IFMSA Delegation at Open Education Conference 2021

Open Science is the movement to make information, whether scientific research or educational resources, more easily accessible to promote sharing of knowledge and collaboration for the betterment of society. Open Science has also been a global priority for IFMSA for the term 2020/21.


In the spirit of advocacy for Open Science, the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) took part actively at the Open Education Conference 2021 that took place virtually from the 18th to 22nd October, with a delegation of 15 members from all regions, including the Liaison Officer for Medical Education Issues (LME), Mădălina Elena Mandache as the Head of the Delegation:


  1. Alsaida Ali Dirar Omar
  2. Andrés Pacherres López – SCOME Regional Assistant for Americas
  3. Chaovanon Sophonsakulsuk
  4. Charbel Saad – SCORE Regional Assistant for EMR
  5. Darell Adwoa Addison
  6. Ekene Mary Nnagha
  7. Eyram Aku Feglo
  8. Fatima Elbasri Abuelgasim Mohammed – External Affairs Regional Assistant for Africa
  9. Federica Cucè
  10. Kevin Alvaro Handoko – SCORE Director
  11. Mădălina Elena Mandache – Head of Delegation – Liaison Officer for Medical Education Issues
  12. Rannia Shehrish – SCOME Capacity Building Development Assistant
  13. Thanakit Suebsaicharoen – SCORE Supervising Board
  14. Vedant Sunit Shukla – Program Coordinator for Gender-Based Violence
  15. Yazan Kamal Demaidi – SCOPE Regional Assistant for EMR


The sessions were a mixed set-up of live and pre-recorded sessions with a daily plenary session and tea-time activities to refresh participants. More about the programme and speakers. The conference was running its eighteenth edition, with the IFMSA delegation attending for the second year in a row. The theme for 2021 was “Making It Open for All”, which delved into the themes of equity and inclusivity in OER, Open Pedagogy and further explored how Open Science and OER can promote equity and social justice. 


Taking up the mantle of Meaningful Youth Engagement, the delegation not only took part in the sessions actively, learning and contributing, but IFMSA had organised two sessions showcasing our efforts in Advocacy and Open Science.

The first session, which took place on the 19th of October as a live session titled “Youth Involvement in Advocating for Open: Medical Students and Beyond”, was moderated by IFMSA LME Mădălina Elena Mandache and featured two panellists: SCORE Director 2021/22 Kevin Alvaro Handoko and SCORE External Development Assistant 2020/21, Hansuel Cho. Both our speakers shared their experience working in Open Science advocacy, highlighting the work IFMSA has done to promote Open Access and research education while highlighting the barriers they faced and which still exist for medical students in accessing educational resources, especially research materials. 

  • The second IFMSA session was a pre-recorded session presented by the SCORE Director 2021/22 Kevin, titled “Fostering a Culture of Open Education: A Medical Student-Led Strategy”. This session extensively elaborated IFMSA’s strategy on promoting Open Education through Social Media campaigns created by Small Working Groups, Activities organised by Medical Students Worldwide on Open Science, Toolkits and Policy Documents and lastly, presenting students the opportunity to take part in such conferences such as Open Education Conference. 



The five days of the conference left the delegates with deep insights into creating and sustaining Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives, knowledge on best practices to make OER more inclusive and examples of how OER can promote equity and social justice. These four days sparked innovative ideas and an invigorated passion for Openness that will fuel their advocacy!


For further information, please contact the IFMSA Liaison Officer for Medical Education Issues at [email protected].

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