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
“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.
Chance Hoch 2 was one of the three nominees of 2017. The two other projects were Sensitivity to Diversity in Education from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and StuDream from the University of Antwerp. All projects are bundled in the 2017 award booklet.
Mammaforum is an NGO which works with newly immigrated pregnant women and new mothers in Gothenburg, Sweden. These women are often not introduced to language education provided by municipalities. A language barrier can render these women unable to make essential decisions about their health and that of their children. The objective of this project is to enhance Swedish language skills of these women while giving our students hands-on experience teaching the subject Swedish as a second language. Mammaforum has developed an infrastructure within the teaching program that promotes agility and flexibility while supporting a transformative change to members of marginalized groups
Mamma Forum was one of the three nominees in 2018. The two others were Project Track from the University of Duisburg-Essen and Taalmaat from the University of Antwerp. All projects are bundled in the 2018 award booklet.
INSERLAB is a transformative program for students with an intellectual disability. It is a one-year course (38 credits) focusing on improving the autonomy and the educational level of the intellectually disabled student. INSERLAB provides a mentoring program where the students obtain experience in the university community, as well as comprehensive, personalised education. There are several components to the project, such as practical learning, curricular work experience, and an entrepreneurship course, in which the students develop important competencies such as teamwork and problem-solving. Eventually, the programme prepares the student for supported employment.
The program is coordinated by the Rovira i Virgili University (‘URV’) Chair for Social Inclusion and the Social Business Research Lab. INSERLAB involves 15 organisations external to the URV, 22 lecturers, and various URV services. The teaching staff is specially trained to adapt to cognitive diversity and to help the students with their specific needs.
INSERLAB is one of the three nominees of this year’s Diversity and Equality Award. The two others were Support for Access to Audio-visual Media from the University of East Anglia and Right2Education from the Amsterdam University College. All submitted and nominated projects are bundled in the 2019 award booklet which will soon be released.