This initiative aims to shape inclusive research, pedagogy, and practices for the reception and integration of students from refugee, migrant, and international backgrounds. Aligned with EUniWell’s central mission of enhancing well-being within universities and society, the project will yield a pivotal online module.
This module, developed through creative and participatory consultations, will focus on the experiences of these students, diverse cultural approaches to welcoming, and strategies to support them in higher education. Collaborating across six EUniWell member universities, namely the University of Birmingham, University of Florence, Linnaeus University, the University of Murcia, Nantes Université, and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, the project builds upon an interdisciplinary network of researchers, students, and teachers.
Purpose and Significance
While acknowledging the right of all individuals to higher education based on merit, the project underscores the unique challenges faced by refugee, migrant, and international students. It aims to bridge the gap between institutional approaches and the documented need to recognise common challenges while appreciating the diversity in experiences and support needs. The online module, tailored for student allies, is identified as a priority across EUniWell institutions. Leveraging creative technology and following European pedagogical practices, the project will contribute to various thematic areas, including well-being, education, people, institutions, environment, gender equality, and reduced inequalities.
Incorporating artistic and creative explorations of welcome, such as visual arts, narratives, songs, and other media, adds an engaging dimension to the project. Not only does this approach appeal to the audience, but it also provides co-creators with a secure avenue to contribute.
The project has four key objectives:
- Build on existing networks to share best practices for welcoming refugee, migrant, and international students.
- Centre the perspectives of these students and their allies to inform support strategies.
- Develop an innovative, co-produced online training module for staff and students.
- Foster a welcoming spirit on campuses and in wider society.
Implementation Method and Timeline
The project unfolds in four stages:
- Research and mapping (Months 1-3): Conducting participatory research at each institution, drawing on previous EUniWell projects, and recruiting the tech design team.
- Pilot Development (Months 3-6): Collaborating with students and experts to develop the pilot module.
- Pilot roll out and evaluation (Months 6-9): Implementing the pilot at each institution and incorporating feedback through surveys.
- Re-design and module launch (Months 9-12): Redesigning the module based on feedback, launching the final version, and inviting input from other EUniWell universities.
The primary outcome is an online module based on qualitative research, addressing the experiences and support of refugee, migrant, and international students. This pioneering programme aims to foster innovation in higher education pedagogy across EUniWell universities and European universities as a whole. Beyond the direct impact on module participants, the project will inspire and empower student and staff experts, contributing to academic reflection, research, and policy development on co-production and decolonial pedagogies in European higher education.