What is Student Focus?
We are an organization set up by a group of committed students of diverse cultural backgrounds, with the support of the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Economic Sciences, University of Antwerp.
What is the purpose of Student Focus?
The main purpose of Student Focus is clear and unambiguous: to encourage a consistently higher university intake and pass rate amongst students of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds We hope to raise intellectual awareness within the University of Antwerp, to the benefit not only of students from ethnic and cultural minorities but also of native Belgian students.
We believe in an active policy of diversity, which understands and supports the needs of all students.
What do we do?
First and foremost we believe it is essential that the University of Antwerp should be fully aware of the issue of cultural diversity, at all levels.
The very fact that Student Focus exists is a step in the right direction.
We also aim to offer students advice (acting as a stepping stone and platform to other University services), to motivate them (motivation is a crucial factor: where there's a will there's a way), to support them (in their studies, in their preparation for examinations, etc.) and, in general, to encourage them to become more involved in their studies.
The activities offered by Student Focus differ from those of the traditional student associations; we focus on studying as an aspect of student life. We organize debates, invite speakers to address our association, hold film evenings, and so on.
A study conducted in 2001 revealed that the number of young people from cultural and ethnic minorities entering higher education remains low. A mere 1.96 % of first- year students in universities or other colleges of higher education are of non-European origin. Several other studies have confirmed this.
Less than 2 % complete their studies. The reasons vary: teaching and learning policies, support, preparation, pre-university education, socio-cultural and socio-economic factors. There can only be one conclusion: students from cultural and ethnic minorities are poorly represented in higher education.
A university degree expands job opportunities and offers a brighter future to young people from cultural and ethnic minorities.
Thanks to their universal academic role, universities have considerable international and multicultural impact. In a modern multicultural society this role should not be underestimated. On the contrary, it should be emphasized whenever possible. The time has come for higher education to redress the social balance:
Student Focus supports greater diversity at the University of Antwerp.