UNIFEST, the biggest university festival in Romania, has just come to an end.
UNIFEST, the biggest university festival in Romania, has just come to an
end. The event, which has been held every year since 2001 and is organised by
the Romanian Students' Union, provides students with an opportunity to combine
entertainment with learning and social involvement with planning their future
careers. The festival, which lasted 11
days, was held in 17 academic centres. Its varied programme featured many
cultural activities, such as performances and concerts, to which students had
free access. The president of Students' Union Alin Grigore tells us more:
"The festival also
features sports activities, such as a football championship and running. There
are also non-formal activities that allow students access to a great number of
free training programmes. In fact, we hold such training courses all year
round. One such programme is the Training Academy, another the Training Academy
for Pupils, which we started two years ago. The courses are given by teachers
trained by us and are free of charge, for both students and pupils. This year,
we've had a lot of demand for courses on public speaking, communication,
leadership and project management."
UNIFEST also ran a
campaign called "Donate Blood, Be a Hero!" organised by the Bucharest Medical
Students Society. Here is campaign coordinator Andreea Galita with more:
trying to help the Blood Transfusion Centre to improve the deficit of
transfusion blood in Romania. We collect the blood at the Medical School in
Bucharest because it's more convenient for the students. We've had the campaign
for more than ten years and have noticed that it attracts a lot of people,
including from other faculties."
statistics say that less than 2% of Romania's population donates blood on a
yearly basis, which is almost 4 times less that the European average. Are
people reticent to come and donate blood in general? Andreea Galita:
"People are reticent
but not because they don't want to donate, but because they are not informed.
Which is why we're trying to inform as many people as possible. It hasn't been
difficult to do that because we have a lot of volunteers. There are 130 of us
in charge of the project and we're trying to help one another."
In the first three
days of UNIFEST, over 500 students overcame their reticence and donated blood.
The aim was to collect 600 blood bags. A chemistry student told us:
"I first wanted to
go and donate blood at the Emergency Hospital but then I found out about this
campaign online. People are reluctant to donate blood, but I think all young
people in Romania should try and donate at least once a year."
This was not the
first time that medical students donated blood, as is the case of the next
"I think it is very
important to do this. After all, it's a chance to save a life. I think it's a
noble and beautiful gesture. I know there's a general lack of transfusion blood
around the country and this kind of initiative is very welcome."
Those who donate for
the first time may feel nervous, but eventually overcome their reticence:
"I think it gives
you a personal satisfaction. I wanted to do this at least once in my lifetime.
I was worried that something may go wrong, but then I told myself that these
people are professionals and I shouldn't worry. I was only afraid I might faint
The Students' Union
is also active when UNIFEST is not held. One of their other initiatives, for
example, has recently come to fruition when a law was passed on paid internship
with private and public companies. Alin Grigore, the president of the Students'
Union has more:
"As regards our
activities to promote engagement, which is a centrepiece of the Students' Union,
four years ago we initiated the internship law that has been eventually passed
this year. This piece of legislation looks at internship as a learning process
and not necessarily as a demand for job achievement. According to the new law,
internship will be paid under a special internship contract, which is different
from the volunteering contract, because volunteering is not paid."
This year, UNIFEST
was attended by some 100,000 students from the university centres where events