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The European Dental Students‘ Association has supported European exchange for the last 26 years. The European ideal is currently undergoing a crisis, at least in the opinion of those involved in media and politics. Nevertheless, the European ideal seems to have achieved widespread acceptance amongst the young. Increasing number of students, including students of dentistry are increasingly studying abroad and seeking other organisational methods to promote international exchange, generate valuable expertise and networking.

The European Dental Students‘ Association (EDSA) was formed to further international exchange. Established in Paris in 1988 and currently boasting 65,000 active members, the » EDSA has been active in 182 faculties throughout 26 countries over the last 26 years. It sees itself as a not-for-profit, non-political umbrella organisation for dental students. It seeks to spread contacts and information exchange. Despite a united and borderless Europe, the training of and opportunities open to dental students are subject to regional differences. The organisation regards its key activity as understanding this situation and underscoring international commonalities.

The voluntary staff invests a large proportion of its free time in realising these aims. The current board of management, which was elected on 26 August of this year at the University of Szeged (Hungary) is composed of full-time dental students. President Luka Banjšak comes from Croatia, whilst the vice president Diana Velicu is studying at the Carol Davila University in Bucharest . The secretary general, Emilio Fiorentino, lives in Italy, treasurer Liam Coisdeala is studying dental medicine at Trinity College Dublin; the British Andrew Kalli is the editor of the EDSA magazine. Ivan Šeparovic, student at the University of Zagreb in Croatia is responsible for social media and web design.

In addition to their studies, the dedicated team organises a range of events and projects. This includes the biannual general meeting in various European states, the publication of a magazine, the organisation of exchange projects, a major congress every two years, the provision of assistance for research and development, prevention programs, workshops and summer camps. The EDSA always follows its founding principle: " by students for students." " We are convinced that the sharing of information will improve both the quality of dental training and the everyday lives of our members," according to Marco Mazevet, the previous president, speaking at this year's annual general meeting in Istanbul. These activities intend to promote cultural exchange and the raise awareness amongst its members of the conditions of working and studying in various European countries. For instance, dental graduates from southern Europe are still experiencing difficulty in finding a job commensurate to their qualifications. Even though the European job market is still smoothing over these differences, these problems require greater attention over the long-term.

Figures and networks

Seeking to keep its members up to date regarding a comprehensive range of issues in dental practice, the EDSA requires reliable dental statistics. This is the task of the working group " exchange". Its members collects and evaluates a range of data to produce an informed comparison regarding standards of training and teaching at European universities. The working group uses this information to advance one of the central aims of the EDSA: the standardisation of dental curricula in European universities. Delegates from the member countries meet twice a year to discuss current issues and pursue new projects. The EDSA also works together well with other student associations such as the » International Association of Dental Students (IADS) as well as other interdisciplinary organizations such as the » European Medical Students‘ Association (EMSA) and the » European Pharmaceutical Students‘ Association (EPSA). Good contacts enable the ESDA to realise one of its goals - encouraging students to take a wider view and develop the future of dental training in Europe.

Published by: rf/tk 04/16
EDSA-members 2015/16: Ivan Šeparovic, Onur Ergene, Arne Elvers-Hülsemann, Anamarija Novakovic, Luka Banjšak, Diana Velicu, Marco Mazevet, Mohamed Hattab, Liam Coisdeala, Emilio Fiorentino

EDSA-members 2015/16: Ivan Šeparovic, Onur Ergene, Arne Elvers-Hülsemann, Anamarija Novakovic, Luka Banjšak, Diana Velicu, Marco Mazevet, Mohamed Hattab, Liam Coisdeala, Emilio Fiorentino

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