In our strategy ‘Creating Positive Societal Impact, The Erasmian Way’, we at EUR embrace our responsibility for addressing the complex challenges that our society faces today. One such challenge is to create equitable opportunities for all groups in our community, regardless of socioeconomic or cultural background.
Students from underrepresented backgrounds may face barriers on their way to higher education and during their studies at higher education institutes. Higher education should be equally accessible to all talented youth, regardless of their social or economic circumstances. Furthermore, we believe our students deserve proper support to complete their studies and fulfil their potential.
EUR has therefore decided to take action! Our groundbreaking and extensive outreach programme: 'Connecting Our Future' connects students, parents, educational institutes, researchers, policymakers, and societal partners with the common goal of promoting equal opportunities, both on the way to and in higher education. In our programme, we specifically target students from underrepresented backgrounds, for example:
- Students who are the first in their generation to attend higher education
- Students from families with a low household income
- Students with a migration background
Connecting Our Future is organised in three action lines; Early Outreach, Student-Centered Support, and Building New Blocks. With Early Outreach, we aim to elaborate and strengthen our connection with students from underrepresented backgrounds attending primary and secondary school in the Rotterdam area. With Student-Centred Support, we aim to expand and improve student-centred support for these students from enrollment, introduction and during their studies at EUR. Meanwhile, Building New Blocks is a grant application programme that enables EUR students and staff to apply for financial support for projects promoting equal educational opportunities in primary, secondary, and higher education.
Vision: Promoting equal opportunities for all students
We aim to improve access to higher education, support progress within higher education, and facilitate graduation and employability. In addition to the more traditional student academic outcomes, we focus on student psychosocial outcomes such as a sense of belonging, student wellbeing, and student satisfaction.
Promoting equal opportunities warrants a long-lasting and multifaceted approach. Connecting Our Future, therefore, takes a holistic approach by targeting the diverse causes of inequality that occur at different levels of the system. All initiatives have their basis in an asset-based approach that focuses on the strengths and potential of students, families, schools, and communities whilst at the same time recognizing the cultural and systemic barriers that may preclude students from fulfilling their potential.
Mission: Connecting to develop talent
Creating connections is a central theme of Connecting Our Future. We believe that the broad and complex factors that produce unequal opportunities can be understood as a lack of relationships within and between individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions. We, therefore, focus on (re)building these connections, and we do so in a connected manner with all stakeholders involved.
We work together with numerous stakeholders across our initiatives, including students, peers, parents, educators, educational institutes (schools), societal partners, policymakers, and researchers. Furthermore, we work closely with EUR's D&I office, which creates targeted and effective policies to promote a safe learning and working environment and social equity for the entire EUR community. In particular, we collaborate closely with the D&I pillars of Student Engagement, Inclusive Education, and Inclusive Research and Monitoring. Thanks to our tight collaboration, we develop evidence-based initiatives and promote a holistic view of student success and wellbeing throughout the programme