The European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental student organisation that consists of psychology student associations from across Europe. EFPSA currently consists of 33 Member Organisations and two Observer Organisations, each represented by a Member Representative, who collectively form the legislative body of the Federation.
The work of the Federation is perpetuated through the work of the Member Representatives (MRs), the Executive Board (EB) and the Board of Management (BM). EFPSA provides psychology students with diverse opportunities for scientific- and self-development through its Events and Services. Additionally, EFPSA also aims to contribute to a positive impact in society through a variety of campaigns while representing the interest and needs of psychology students on a European level.
EFPSA was founded in April 1987 at the University of Lisbon, Portugal where European psychology students from all over Europe had been invited to a meeting. Psychology students from eight European countries formed the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA).
The basic outlines of this Federation were transformed into formal statutes during the second meeting in Liege, Belgium in April 1988. At the same time, EFPSA initiated its first project, the EUROPSYCHO-Database on education and exchange. In January 1989, EFPSA was registered as an international association according to the Belgian law.
During the third General Assembly in April 1989 in Lund, Sweden, the Federation developed its initial structure with the first meeting of the Executive Board (EB) being held for the first time in that same year. In July 1991, EFPSA started a collaboration with the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, after which EFPSA became an official affiliate member of EFPA in 2001.
After EFPSA’s participation in the first European Student Conference (which brought together about 500 students from a number of disciplines) in Liege (Belgium) in November 1990, a lot of new contacts were made, especially with Eastern European countries. During the fifth General Assembly in April 1991 in Geneva (Switzerland) EFPSA grew to 11 member countries, and the first delegation from Eastern Europe was welcomed. In this year the idea of permanent working groups (called “task forces”) came into being to enable more efficient work on projects such as EUROPSYCHO, ERASMUS, etc. Over the years leading up to new millennium, more Events in the form of Summer Schools and seminars and, of course, the Congress were organised under the guidance of EFPSA. In 2006, EFPSA developed its Corporate Visual Identity and became recognised with its representative logo and orange colour.
The structure of EFPSA was developed at the third General Assembly in April 1989 in Lund (Sweden). At this time, members of the Executive Board also covered the functions that Member Representatives do now. There were no Board of Management positions, only a President. Since then, EFPSA has grown in size and had to implement some significant structural changes, creating a new form of Executive Board. In 2003, the concept of National Representatives (nowadays known as Member Representatives) was introduced. These formed the new decision-making body from each of the associations which were members of EFPSA. Furthermore, the Board of Management as a separate body within the Executive Board was formed due to the need for leadership on strategic decisions, as well as monitoring the efficiency of the whole organisation.
EFPSA currently organises eleven annual and one biennial event:
- The Congress;
- European Summer School (ESS);
- EFPSA Academy;
- Train the Trainers (TtT) Summer School;
- Train Advanced Trainers (TAT);
- Trainers’ Meeting (TRAM);
- Trainers’ Conference (TRaC);
- EFPSA Day; and
- The Joint Executive Board & Member Representatives Meeting and Board of Management Meetings are the annual events, while the Conference is the biennial event.
European Summer School
The first European Summer School (ESS) took place in Leie, Estonia in 2007. with the topic ‘Cross-Cultural Psychology’ followed by European Summer Schools covering different topics each subsequent year. During this seven-day event students immerse themselves into a programme of intercultural research where they have the opportunity to join one of six research projects led by a PhD supervisor in planning and implementing a 12-month study. Apart from this, the programme is enriched by a variety of lectures given by professionals from relevant areas of psychology. Each year, all lectures and research are set against a theme, chosen to reflect a field of contemporary psychology. Since 2011, all ESS participants completing the training programme and committing to the research project have been invited to join the Junior Researcher Programme, extending the European Summer School from a one-week Event into a fully structured 12-month research programme.
EFPSA Day is a promotional event that takes place across Europe at the beginning of December. The first EFPSA Day was held in 2010. The aim of this one-day event is to spread the word about EFPSA all over Europe. Presentations, workshops and other activities connected with EFPSA take place in many universities on the same day in order to make as many students as possible familiar with EFPSA.
Train the Trainers
In 2010, the first Train the Trainers summer school took place in Austria. The Train the Trainers (TtT) summer school is an annual seven-day event featuring experiential and non-formal education aimed at providing its participants with insights and tutoring on a broad set of skills and knowledge about delivering training and information. Upon completion of set requirements, the TtT graduates may be invited to join the EFPSA Trainers’ Pool – a supportive environment for furthering training skills and experiences.
The EFPSA Conference first took place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2013. The EFPSA Conference is a biennial event and places a particular emphasis on its scientific programme. It brings together around 150 students from all over Europe for four days of lectures, workshops and student presentations. During the Conference, there is an open day, which consists of approximately 30 students from the hosting country/region joining the Conference for one day, to get an opportunity to learn, partake in the lectures and network with the participants.
Journal of European Psychology Students
The Journal of European Psychology Students (JEPS) is a double-blind peer-reviewed open access academic journal run entirely by students, covering all aspects of psychology published by the EFPSA and Ubiquity Press since 2009. JEPS brings a legitimate opportunity for psychology students to consider their thesis or research with international scope. Submissions have to be based on research conducted by bachelor or master students who may also be from outside Europe. Authors of selected submissions will receive professional feedback and help in developing their scientific publication. Articles are selected based on quality of research alone, disregarding the perceived importance and originality of a particular paper. Articles are indexed in EBSCOHost. Since 2016, JEPS invites students to submit Registered Reports. The JEPS team also run a blog, the JEPS Bulletin, which has been publishing since November 2010 on a range of issues relevant to psychology students of all levels and varied fields of interest.
Organisations from all countries recognised by the Council of Europe can become members of EFPSA. Organisations from countries/regions that are not recognised by the Council of Europe can be taken into consideration as Regional Members. As of April 2018, EFPSA has 33 Member Organisations and two Observer Organisations.
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