Another season of great Summer Universities is over. This year, 82 events took place, many of them with very a creative programme. The Golden Times asked Hara Kogkou, head of the  Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) to look back on the 25th SU season.

Golden Times: Hara, the SUs are nearly over. What’s your general impression of the quality of the SUs this year?
Hara Kogkou: Right now I can only have a general impression as it’s still the submission period of the reports from the organisers and the evaluations from the participants. But, what I can say is that we had more thematic Summer Universities with some great actions! The quality in lots of events has been increased and I see this as a way to have better results in the future! If we want to have better Summer Universities, we have to start from a point and every year go better and better!

Golden Times: Did the number of SUs, applicants and participants go up or down compared to the past years?
Hara: According to the numbers of the last two years, we have a steady increase in the number of Summer Universities! This year we had 82 SUs whereas last year we had 78, which means more places for the participants. The number of participants has decreased just a little bit since last year.

More than an SU: the European School Summer University, organised by AEGEE-Patra

Golden Times: You had a good overview on the SU programmes. Which three SUs do you consider as outstanding or remarkable regarding idea or programme?
Hara: I always supported the ones that had a different theme or course than the majority of the Summer Universities. Really popular was the SU of AEGEE-Helsinki and AEGEE-Tallinn, called “FinEst Design”. There were also two European School Summer Universities (ESSUs), organised by AEGEE-Patra and AEGEE-Debrecen, an Information Technology SU organised by AEGEE-Peiraias & AEGEE-Patra, a multilingual SU by AEGEE-Tirane and many more!

Golden Times: Did you already have a look at the evaluations? Can you mention some SUs with very high marks?
Hara: That’s what I am doing now actually! With Hans-Peter and Peppe, our two assistants, we are checking every singe evaluation! Unfortunately I cannot break the rules. You will learn everything about the results after the 5th of October!

Hara at the IT SU “Hack Your Summer”

Golden Times: Which SU did you attend or organise this year?
Hara: Unfortunately I didn’t attend the Summer University I had applied for, the one of AEGEE-Cagliari, but I was one of the organisers of the ITSU “Hack your Summer” with my local AEGEE-Peiraias and with AEGEE-Patra.

Golden Times: This was the 25th year of SUs, but you will celebrate only next year, right?
Hara: Exactly. It’s an idea that is going to be implemented in a few months and responsible for this great idea is the current CD!

Golden Times: You will quit your work in SUCT now. How much will you miss it?
Hara (smiles): I think I will miss it more than I can imagine… I still don’t want to think about it as I have something less than two months, but the way I see it, is that it’s time for some fresh ideas and people to take over and make miracles!

FinEst Design – one of the most popular SUs of 2012!

Golden Times: Which advice do you give the CD and the new SUCT regarding the future of SUs?
Hara: To go step by step! Changes must be done, but they require time and patience!

Golden Times: I guess you don’t want to stop with AEGEE yet. What’s next for you in AEGEE?
Hara: Still unknown! The only thing I know for sure is that I am not done yet but let the time lead me to the next point!

Also former CD members Manos and Alma attended the SU “Hack Your Summer”

Golden Times: What’s next in life? What are you working now, which other hobbies do you want to focus on more?
Hara (smiles): I try to be occupied with different things, call them AEGEE or call them hobbies, work, etcetera. Lately, I try to spend more time with my non-AEGEE friends and I am still trying to figure out what to do with my life!