Despite decades of investment into improving equitable access and the social dimension of higher education, results from the EQUNET project show that inequity remains stubbornly persistent across European Higher Education systems. Improvements within the field have been registered but the rate of such improvements has to be strengthened. Traditional approaches to equity have also necessitated large-scale direct support to disadvantaged groups, a hard-to-maintain policy in a time of austerity.
IDEAS aims to expedite the increase of equitable access, participation & completion of Higher Education across Europe as per the targets of the The Bologna Process & E&T 2020 Strategy through a concrete and effective exercise where circa 70 concrete initiatives to increase equity, will be identified and analysed. This will lead to the creation of a typology & selection of the most efficient, cost-effective case studies that brought the best results. This exercise will aid in the creation of an IDEAS Toolbox which will contain all effective equity approaches, describing how to increase access, participation &/or completion of specific target groups given certain environmental/social conditions backed up by the evidence collected in the project.
The IDEAS project will also survey a number of stakeholders involved in the field in order to research which are the most common policy & social barriers which trip up grassroot initiatives to increase equity. Backed up by a consultation exercise, this will lead to a policy white-paper on Enabling GrassRoot Equity Initiatives in HE.
The IDEAS Toolbox & the findings of the project will be disseminated through a number of media but most prominently through the IDEAS Tour – a 12 country lecture tour, presenting the project’s findings to stakeholders, institutions and policymakers.
Through IDEAS, we hope to bring to provide practical guidance to HEIs in ‘what works’ in terms of initiatives to improve access, participation and completion
KIC’s Role in the Project
The Centre will serve as coordinator of the dissemination WP, and as such organise the centralised dissemination activities; author the dissemination report and impact audits; and monitor all dissemination activities of the partners throughout the project (also offering technical support to all workpackages).
In addition, it will mobilise its expertise in knowledge transfer, to convert the results of the research analysis into an easy-to-use toolkit for institutions, through its leadership of WP4.