TITLE OF THE INITIATIVE
Making journeys: building blocks for diversity
INSTITUTION RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATIVE
Utrecht University Heidelberglaan 8 3584 CS Utrecht The Netherlands
WEB SITE OF THE INITIATIVE
- Intercultural competences activities for staff
- Newly arrived refugees
- Refugees of second generation
- University staff (academic and administrative)
DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES
This project addresses the issue of inclusive diversity and explores how the Utrecht University (UU) can keep on board students from different ethnicities, religions, socio-economic classes, ages, genders and abilities. The project aims to use Arts Based Research (ABR) as an innovative educational tool to explore how diversity plays out in the UU educational context. The InclUUsion project, which offers refugee students access to UU courses, is used as a case study.
The project makes visible, audible, and tangible the journeys, experiences, and ambitions of refugee students who embody diversity in terms of religious and ethnic identity, socio-economic class, race, age, gender, and educational habitus. By engaging refugee students in digital storytelling and other ABR methods, and involving their teachers and their fellow students in the process, the project aims at creating spaces for refugee students to claim their presence and their right to speak in the UU educational context.
The goal of the project is to further the dialogue about diversity at UU by creating both virtual and public spaces where students and teachers alike can discuss their experiences related to diversity, learn from each other, assert themselves, and inform a broader audience (the UU community at large) about ways to foster inclusive diversity.
The collected stories and other findings will be used to create: an interactive website; a mobile exhibition; workshops on digital storytelling; a report for the UU Taskforce on Diversity.
RESULTS AND IMPACT
The project has yielded the following preliminary results:
1) Exhibition ‘Journeys into Diversity’:
The exhibition comprises photos, drawings, videos, objects, and paintings made or brought by refugee students, their fellow students, and teachers. It aims to make visible and tangible experiences in and around UU education, related to the question: ‘What does diversity mean within UU?’. Visitors are invited to provide their input towards answering this question from their own unique, individual perspective. (Dates: March 18 – 29, 2019 / June 17 – 28, 2019).
2) Workshop ‘Arts-based approaches to diversity’:
Starting from the exhibition, these workshops delve deeper into the question of what diversity means and what the implications of different views on diversity in the classroom could be, in terms of teaching and learning. Arts-based activities (e.g. drawing, photography, and poetry) are used as a starting point to consider questions the concept of diversity poses and to discuss ways to maximize the potential of diversity in our daily practices. (Dates: March 21, 2019 / June 18, 2019).