance strengthens Essex’s international presence, enriches the learning experience for students and promotes a global perspective in education and research.”

Justyna thinks that YUFE is a great way to create equal opportunities for everyone across different universities and to make sure all communities can embrace their diversity and make the most of it. She’s actively involved in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusivity within the alliance.

“This includes advocating for equal opportunities for all members, ensuring that initiatives and policies within YUFE are inclusive and unified across all alliance universities, working towards creating an environment that values and celebrates diversity and sees it as an opportunity for all communities.”

She believes YUFE is a great opportunity for everyone to try something new and to make an impact while gaining important skills for their future.

Tilly Hawkins

Curating student Tilly Hawkins joined YUFE to meet new people and to help those who need it.

For her, inclusivity is an important issue and she feels everyone should have the same opportunity when it comes to the education they dream of.

“I hope to improve the rewards offered to students who participate in the Student Forum, as this would improve diversity by opening up the positions to students who can’t afford to volunteer. These voices are not being heard at the moment.

“I will be part of a group that considers how Essex and the other YUFE universities provide support to students with disabilities and how these processes can be improved.”

She believes programmes like YUFE are also important for international cooperation and for maintaining ties to Europe, especially after Brexit.

“It’s important that Essex participates in international organisations to reflect the diverse backgrounds of the students who study here.”

Tilly said although some students might find the idea of joining YUFE a bit daunting, it was a great opportunity for everyone to make new friends and to develop lots of useful skills.

“If you contribute to the meetings, you quickly pick up all the information, and everyone is very friendly and helpful. The best part has been getting to meet and collaborate with students and academics from all over the world.”

  • This article was written by student Hana Kocita

Find out more about the study opportunities across Europe with YUFE