Diversity, equity and inclusion: strategic issues for universities

21 November 2019

EUA has released a major report on “Diversity, equity and inclusion in European higher education institutions” just days ahead of the second World Access to Higher Education Day (WAHED). The report presents a broad picture with data from 159 higher education institutions in 36 European systems gathered through a survey and follow-up interviews. It is part of the INVITED project, a cooperation between EUA and the European University Continuing Education Network (eucen), supported by the European Students’ Union (ESU).

The report shows that inclusiveness has become a strategic question for a number of higher education institutions across Europe, impacting learning and teaching, research and institutional cultures. Many have taken action to find new ways to enable people from various backgrounds to find their place in higher education. The idea that diverse learning environments may better prepare students for a diverse society and diverse research environments is gaining ground.

The report features different institutional strategies and measures and analyses success factors, challenges and needs for support to build institutional capacity. Furthermore, it gives examples of different institutional practices and approaches. The report presents a useful European overview and timely background information for the various policy debates that are currently taking place in different fora, such as the Bologna Process, where new approaches towards strengthening the social dimension of higher education are being explored. The topic is also key in the negotiations on the future Erasmus+ programme at the EU level, where inclusiveness of students from disadvantaged backgrounds is in the focus.

EUA hosted a webinar on the topic this week, giving those interested an opportunity to deepen their knowledge. EUA experts also published an article in Research Europe highlighting the key findings of the report.

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