The European University Association (EUA) and the European Universities’ Continuing Education Network (EUCEN), supported by the European Students’ Union (ESU), are launching a new project on “Strategies towards Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities” (INVITED). The first milestone is a survey to higher education institutions accessible online which is open until 15 January 2019.
As our societies change and become more diverse, universities are asked to be more open and inclusive. In Europe, increased migration has contributed to more cultural diversity – and more awareness on the topic. Social diversity and inequality are hotly debated in the wake of the economic crisis, ongoing globalisation and accelerated labour market changes. At the same time, gender equality continues to be an issue in several areas. Also, universities need to find ways to enable participation of people from various backgrounds, including those that are traditionally less represented in higher education. Politically the topic is gaining importance with ministers reiterating their commitment at the 2018 Bologna Ministerial Conference in Paris to strengthen the social dimension of higher education and further national strategies.
Against the backdrop of these developments, the INVITED project aims at supporting universities in developing and implementing institutional level strategies towards equity, diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, it seeks to facilitate a dialogue between relevant stakeholders at system level with a view to ensuring appropriate regulatory and funding frameworks that enable universities to fulfil their social responsibility.
How to get involved
In the next couple of years, there will be a number of opportunities for university leaders, managers and practitioners to become involved in project activities such as the survey and follow-up interviews, European level peer learning seminars and system level policy dialogue events. The project outcomes should inspire them in their own work at institutional level and provide input at policy level to the Bologna Ministerial Conference in Rome in 2020.
Further information on the project is available via its webpage.