Espact`s webinar on student rights held on 21 August 2020 attracted 25 participants, with one participant from Indonesia. The seminar, presented by Mr U K Menon, and moderated by Professor Zaharom Nain was delivered through zoom.
The two-hour seminar started with a discussion of the different theories explaining the student-institution relationship and how each theory dealt with the rights of students in higher education institutions. The theme of Mr Menon`s presentation was the loss of student status and the need to return students to the fore of education. Mr Menon said that the rhetoric of student-centred education must be given greater expression in the way universities conduct their business. He concluded by saying that there should be greater recognition of students as a social group whose needs the university was obliged to provide for. Students must be allowed to participate at all decision making stages of the university from the council to the senate, to the academic divisions, and on all matters concerning students.
One of the areas emphasized in the webinar was the impact of consumer laws on the rights of students. Mr. Menon thought that the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1999 may constitute the best student bill of rights available to higher education students in this country.
Espact plans to hold a separate webinar on the Consumer Protection Laws and the higher education sector in September 2020..