EUGLOH e-Conference on Diversity & Inclusion - Underrepresented Groups

EUGLOH Article published on February 23 2021 , Updated on February 26 2021

On 19 January 2020, the second EUGLOH e-conference on Diversity and Inclusion, hosted by Lund University and the University of Szeged, with contributions from all 5 partner universities, was dedicated to underrepresented groups.

As the kick-off session defined what diversity means, and what inclusion has to do with it in the perspective of our universities, the second conference tackled the issues in depth: How can our institutions and their communities address these issues? Do they concern me? How can I take play my part? These are the questions EUGLOH is discussing in this exciting series of e-conferences over 2 years, where both students and staff of the 5 universities of the alliance are welcomed to exchange best practices, with the aim to raise awareness on diversity and inclusion throughout its campuses.

Katherine Fregnac, Manager of the work package dedicated to Campus Life within EUGLOH, explains: “EUGLOH sees inclusiveness and excellence as closely intertwined. One of the aims of our alliance is to make you feel at home no matter which campus you are physically on, and to ensure that each individuality is valued and supported. This series of conference is a great way to address such a broad subject into focus-based moments.”

The first conference, on Policies & Definitions of underrepresented Groups, took place on 19 January. The aim of the conference was to create awareness of the problems that underrepresented groups face and discuss what needs to be done to accomplish equal representation. On this occasion, local initiatives working with underrepresented groups were able to share their work.

Bringing together 138 participants, the first conference in the series was led by Lund University and the University of Szeged. Dr. Zoltán Bajmócy, Vice-Dean for Scientific Affairs at the Faculty of Economics at Szeged University, opened the conference with a talk on the definition on underrepresented groups. This was followed by a series of student testimonies as well as presentations on solutions to help students with learning difficulties, and how to bring to light underrepresented groups.

Feedback from the conference was very positive. One student said: “[The conference was] insightful and thought-provoking. Although I think myself as an informed person when it comes to inequality issues, there is always so much more to learn and new perspectives to take in.” Another said, “It was a great opportunity to connect with people from all over the world and get information about an important topic. The organization was fantastic, everything went well, the presenters did a great job and it was nice to see the audience participate on a high level.”

Eight e-conferences are to be organised over 2 years, tackling issues such as accessibility, racism and discrimination. National sign language interpreters are available at every conference and audio translation in German, French, Portuguese, and Hungarian will soon be available on request. A dedicated webpage has been created, offering resources and videos on the subjects discussed.

    The next conference led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Porto University on Accessibility, Usability & Inclusion will take place on 16 March, and will be followed by a conference on Racism & discrimination on 11 May, organised by Université Paris-Saclay and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.