Student Associations began at the Polytechnic of Coimbra at the end of the last century, during the 1980s, with the creation of most Student Associations.
This was a period characterised by strong turbulence not only within the associative movement but also throughout the country. The purpose of the student associative movement is intrinsically related to the desire to build an inclusive academic experience that meets the needs and expectations of the students. The desire to systematically guarantee the sustainability of Higher Education, to create a singular, equitable and fair future is constantly in the focus of those who dedicate their time to defending this noble cause that is “student associations”.
The Student Associations are increasingly assuming a role of “full-time” social partner, with an effective and decisive civic intervention, contributing to the amplification of institutional cohesion. Many were the struggles fought, the polemics lived, the traditions forged. But the work of our young leaders persists, assuming an active role at various levels, through the presentation of proposals for the improvement of study cycles, of suggestions for actions that promote internationalisation and research, the follow-up and help in identifying and monitoring situations of social risk, at the training level through the organisation of workshops, conferences, seminars, congresses and job fairs that aim to promote employability and the rapid insertion of students into the labour market, and also in promoting the practice of healthy living through the participation in regional and national sporting events and competitions.
This collaborative attitude makes it possible to build in the institution a culture of cooperation that unifies and contributes to a closer response to the students’ needs and expectations, obtaining indicators that allow the quality of the education offered to be evaluated.