Collection of case studies of Higher Education equity initiatives

The Bologna Process set the goal that the diversity of students accessing, participating and completing Higher Education, should reflect the diversity of our populations. The E&T 2020 Strategy calls for an enhancement of education. However, despite decades of investment into improving the social dimension, results from the EquNet project show that inequity remains stubbornly persistent, and that inequity based on socio-economic status, parental education, gender, country-of-origin, rural background and more continue to prevalent in our Higher Education systems. While improvement has been shown, extrapolation of the gains of the last 40 years in the field show that it could take over 100 years for disadvantaged groups to catch up with their more advantaged peers, should the current rate of improvement be maintained. Meanwhile the societies changed as well based on demographic and technological changes and we are facing changing needs from the labour market and an increasing skills gap.

The IDEAS project partners have gathered to:

  • Create a database of initiatives, programmes and projects for enhancing equity in access, participation and completion of Higher Education from across Europe;
  • Screen the database for evidence of a causal link between the initiatives and improvements in equity for their target groups;
  • Understand the environmental, social and political enabling factors which allow successful examples of practices to take root;
  • Select successful examples that can be replicated and disseminated widely to promote piloting and scaling up in institutions throughout Europe.

We invite you to share with us your examples of best practice equity interventions. An equity intervention is defined as a specific programme, project or activity, which was designed to improve access to, participation in or completion of Higher Education for students from underrepresented groups, and which showed measurable effects. We are specifically looking for interventions which were implemented at micro- and meso- levels, i.e. by individual institutions, departments, NGOs or individuals.

Your contribution will be added to the project database and will be analysed to create key themes for successful initiatives. Some of the examples will be developed into full case studies examples of best practice which will be disseminated across Europe.

1. General Information

videos, photo’s, documentation, etc.

Detailed information about the case

Please specify the objectives, stated targets and the size/scope of the intervention. Is your intervention standing on its own or is it a part of a bigger and more holistic approach?
Who initiated the idea (government, student movement, community etc.)? Please describe the key drivers behind this initiative e.g. local need, institutional priorities, industry led. Is this initiative based on any particular theoretical framework?
What is the target group and why has it been chosen? What is the relative size of the target group, which social characteristics are taken into account and what is the geographical area covered? On which level is the project implemented: students, staff, curricula, local communities, management of the Institutions etc.? Consider all equality categories: race/ethnicity, country of origin, socio-economic background, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion and belief, marital status, age etc
Did the initiative have political support? How did it fit with local, regional or national policies? Who are the stakeholders supporting the initiative? Are there particular demographic changes present that are influencing the project (e.g. the labour market situation)? What is the institutional strategy and culture (e.g. a mission statement or your key strategic aims)? Is there public support for your initiative and the issue it addresses? What other factors do you think have been important for the success of this initiative?
Please describe the specific activities carried out. What were the key roles within the project? Which methodological tools have been used to reach the goals? What are the final outputs of the project?
How did you ensure sustainability of the project? Has your project been replicated elsewhere?
What was the budget for the initiative? How much was funded and from which sources? How much of financial contribution (including staff costs) came from your institution? What other resources were required that were not funded e.g. materials, skills and expertise? How much did the initiative depend on volunteers? How many? How much time? Who? How were the costs perceived by the public/the sector/other stakeholders?
Please describe the evidence to support the success of your initiative. Did the intervention lead to any unintended outcomes? How did you evaluate/monitor this intervention? What indicators (quantitative and qualitative) have you measured to demonstrate success?