The European Dental Students’ Association (EDSA) was founded in 1988 and currently represents more than 65,000 dental students from 182 dental schools in 30 different countries.
The EDSA is a not-for-profit and independent organization that is open to all local or national dental students’ associations in the European region.
The EDSA has several aims including:
- Inform students about the E.U. organization and politics in relation to dental medicine
- Defend the interests of dental students
- Foster collaboration on student-led projects
- Develop and promote international networking and student’s exchanges
- Connect different educational systems
- Animate a globally active student community
- Encourage national dental students’ associations to co-operate on an international level
In other words, the EDSA aims to raise a constant "students' point of view" in the national and international forum. We express European dental students’ opinions on educational, professional and social aspects of dentistry.
The EDSA community meets twice a year. The meetings bring representatives from our member countries and associations who take part in discussions and act as a driving force in helping the EDSA achieve their aims.
One of the most popular EDSA projects is the European Visiting Programme (EVP). The EVP unites students and allows them to visit other dental faculties for a few days, or weeks, with an educational purpose. This mini exchange programme not only gives students the opportunity to learn, but also to network within academia, travel and make new friends.
We offer our delegates a variety of training sessions in order to help them develop their skills and competence, including in non-clinical subjects. Previously, the EDSA has provided training in areas such as ergonomics, time management and minimally invasive dentistry, public speaking, efficient management of students’ associations to name a few.
The newest EDSA project is the Research Forum. This unique hub connects European dental students working on international research projects. The Forum also helps students find experienced researchers within academia or industry to mentor them. It should serve as a communication platform offering opportunities to get involved in dental research at an early stage of one’s career.
The EDSA is actively involved in health promotion activities, awareness campaigns for head and neck cancer and volunteer work projects.
When not working independently, the EDSA collaborates with the Association for Dental Education in Europe, the Council of European Dentists, the Alliance for a Cavity-Free Future, the International Association for Dental Research, the European Healthcare Students’ Associations Symposium, the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe and the European-Regional Organization of the FDI-World Dental Federation.
At the ADEE’s annual meeting in Vilnius, the EDSA ran a Special Interest Group focused on eHealth. During the session questions regarding the challenges and opportunities of new technologies were discussed. This year the EDSA will be working around eHealth skills for healthcare practitioners, that are of crucial importance and should be more integrated in the undergraduate curriculum.