Transforming universities to embrace equity, diversity and inclusion

20 June 2019


This was the topic of the INVITED project’s peer learning seminar on 14 June at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland.

More than 30 university leaders and managers from 15 countries discussed their strategies and approaches towards equity, diversity and inclusion. They gathered to exchange good practices and learn from each other.

The INVITED project establishes a knowledge base on the engagement of universities in diversity, equity and inclusion across Europe. It promotes good practice exchange and fosters dialogue between stakeholders at the system level in order to ensure that public policies, including regulatory and funding frameworks empower universities to fulfil their social responsibility. EUA is conducting the project together with the European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) and with support from the European Students’ Union (ESU).

At the event participants received insight into the Irish policy context, which was presented by Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education. They also learned about the host institution’s policies, such as the UCD University for All Initiative and its Gender Identity and Expression Initiative. This was complemented by presentations from the UCD Student Access Leaders and ESU on student initiatives on the topic, as well as the EUCEN-led HE4u2 project on cultural diversity in higher education.

Participants also discussed the preliminary results of the INVITED survey, which gathered data from more than 160 higher education institutions in 36 European higher education systems. Over the summer this data will be complemented with qualitative information gathered through follow-up interviews with a smaller number of selected higher education institutions. This will help to better understand institutional realities and country specific contexts, as well as identify good practices that can serve as inspiration for others and feed into policy discussions at European and system levels. The results will be published in the autumn.

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