EUA has published an edited volume that showcases universities’ strategies and approaches towards diversity, equity and inclusion.
Our societies are changing and becoming more diverse, and social diversity and inequality are becoming more apparent in the wake of the economic crises. With increased migration in Europe, the awareness of cultural diversity has grown. Globalisation and rapid technological development are disrupting parts of the labour market and increase the need for highly skilled labour. This raises a number of questions about the role of universities in dealing with diversity and addressing issues of equity and inclusion.
Also, at the political level, new attention is given to the role of universities in fostering social inclusion. This has most recently been seen in the Paris Communiqué adopted by ministers in charge of higher education at the Bologna Ministerial Conference held at the end of May which re-iterates the commitment already made in the 2015 Yerevan Communiqué to reflect societal diversity at universities and thus strengthen the social dimension of higher education.
The 2018 Bologna implementation report shows that much has yet to be done to follow up on this commitment and so far only a few countries have developed and implemented distinct policies on widening participation.
The new EUA publication on diversity, equity and inclusion is a contribution to a European exchange on the topic from the perspective of universities. It shows how institutions approach the topic from a strategic point of view, bringing together various smaller scale projects focused on different aspects and dimensions into a comprehensive strategy that becomes an integral part of the institution’s mission. The examples illustrate the variety of different approaches towards the topic, depending not least on the regulatory framework and cultural context in which the universities are operating. They may give food for thought and inspiration to university leaders, managers and academics who are confronted with similar challenges.
Here you can also watch several interviews with university leaders who explain how they try to foster diversity, equity and inclusion at their institutions.