For a Professional Higher Education Institution (PHEI) to be truly inclusive, it needs to reflect its diverse range of students. To achieve this, a PHEI should not just consider its study programmes and teaching & learning processes, but also aim for fully inclusive student engagement. Student engagement not only relates to student activism and student involvement in decision-making bodies, but also to the structures and practices of students’ organisations themselves.
All of these elements of student engagement do not fully reflect the diverse student community in a PHEI and can be difficult to access for non-traditional students and underrepresented student groups.
The InclusiPHE project intends to contribute to a more inclusive student environment by raising awareness for full student inclusion and providing PHEIs and their students’ organisations with concrete ideas, tools and guidance on how to make student engagement fully inclusive.
The project is broadly divided into 4 stages:
Stage 1: Analyse existing models and patterns within student engagement at PHE institutions.
Stage 2: Identify good practices and innovative ways of a more inclusive student engagement of PHE specific target groups
Stage 3: Develop student-led strategies for creating more inclusive PHEIs and students’ organisations.
Stage 4: Develop a Capacity building toolkit and pilot inclusive student engagement training
The main intended impact from the project is to change attitudes towards (traditional) students’ engagement, making higher education leaders and staff as well as students’ organisations aware of obstacles that are in place for a full participation of different groups of non-traditional students. Outputs of the project are expected to be used by PHEIs and students organisations within the project partners and across Europe to make concrete and substantive improvements in making students’ engagement more inclusive, leading to a much more diverse range of students that are involved in areas related to university governance, quality assurance, student activism, etc.