The Aurora Diversity and Equality Award was launched within the network to highlight innovative and successful inclusion and diversity interventions. The objective of the award is to identify and exchange good practices and to advance the Aurora network’s vision of equal opportunities for staff and students. In this way, we aim to create a working and learning environment in which different perspectives are explicitly valued, and to generate creativity from different perspectives in teaching and in education.
In its first run, the Aurora Equality and Diversity Award has yielded a total of 18 nominations from the participating partner universities. The jury consisted of five members, representing academic, supporting and administrative staff.
Nominated initiatives are assessed on the following elements:
- Practices which primarily engage with equality and diversity.
- Advances the equality agenda with diversity and respect at its core.
- Helps provide opportunities for marginalized groups.
- Stakeholder involvement, particularly involvement of target group representatives.
- Actions that support a longer term goal of creating transformative change.
- Creates respectful environments.
- Emphasis on diversity as a strengths of the University society, in particular those that engage with the concept of intersectionality.
- Innovative methods.
- Transferable to different contexts.
- A clear vision and feasible strategy.
“The nine universities in the Aurora network share a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. All Aurora partners subscribe to equal opportunities for all. With our diversity policies we aim to contribute to the inclusiveness of European societies in which equality of men and women still is not a matter of course, divides between cultural and ethnic groups are increasingly at stake, sexual orientation and gender identity are still reasons for violence and discrimination, and where social economic differences become larger rather than smaller. We value different perspectives as essential aspects of an academic community. We believe that diversity among our students and staff will enhance the quality of university education and research.” – Prof. Dr. Karen van Oudenhoven – van der Zee
The following projects were nominated for the Aurora Diversity and Equality Award 2017
“Chance hoch 2″ is a widening participation scheme aimed at first generation students with or without a migration background. Funded by Stiftung Mercator, “Chance hoch 2” supports gifted young students by delivering special assistance before and during their education at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The assistance includes various workshops, personal mentoring, career planning and coaching as well as financial support.
The two-year project entitled ‘Sensitivity to Diversity in Education’ at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam had the aims to contribute to a learning environment of inclusive excellence and to qualify students for citizenship and a professional future in a diverse society. The project consisted of the development and implementation of training programs for faculty members; the screening and innovation of the curriculum; and the development of a vision on diversity in education. The three elements were integrated wherever possible. Teachers, students, as well as administrators and directors of education were involved in the project. The project resulted in 9 trainings organized for five different faculties (highly valued by the 105 teachers who had participated), improved curricula at four faculties, and a digital e-handbook which is online available for all universities.
StuDream is a center which arose out the project-oriented initiatives of student association Mahara. StuDream focuses on the influx and flow of students from different backgrounds. After two years of experience, Mahara created a model which fits in the university landscape. With a bottom-up initiative and a cooperation between role models (successful students from the various marginalized groups) and the expertise of the university services and faculties, StuDream tries to be an inclusive center where future students and first-year students can being helped. The success factors are: – Low tightness – Representativeness – the structural cooperation between students and experts of the university.