The South Tyrolean student association
The South Tyrolean student association (sh.asus, italian: associazione universitaria sudtirolese, ladin: lia di studenc dl'université de südtirol) is the most important South Tyrolean students representation.
The sh.asus is not place bound to the headquarter, but additionally has six branch offices in big university cities, four in Austria and two in Northern Italy. The sh.asus was founded in 1955 as a non-profit association. Its main task is to represent the interest of South Tyrolean students abroad and students in South Tyrol.
Tasks of the sh.asus
The sh.asus defines itself as an inter-ethnic association. The main task is to represent the students’ interests about student and social life. The sh.asus takes not only a stand on student topics and educational policies but also regarding cultural, social and socio-political issues. The sh.asus is acting publicly and introduces corresponding measures regarding these topics. Further tasks are to counsel high-school graduates and the organization and implementation of cultural events.
The association with its headquarter in Bolzano and six branch offices is managed by a committee which is composed of all branch boards. The committee elects a president who then appoints the various referees.
The sh.asus represents and implements the insights gained from the consultancy with 2 votes in the “Landesbeirat für das Recht auf Hochschulbildung” (South Tyrolean committee of the right to higher education). There and by the means of contact to the state administration, the parties and politicians, the sh.asus supports any improvements concerning student life. The recognition of Austrian qualifications in Italy is traditionally a core topic. Furthermore, the sh.asus tries to adapt the study grant system to the 21st century by offering public workshops. However, the focus is on the correct implementation of the right to higher education. The sh.asus argues against study fees as an educational policy.
The third crucial point concerns cultural activites: as to this point the sh.asus is publishing biannually the “Skolast”; the magazine exists since 1956 and hence constitues one of the oldest multilingual publications of South Tyrol. This idea, which was initially gazed at sceptically, finally developed to be one of the most successful projects of the sh.asus. The choice of subjects is determined by current occasions and students’ topics.