Studera.nu: Call for improvement, add your voice

Andrei Neculau has been a driving force in helping international students with the application process but also in trying to lobby VHS (the organisation operating studera.nu) for change. He’s recently launched on facebook a call for students to leave comments about studera.nu, which he will incorporate into a report. I think this is a great idea, and if he does write  a report I will do my best – within my role at Lund University  -to make sure it gets read by the people who should read it.

So, visit the studera.nu facebook group and leave your comments – you’ll need to be a member of facebook, but that’s a painfree process. Alternatively, you can leave comments here, and I’ll pass them on to Andrei. Here’s what he said on facebook:

‘Write about the things that please or trouble you, write about the things that you like or don’t like, write about the things that you see fit to be part of this process and aren’t as of now, write about this Facebook community, etc. Each and every of your comments will help with writing a more comprehensive and a more balanced report.’

Studera.nu wiki

A wiki describing studera.nu, and how to apply to a master’s programme in Sweden has been launched by Andrei Neculau. This is the evolution of his blog, which he created in response to the difficulties he had with studera when he applied. The usual disclaimers apply, this is not an official wiki from studera, but it’s packed with information and should help with the application, and post application, processes (which Andrei calls ‘war’ and ‘purgatory’).

Apart from the fact that this is incredibly useful for people making applications to study in Sweden it’s also a great example of the future of the web (dare I say it, ‘web 2.0’). As it’s a wiki, it’s totally interactive and, crucially, not ‘owned’ by studera. Maybe in the future we’ll start seeing students creating their own university websites which become as useful, if not more so, than the university’s own website?

KTH – Helping the students using studera.nu with facebook

The Royal Institute of Technology, in Sweden, has recently linked to Andrei Necula’s studera.nu facebook community. I think this is great, it’s got just over 500 members and offers a wealth of advice and discussion from students as they work through the application process.

This ties in nicely with Gerry McGovern’s latest article which discusses how organisations are losing the trust of the people– people want to speak to people like themselves, and are using the web to do so. How many university staff have actually used studera.nu for real? Answer: not very many – and I’m willing to bet that none of us have invested anything like the amount of time and energy which international students invest into checking the website, figuring out how to make an application and then following the process all the way through.  Giving students who visit KTH’s website the chance to talk to students like themselves means that the real experts of studera.nu – the people who actually use it – can talk to each other.

I’ve done something similar by linking to the entries about tuition fees on my blog – there’s several links to forums and communities there. As we move closer to the next big application round, in December, I will certainly be following KTH’s lead.

And finally…it’s the Swedish summer here which pretty much means that Sweden closes for about a month. I’ll still be blogging, but also enjoying the sun, so I won’t be as regular as usual, so to speak.