Democratic institutions and laws are essential, but they cannot bring about democracy on their own. They will only function if they build on a culture of democracy, and our societies will not be able to develop and sustain such a culture unless education plays an essential role. Student engagement is crucial: democracy cannot be taught unless it is practised within institutions, among students and in relations between higher education and society in general.
This 20th volume of the Council of Europe Higher Education Series demonstrates the importance of student engagement for the development and maintenance of the democratic culture that enables democratic institutions and laws to function in practice. This volume covers three aspects of student engagement that are seldom explored: its role in society through political participation and civic involvement; its place in higher education policy processes and policy-making structures; and how student unions represent the most institutionalised form of student engagement. The authors are accomplished scholars, policy makers, students and student leaders.