4000 Summer University applicants – that was the usual number in the past. The new reality: mere 2858 AEGEE members applied this year for one of the 75 courses. Most popular SU this year was AEGEE-Napoli’s “Darker than midnight can’t come!” with 128 applicants. On the other hand, seven courses received less than ten applicants, especially SUs in Russia and Turkey.

SU 2016 SU number
The number of SUs increased in 2016, but is still low.

Less applications – less members?

The low number of applicants might have consequences for AEGEE: this year 1208 people less applied for an SU than three years ago – that’s 42 percent less applicants than in 2013. In many places the SUs are the most important recruiting tool for new members. A survey made by the Golden Times a few years ago showed that for every third member the SU is the first event. In other words, less SU applicants might lead to less members for AEGEE.

More courses in 2015

The fact that between last year and this year the number of SU applications dropped by 440 people cannot be the consequences of a lower choice. On the contrary, while last year 68 SUs were organised, this year the members could choose among 75 courses. The economic crisis, which was often named as argument for the decline of applicants in the past years, cannot be the reason either, since the economy is slowly recovering in most crisis areas of Europe.

SU 2016 China
The SU of AEGEE-Napoli goes to China…

Location is king

“Location is key to the success of SU promotion”, summarised the Summer University Coordination Team (SUCT) in an analysis for the Golden Times. The most successful five courses received between 121 and 128 applicants. “The TSU of AEGEE-Bratislava, AEGEE-Praha, AEGEE-Wien and AEGEE-Budapest was the leader for a long time.” In the end the magic of the South prevailed – with AEGEE-Napoli’s SU being first and AEGEE-Valencia’s SU in second place. Maybe the fact that AEGEE-Napoli promised to go to China was a reason for the success – on their map of destinations they put a pin on a Chinese town…

SU 2016 Top SUs
The most attractive SUs in 2016

The winner takes it all

The trend continues that a few SUs dominate the whole ranking – this year 13 SUs have 50 percent of the applicants. Unfortunately most people apply only for one SUs instead of making use of the three possible choices – that’s 70 percent. Most of them have now to wait for open calls. However, especially many fresh members are lost if they don’t get their first choice.

Summer Universities in danger

Less fortunate than the top 13 SUs were seven courses with less than ten applicants. AEGEE-Chişinău’s “It’s time to be better” and AEGEE-Ploiesti’s “Defend your rights! Be restless!” received only two applications each, despite great programmes and – in the case of AEGEE-Chişinău – a cooperation with the AEGEE-Academy. The local in the capital of Moldova is planning to make a prestigious European School. A possible reason for their low number of applicants might be that the autumn Agora will take place in their city. If that is true, there might be a least hope for next year. AEGEE-Kyiv, which organised last year’s great autumn Agora, received 111 applications this year – after 25 in 2014. The recent terror in Turkey and the remoteness of some Russian cities might explain the low number of SU applicants for many SUs in those two countries.

SU 2016 Countries
683 applications came from Spain this year.

AEGEE-Budapest and Spanish members on top

Some things seem to be eternal constants in AEGEE. Just like in the past years, members of AEGEE-Budapest were most eager to apply: in total 145. AEGEE-Zaragoza is in second place; 108 of their members applied for an SU. No other antenna reached the three digits. And here we are at a core of the problem: five years ago, 303 AEGEE-Budapest members applied, which was a common number for the Hungarian local. AEGEE-Budapest is a symbol for the SU crisis of the pasty years.

SU 2016 Budapest
The number of applicants from Budapest is in decline, but still top in Europe.

If it comes to applicants per country, traditionally no one beats the eagerness of Spanish AEGEE members to travel. This year 683 members from Spain applied, followed by 386 Italian members and 213 Dutch members. In total, members from 36 countries applied. A bit low is tradionally the number of French applicants – 20 of them applied, the same number as members from Slovakia.

Fun facts

64 applicants are born in 2016 – or forget to set their birthdate. 316 people started, but didn’t complete the application form, but the Outgoing Responsibles can still do this. And finally: “Setting the deadline at noon seemed to work, as most people applied yesterday, on Sunday”, said the SUCT. “However, it’s not midnight yet, so we didn’t get the “I didn’t read’ complaints yet…”

More numbers: http://www.projects.aegee.org/suct/su2016/statistics2016.php