Good News on Diversity Day: our Diversity and Inclusion Office is awarded Erasmus+ funding for a new IDEA-network of European universities

The University of Zadar in Croatia
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Today - October 4 - is Diversity Day. A day to celebrate and embrace who we are, no matter what race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, or functional impairment. It’s a day to reflect on and learn about each other. We are proud to share some good news on this special day: our Diversity and Inclusion Office was awarded funding of Erasmus+ for a unique new partnership of different European universities called IDEA-net, which stands for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access-network.

IDEA-net is a new form of cooperation and organization between European universities and institutions. The goal is to exchange, learn, grow and build on each other’s' experiences and expertise in the field of inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Through IDEA-net our D&I Office helps initiate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access-structures at universities in Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia.

Dismantling structural inequalities in academia is a critical, yet challenging, task. There are no simple solutions to these complex issues. To achieve our aspirations for the necessary change, IDEA-net will develop and offer several packages to support integration and incorporation of IDEA within the daily operations, standard practices, processes, and initiatives of the participating institutions. At three universities at the Western Balkans, the outcome will be the initiation of IDEA structures and support services, leading to better outcomes for their staff and students.

Who will contribute to IDEA-net

Cooperating universities and organizations in IDEA-net are Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Knowledge Innovation Centre (Malta), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), University College Dublin (Ireland), Stichting ECHO Expertisecentrum Diversiteitsbeleid (the Netherlands), University of Belgrade (Serbia) and the University of Zadar (Croatia).

Activities and results

  • Database of more than 70 good practices of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access (IDEA) work strategies and approaches.
  • Guidelines on how to set up IDEA offices and the right infrastructure and how to build ally-ships from within.
  • Initiation of IDEA structures and support services in the universities of Ljubljana, Zadar and Belgrade, leading to better outcomes for their students.
  • Community of practice centered around knowledge-sharing, future trends and cooperation.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Office is the coordinator for this new network. We are happy to receive this Erasmus+ funding and we are very proud of our coordinating role in this project, focusing on enhancing and embedding inclusion, diversity, equity and access at universities across (Eastern) Europe. The funding from Erasmus+ and the role as coordinator is a recognition of the position and pioneering role we have as Diversity and Inclusion Office.

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