Professor Graham Smith, Professor of Politics, co-wrote an article for Times Higher Education exploring the different ways that universities involve students in democratic decision-making.
In the article, Professor Smith and academics from Queen Mary University of London and the University of Victoria discussed citizens’ assemblies and their positive effects on society. They wrote: “There is also need for democratic innovation in higher education. For one thing, universities aspire to be spaces for cultivating the kinds of citizen who shape our societies.
“To realise this aspiration, they must teach for the kind of democracy we want. Crucially, this means creating environments where the full range of students can develop their civic leadership capacities through constructive participation in governing university communities.”
They gave examples or democratic developments in universities across the globe and said: “Developments such as these are promising, but we need to go much further to systematise the use of democratic innovations in higher education, both within existing structures and by creating new spaces for participation. Students are capable of more, and it is our task to empower them and design for the best contributions.”