Engaged Students for Inclusive Cities

On the 12th of December an international workshop was organized on Campus Woudestein in Rotterdam to promote an interorganizational dialogue about engaged researching. The participants varied from student-researchers and senior researchers of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) and the University of Liège (ULiège), to representatives of the Rotterdam municipality and antidiscrimination agency RADAR.


Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam


Start: 12.12.2023


Municipality of Rotterdam , RADAR

By Eline Teunissen

The EUR and ULiège both collaborate with UNIC4ER in engaging state and civil society actors with research. Both universities encourage master students to do their research projects in and about their cities, with a common goal of addressing migration and diversity governance issues through close collaboration with societal partners.

During the workshop the opportunities and difficulties that lie in the mutual cooperation between municipality, social organizations and universities we discussed. Close listening and co-creation have proven itself to be of key importance in effective interorganizational collaboration. This way, policy can be based on local and academic knowledge which fit with the needs of broader society.

First, the alumni of the EUR Master’s Degree in Governance of Migration and Diversity presented the findings of their master’s theses. This was followed by discussions about the implementation challenges of the New Integration Act, benefits and frictions in approaches of interactive governance on antidiscrimination, and the role of shelters in tackling victimization of irregular male migrants in Rotterdam. The second part of the workshop consisted of a round table. Discussions arose about the role of student-researchers in engaged research, recommendations on how to access state actors and grassroots organizations to collect data for the research projects and on building reciprocal, trusting and lasting relationships between the researchers and the participants of the study.

The students gained insights on effective ways of acting and practical tools to be better engaged in their research. Additionally, the representatives from the city of Rotterdam have obtained valuable insights into their challenges in migration and diversity governance. The international exchange of experiences between the two programs have contributed to mutual learning.

The results of the conducted research by the master’s students and the workshop will be shown through a series of short videos as an example of ‘good practice’ and a blog that will be published in February 2024 on the website of the Rotterdam Inclusivity Project.

Watch the three short videos here:


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