Funded Projects 2022

With the aim of promoting equal educational opportunities students and staff of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) are encouraged to submit their own project proposals to Building New Blocks, the grant application programme of Connecting Our Future. A review committee, chaired by chief diversity officer prof. dr. Semiha Denktaş, selects projects that substantially contribute to the aims Connecting Our Future and show good potential for institutionalization at EUR. Below are the six awardees for the 2022 call.

Community Sharing - Buddy programme

In line with the goals of the Academic Outreach Programme of the IDEA Center, the aim of this project is to connect students of EUR and youngsters (in this case young status holders) with different backgrounds and world perspectives to learn from each other. We would like to make more students of EUR more conscious about the social circumstances of less privileged youngsters and to create a more nuanced world perspective and increase social engagement.


For the status holders, we aim to increase social, academic, practical, and personal skills to possibly smooth their transition to increase their opportunities in higher education. Through these interpersonal connections both parties will learn skills they would otherwise not get familiar with in a regular classroom setting. The meetings take place at the location where the status holders meet, i.e., outside the campus. The meetings focus on improving Dutch language proficiency by discussing topics such as culture, integration, school, and career orientation. The fact that this project is set within the ‘MDT op Zuid’ guidelines means that students receive a certificate that shows that they did something positive for someone else, a person they would otherwise most likely not have met. This project offers a form of education that is still quite unusual for the university but more and more in demand by students themselves, since they are eager to contribute to making positive societal impact.

Project team: Dr. G. Noordzij (project lead, employee), MSc. F. Franke (employee), MSc. M. Zarrinphaker (Stichting Werkshop), D. Ahmadi (Stichting Werkshop)

Five people stand side by side with a cake.

Erasmus Hispanic Cultural Organization (EHCO)

The Erasmus Hispanic Cultural Organization (EHCO) is a student association founded by Erasmus University Rotterdam students belonging to diverse Hispanic countries. The aim of the association is to offer a solution to the (abrupt) adaption of students from their Hispanic society into the Dutch society and the city of Rotterdam.

With EHCO, the board wants to provide a place that students (Hispanic and non-Hispanic) can call their ‘home away from home’ and can find support in their (international) experience. The association creates opportunities for their community to come together by organizing socials, cultural, and professional events such as cooking workshops, dance workshops, and educational talks.

Project team: Sara Garcia De Fuentes (project lead, student), Cristina Roldan Garrido (student), Tomas Goorhuis (student), Eva Ordonez (student), Sebastian Kuthe Fuentes (student), Alejandra Fernández-Cid Aguirre (student)

The board of EHCO 2022.

Inclusion through Narration and Mentoring (INM)

The project ‘Inclusion through Narration and Mentoring (INM)’ develops an innovative training and peer mentoring programme for PhD students and MSc students at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). Joining ISS from different educational backgrounds and diverse communication trajectories, our students have expressed the need for support in scientific communication, which, in turn, affects their feeling of belonging to the academic community.

INM will allow students to explore scientific communication methodologies, in particular narrative techniques, to frame and discuss their research with academic and non-academic audiences. Pursuing culturally inclusive horizontal learning, INM proposes expert-led workshops and a self-managed narrative lab dedicated to honing the skills proposed in the workshops. Designed with a rigorous system of evaluation, which consists of both external feedback and participatory evaluation, this project aims to explore possible drives towards institutionalization. The outcomes of the project are magnified by leveraging the diverse backgrounds and interests of the students to foster communicative creativity. Inclusivity is broadly intended in relation to sociocultural, onto-epistemic, and cognitive diversity. By increasing students’ confidence and sense of belonging in academia, INM has the potential to contribute to students’ success in their studies, enhance retention in academia, and enable students to communicate with diverse audiences. Its effects will boost not only the students’ employability, but also improve academia in terms of richness, complexity, and outreach. 

Project team: Dr. Luisa Cortesi (project lead, employee), Nina Swen (employee), Daniele Rossi Doria (employee), Isbah Hameed (employee), Birenda Singh (employee), Haris Zargar (employee)


The INM team.

Grades and Student Origin

The ‘Grades and Student Orgin’ project will evaluate current and past grading practices at two EUR faculties (i.e., ISS and ESSB). Understanding the present educational practices and the experiences of international students is important towards ensuring equality in educational opportunities for students with different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, as well as for supporting student academic success and wellbeing. Project results with be shared with important stakeholders, including teaching directors, D&I teams, teaching and learning communities, and student representatives. The project will also yield policy recommendations for adoption within wider EUR structures.

Project team: Dr. Elissaios Papyrakis (project lead, employee), Margarita de Vries Mecheva (employee), dr. Matthias Rieger (employee), prof. Marisse Born (employee), Sanjay van Buel (employee), Arpan Sagar (external associate)

Five people stand side by side posing for the photo.

Association of Students of African Heritage (ASAH)

The Association of Students of African Heritage (ASAH) is a student association, founded in 2006 by Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) students. The 17th board of this association is continuing the legacy with the primary purpose to give students of African ancestry a voice and representation both at EUR and in the Netherlands.

Every year, ASAH organizes the ASAH Summit, previously known as the African Business Days. With its history, the ASAH Summit is one of the largest gatherings of African students in the Netherlands. During the Summit, students and young professionals are exposed to unique perspectives on business and career opportunities in Africa. In May 2023, the board will organize the third edition of the ASAH summit with the theme ‘The Power of Africa’. The Summit will include a company booth, a panel discussion, and several workshops provided by companies such as McKinsey and Rabobank.

Project team: Auguste Ouedraogo (project lead, student), Cedrick Badibanga (student), Sofia Coral (student), Tobi Oluwajimi (student), Elisa Weehuizen (student)

The board of ASAH 2022.

Blossoming Tulips: A contribution to diversity and inclusion (Mozaik)

There are many students with a Turkish background in Rotterdam. For many of them, studying at a university is uncommon or new, since their parents mostly came to the Netherlands as immigrants and feel at the cross-section of Turkish and Dutch cultures and languages. Mozaik Student Association (henceforth referred to as Mozaik) aims to bring together Turkish and non-Turkish students with events on a social, cultural, educational, and professional level. The aim of the current project is to connect students of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) with job and/or internship opportunities.

To this end, we will organize a labor market at EUR where students have the opportunity to network with old Mozaik members who are now working in the labor market. The first part of the labor market will be a speaking part where former Mozaik members will speak to share their experiences from their student days and their entry into the labor market. The second part consists of a market with booths from former Mozaik members, giving students the opportunity to meet and network with former Mozaik members who are currently working in the job market. Giving students this opportunity to network increases their job opportunities after graduation from university.

Project team: Selda Sahin (project lead, student), Furkan Ertekin (student), Pelin Yilmaz (student), Özkan Çağlayan (student), Doğukan Demirbüken (student)

The board of Mozaik 2022. Poster of alumni event from the Mozaik association.

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