The First UNIC Superdiversity School: Approaching Higher Education with a Superdiversity Lens

Within the scope of the UNIC Superdiversity Academy (WP4), UNIC institutions are organising six three-day UNIC Superdiversity schools, each involving participants from various UNIC universities and will each time be held at a different UNIC university. This first superdiversity school focused on the main themes of UNIC vis-à-vis different university functions. While doing so, it also exposed participants to the outputs of the first year. The very first school also provided an opportunity to assess the needs and interests for future endeavours.

Virtual Place

Date

Start: 03.11.2021
End: 05.11.2021

Partners

Day 1, Academic Experts’ Session 3 November 2021 Wednesday, 12:00-14:00 IST (10:00-12:00 CET)

The target audience of this session was all interested staff of the universities, including the academic and administrative staff. The first day of the UNIC superdiversity School featured experts from Koç University, addressing various themes such as bias in educational settings, student life, and organizational culture in higher education settings.

A Brief Introduction of UNIC and In Inclusive Student Life Asst. Prof. Yiğit Sayın, Law School, Dean of Students at Koç University
This talk addressed the relevance and importance of (super)diversity in the student, faculty and staff body at an institution of higher education. It also presented some best practices to create an environment that inspires our youth to feel supported and capable of continued learning.

The Art of De-biasing Assoc. Prof. Lemi Baruh, Department of Media and Visual Arts and Associate Dean of College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Koç University Prof. Zeynep Cemalcılar, Department of Psychology at Koç University

This talk presented the De-bias project which aims to contribute to a growing field of applied research on processes that can be used to reduce cognitive biases. Specifically, the project entails designing video clips for a selection of cognitive biases pertaining to teaching/learning environments, with a particular focus on teacher-learner communication. The project will also develop an adaptive learning platform to deliver targeted teaching interventions.

Leadership for the Next Generation Prof. Zeynep Aycan, Department of Psychology and Faculty of Management at Koç University

This talk presented the path for facilitating the transformation from a “culture of power” to a “culture of empowerment” from an organisational focus, an important prerequisite for a superdiverse friendly organization.

Day 2, Learning and Teaching Session 4 November 2021 Thursday, 14:00-16:00 IST (12:00-14:00 CET)

Dr. Zuhal Zeybekoğlu, Director, KU Office of Learning and Teaching (KOLT)

The session was organised in cooperation with KU Office of Learning and Teaching (KOLT). The audience of this session was academics who seeked to reconsider their teaching skills with a focus on inclusivity. Participants visited main themes of UNIC, mainly superdiversity and inclusion, and considered them in relation to inclusive and student - centred course design and delivery with real life challenges. Participants were also presented with an overview of UNIC and its first-year experiences. Finally, they carried out a brief assessment activity. Before the session, a google form was sent to receive prior information about the possible participants. We received 20 responses from 6 HEIs. Some of the main challenges they faced included: teaching students with different educational attainments & backgrounds, integration between different students (online & face to face), assisting students will special needs/disabilities. They came from following disciplines: Social Sciences, Law, Engineering, Languages, Biotechnology, Education and the average years of teaching experience was 13.

Day 3, Student Life and Support Session 5 November 2021 Friday, 14:00-16:00 IST (12:00-14:00 CET)

Pınar Özbek, KU Academic and Life Skills (ALIS) Unit Instructor

This session was organised in cooperation with KU Academic and Life Skills (ALIS) Unit and the audience was administrative staff members from different student life units such as: Social life, community engagement, extracurricular trainings-programs, Registrar, International/Erasmus Offices, Immigration Offices, Diversity-Inclusion Offices, Housing/residential life, and Health related (health centre, psychological counselling). Participants were presented with an overview of UNIC and its first-year experiences. Then, during an experiential session, they got to know each other, discussed and reflected on traditional and non-traditional students of their institutions as well as experiences with inclusion and (super)diversity related practices, including possible points of improvement and intersectionalities. Finally, they carried out a brief assessment activity. Before the session, a google form was sent to receive prior information about the possible participants. We received 28 responses from 8 HEIs and different units such as: Library, International Cooperation Office, Global Engagement Office, Student Affairs, Student Support, Research Support, Students with Special Needs/Disability Office, D&I Offices, UNIC Team members, faculty members. Years of experience on working with students were between 1 and 25.

The school has hosted around sixty participants from all UNIC institutions including administrative, academic and teaching staff members.

With the very first Superdiversity School, we achieved to:

• Visit and discuss issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and superdiversity in higher education,

• Reflect on participants’ and students’ identities and experiences,

• Reconsider already existing practices with a different lens,

• Identify and implement learner-centered structures and strategies.

Tags

UNIC Superdiversity Academy | Superdiversity Schools

Themes

Diversity and Inclusion | Higher Education | Internationalization

Type of case

event | school

Languages

English

Organizing unic universities

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