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ACA Think Pieces: Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights
At the start of this year, 2021, ACA prioritised learning more about and supporting inclusion in international higher education in the context of Europe. We decided to publish our insights along the way with the help of experts in the area of inclusion through a new ACA Think Piece series, Inclusion in International Higher Education: European Perspectives & Insights.
This month’s Think Piece – Building a truly inclusive European University: the YUFE experience so far and emerging challenges – the sixth in the series, is authored by colleagues Karen Bush, Strategic Lead, Diversity and Inclusion, and Daniela Trani, Managing Director, at Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE). The article details the collective journey YUFE has embarked on in defining and actualising inclusion and diversity between the 10 universities and 4 non-academic partners of the alliance. The YUFE alliance is one of the first 17 selected in the pilot European Universities Initiative.
Together, the authors reflect on the challenges they faced in developing their YUFE Diversity and Inclusivity Strategy. They stress the importance of starting from a shared point of understanding between colleagues, identifying areas of alignment and divergence, and using these conversations as entry points to develop consensus and trust, in order to create space to be honest about diversity and inclusion practices and policies. The authors provide concrete ways they worked through various challenges and they remind us of existing realities in societal divisions.