Since the outbreak of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, European Higher Education Institutions have made considerable efforts to facilitate access for newcomers, through a constellation of actions in different domains: financial support, admission procedures, recognition of qualifications, language and psychological support, to mention a few. Most of these initiatives took a bottom-up approach, as an immediate and emergency response to a crisis situation. Although they have undoubtedly contributed to building more inclusive HEIs and connecting universities with civil society actors, few of them have been underpinned by a central strategic approach and planning, paving the way for a holistic and sustainable institutional response.
In the past three years, the UNI(di)VERSITY project has fostered dynamics of collaboration and knowledge exchange to promote the social inclusion of migrants and refugees, and has produced an original set of instruments to support university staff and services in their efforts to integrate issues related to migration and diversity in different areas. Also, the UNI(di)VERSITY partners have learnt some lessons that can be useful for supporting European Higher Education Institutions and European Universities Alliances in promoting overarching strategies for inclusion of refugees and migrants to build inclusive universities in the era of migration.
As a final step in the UNI(di)VERSITY path, Partners are engaged in a widespread final event taking place the same week in Italy, Spain and Belgium.
In Spain, the University of Barcelona has organised a workshop titled “Socially responsible university for inclusive societies in the era of migration“.
In a context of increased xenophobia, cultural tensions, and toxic narratives on migrants and migration, this workshop invites the academic community and the general public to an evidence-based debate and reflection on the key responsibility of Higher Education Institutions with regards to the phenomenon of migration and the promotion of social inclusion and cultural diversity in European societies.
In particular, the workshop will focus on the discussion of a strategic framework in which to develop the inclusion programmes and actions both at the university and the CHARM-EU alliance levels. It will feature the interventions of Alison Morrisroe (EUA – European University Association), Cristina Stefanelli (UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union), Graziella Gaglione (Sapienza Università di Roma), Agnes Sarolta Fazekas (CHARM-EU) and Cati Jerez (UB Solidarity Foundation).
UNI(di)VERSITY opens the debate on the role of universities in promoting social inclusion. The activity (in English) will take place on December 14, 2022, from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Great Hall of the Historical Building of the University of Barcelona (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585), as a side event of the CHARM-EU Annual Conference.
Prior registration is required through this link.