Student Representation at KI & a spotlight on BUS

If you’re wondering what student representation looks like at KI, have great ideas for improving your education, or want to make change happen, then playing an active role in a Section is a good way forward! 

This blog will give you an overview of student representation at KI, talk about what sections actually do, show some example events, give tips on how to get involved, and highlight some fresh student perspectives on the section I’m a part of. Hope you enjoy! 

Note: I’m in the Bachelor’s Programme in Biomedicine, which means that my experiences are primarily associated with BUS: Biomedicinska Utbildningssektionen. So you’ll be hearing a lot about it! But a lot of information in this blog applies to all sections 🙂

A yellow bus n the left half of the image, with the BUS logo on the right half

Bus or BUS? Image Credits: Teddy Österblom on Unsplash (left) and BUS (right)

An overview of student representation

The sections at MF represent students from different programmes, and you automatically become part of your section if you join Medicinska Föreningen (MF). The students in international programmes such as the master’s and bachelor’s programme offered in English are placed under two sections in MF: Biomedical Educational Section (SE: Biomedicinska Utbildningssektionen, BUS) and Public Health Section (PHS)

The programmes that fall under the BUS and PHS Sections. The lists can be found on the MF website! Image Credits: Inika Prasad

What do sections do? 

The sections take on major roles that influence KI students’ day-to-day life.

  1. They actively influence the educational development of their courses and programmes by providing valuable feedback. For example, several BUS representatives have been a part of a group that re-designed the Master’s in Biomedicine syllabus which is expected to commence in 2021. 
  2. They form a direct link between students and various decision-making bodies at KI via some of the student representative positions. For example, BUS links to BIONK, the committee that nominates students for exchange studies and research.
  3. Last but not least, they organise social events and activities. More on this in a moment!

What is a section like BUS involved in? Image Credits: Inika Prasad

BUS Events <3 

In terms of social events and activities, BUS—like the other parts of MF—has a lot going on. These have popped up in the last year I’ve been at KI, and are sure to come around again!

  • Biobollen: an annual event where biomedicine students from all over Sweden meet up and play a brännboll tournament.
  • Project Wisdom: a popular science book club.
  • Overnight trips to Solvik, the MF cabin in the archipelago. 
  • Nerd nights: quizzes, talks, seminars, and fika galore.  
  • Provide support for introduction periods/events (aka Kollo, for new students)
  • Etc. 

A book list for Project Wisdom. Image Credits: BUS

How does one participate?

Here’s a breakdown of how you can participate in a section:

1. If you want to take on a role in a section, elections usually take place once a year at the beginning of the autumn semester (September-October), and all positions are open. So keep an eye out for the application period if you’re interested!  

2. You can keep up to date with what’s going on via their newsletter, which will show up in your inbox. In the last year, I’ve seen information about events, application periods, educational changes, student interest in the Covid-19 pandemic, etc. This is also where you’ll find information and details about…

A screenshot that says BUS Newsletter in large white text over a green background with motifs

A snapshot of the 2020 Autumn Semester BUS newsletter. Image Credits: BUS

9 people smile for the camera in a Zoom screenshot

A BUS board meeting on Zoom. Image Credits: BUS

3…the board meetings. All board meetings are open, and it’s a good way of finding out what’s happening “backstage”. Each board meeting includes discussions and a report round where class representatives discuss how the courses have been going and highlight the issues for the section to take up with other administrative and decision-making bodies.

4. Stay connected via FB, Instagram, or email (any type of problem or enquiry). You can get in touch with members directly or talk to a class representative who’ll take it forward. Introduction posts and videos like this one will pop up too!

Why would one participate? A BUS portfolio  

I asked some people what they think about being a part of BUS, and here are their takes on it!

Maren Gerdes: Chairperson
Studies: BSc Biomedicine, 3rd year
The chairperson’s role is to chair the board meeting and guide the board in its role, as well as representing BUS within MF and KI and beyond. This experience has taught me a lot about management and gave me the opportunity to meet amazing students from many different programmes and levels of education.”

Image Credits: BUS

Juliane Mayr, secretary
Studies: MSc Biomedicine, 2nd year
“One of the reasons why I joined BUS was to get more insight into what is happening behind the scenes. In addition, I got to know a group of talented, enthusiastic people who do their best to make our experience as students at KI even better. I got to take on responsibility and I learned a lot about the organization and dynamics of a working group – skills that I know I will benefit from in the future. 

Image Credits: BUS

Katarína Bankóová, National Biomedical Organization representative 
Studies: BSc Biomedicine, 2nd year
“Spending time with our fellow students from KI, other Swedish universities and members of the BUS board on the Biobollen event is the perfect opportunity to mingle, have a bit of fun amidst academics and experience Swedish traditions on our own skin. Being part of BRO has allowed me to grow as a person and learn to represent my university on a national level to foster collaboration.”

Image Credits: BUS

A Final Note

The role of student representation is often highlighted in tumultuous times. For instance, BUS (in collaboration with PHS and MF leadership) collected data about how international students felt about the uncertainty regarding the switchover to distance learning, prospects of returning to campus learning, etc. due to Covid-19 in early 2020. It makes a difference! Seeing it made me, as an international student, feel like I was being supported and well-represented.

I hope this has been useful and given you the resources and tips you need to move forward! Get in touch if you have any questions – as always, you can find me on inika.prasad@stud.ki.se

<3 Inika 

 

Featured Image Credits: Ylanite Koppens on Pixabay

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Hello, Inika here. I’m a third-year Biomedicine bachelor’s student at KI. I'm from India and a little bit from Sweden. As a Digital Ambassador Blogger, I'll be writing about my programme, things happening in and around KI, and giving insights into university life.

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