Place of Event: Alpbach, Tyrol, Austria
Date of Event: August 26 – 27 2015

In 2015, the European Forum Alpbach takes on the question of InEquality. Public discourse goes back and forth between the two positions: the negative outlook describes inequality as a deficiency hampering opportunities and reducing resources, whereas the positive interpretation considers it a driver for change and diversity.

“InEquality” is highly controversial – that’s why hundreds of participants from different backgrounds will gather in Alpbach next summer to explore and discuss the many facets of “InEquality”. Exploring the causes, understanding the repercussions and future developments in respect to “InEquality” will take centre stage. Pioneers combatting social inequality will play a particularly significant role. Artists will be more involved than ever in the programme. You can look forward to artistic exhibitions at the beginning of every symposium.

For young people from families without an advanced educational background or who are otherwise socially disadvantaged, the doors to higher education, and particularly to university education, appear mostly to be closed. And even, for those who dare to try, coping with their studies often becomes a directionless, strenuous effort due to a lack of role models and support within their environment. “Dropping-out” becomes a risk and so the self-replicating education system is strengthened further, leaving countless unappreciated talents to fall by the wayside.

The Alpbach Higher Education Symposium, held on 26th August, asked  What higher education institutions can do to work against this process and the accompanying increase in inequality in our society. KIC Senior Partner Anthony F. Camilleri joined experts, practitioners and those directly affected, to discuss the question of access and choice in higher education, but also the supervision of students throughout their studies once they reach that stage.

During the event, KIC presented the IDEAS project, specifically sharing the good practices on tackling educational inequality collected by the project with participants. In addition, we had the opportunity to network with leaders of 28 different projects on higher educational (in)equality and create valuable linkages between the project and these Europe-leading initiatives.