eBelong2: Sense of belonging in the context of new EU alliances
eBelong2 comes to build on the findings of the previous endeavor (eBelong1: Sense of belonging in online learning environments) and continues exploring issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within academic communities, in particular in the context of the newly formed CIVIS alliance, as the CIVIS partner universities in the project are part of it.
eBelong2 is rooted in the need to comprehend the role sense of belonging plays within this developing partnership and the way the universities can sustain growth of learning communities within the alliance, both socially and emotionally, on long term.
eBelong2 project addresses a specific need related to culture change which was identified, moving towards a more inclusive common culture while managing the diversity that the alliance brings. Culture is important for any HE organization and it becomes critical in the cases of alliances, as it comprises all beliefs, values and attitudes of the individuals who are part of them and which influence their behaviour. Culture affects how people experience an organization—that is, in the context of an university alliance, what it is like for an academic or a student to develop a sense of belonging to a community of practice and collaborate with members from other universities, having diverse backgrounds, various needs and interests.
Consequently, the actions proposed in this project are related to understanding the current culture of the partner universities and to researching the levers necessary for moving towards a common inclusive culture, where members of the community, both academics and students, feel valued, listened to, part of the team. In that framework the project takes one step forward and proposes a strategy for building an inclusive culture, where we do not make them only feel included, but also be included in our strategy. Therefore, by trying to answer the question: "How can the results from the eBelong2 project contribute to supporting the community of CIVIS?", eBelong2 addresses a common need of all partners in the project, and beyond.
Aims of the project
Assessing the current operating culture of the partners and the internal factors that are likely reinforcing it.
Identifying levers for moving towards an inclusive culture
- Developing a strategy for sustainable inclusion
The project will deliver a series of reports and analyses on current culture, ideal culture, subjective experiences of students and academics with teamwork and collaboration, with special reference to vulnerable categories of students. The project intends to bring a better understanding at the level of partner universities on matters of inclusion and diversity within the CIVIS alliance and propose a strategy for moving towards a common more inclusive culture.