#IBelong – Towards a Sense of Belonging in an Inclusive Learning Environment

#IBelong – Towards a sense of belonging in an inclusive learning environment is an innovative programme of interventions to promote student’s sense of belonging and success in Higher Education.

Our programme engages diverse students and their teachers in utilizing #IBelong resources to positively impact sense of belonging and learning outcomes.

By improving the experiences and outcomes of students from diverse backgrounds (in particular migrant students and first generation entrants) we are building more inclusive learning environment, thereby increasing student retention and promoting a fair chance of succeeding.

Throughout the course of an academic year 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, both students and teaching staff at our four partner Universities will take part in several interventions, built to complement one another: Dialogue Days, Team Teacher Reflections and Student Community Mentoring.

DIALOGUE DAYS are interactive lectures that facilitate discussion between students and staff, demonstrating institutional commitment to diversity and promoting the success of all students. Dialogue Days are composed in such a way to:

  • Offer a safe space for staff and students to share diverse experiences of overcoming challenges, recognizing strengths and exceeding aspirations
  • Provide staff with insights to ensure their teaching is reflective and inclusive of students’ diverse backgrounds
  • Empower students by giving them a voice to inform and influence learning and teaching within their academic programme

TEAM TEACHER REFLECTIONS are guided immersive collaborative sessions designed for teachers of the same course programme aimed at making teaching more inclusive and supportive of/for a diverse student body. It is designed with the aim to:

  • Introduce teaching staff to a vocabulary based on theoretical concepts and frameworks to explore diversity and inclusion in education from different perspectives
  • Encourage teaching staff to translate theory into practice and to contribute to engaging conversations
  • Allow teaching staff to enhance skills and teaching methods, based on students experiences, that contribute to improving  sense of belonging in the classroom

COMMUNITY MENTORING PROGRAMME is a set of activities aimed at creating accessible and inviting peer learning communities in higher education. These activities are built to:

  • Stimulate students’ belonging to social networks and identification with university
  • Develop new role models by empowering student-mentors through self reflections and coaching
  • Supp­­­ort collaboration between peer groups

#Ibelong is a Strategic Partnership for Higher Education, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.