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New fundings for the eBelong project. Sense of Belonging is now approached in the context of new HE alliances

8 December 2023
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The eBelong project Sense of Belonging enters a new phase! The CIVIS educational initiative which addressed the social and emotional engagement of students in an online learning environment has received further funding.
Continuing as eBelong 2: Sense of belonging in the context of new HE alliances, the project is now focusing on the organisational culture exploration in 5 partner universities within CIVIS.

The beginnings 

It all started in 2021, when the challenges imposed by the pandemic of Covid-19 in higher education institutions asked for an urgent response from the universities.  

Taking into consideration that successful learning is not just about the quality of knowledge and skills to be trained but is very much related to the quality of social interactions between students and instructors, the latter were forced to find solutions for addressing the social and emotional engagement of students in online learning.

Therefore, the CIVIS group of experts on innovative pedagogies decided to take up the challenge and tackle this matter with the development of the eBelong project - which addressed issues related to equity, especially when it came to access learning experiences of the vulnerable groups: students with special education needs, socially - economically disadvantaged groups etc., but also academics with reduced digital literacy and limited capacity to transfer all teaching in online environment in an effective way.

Looking forward

The initiative, now called eBelong2 and coordinated by the University of Bucharest, continues exploring issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within academic communities, in particular in the context of the newly formed CIVIS alliance: 

We are motivated by 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., says Camelia Rădulescu, the project’s coordinator. 

Therefore, the actions proposed in the 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. As culture affects how people experience an organisation. 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. 

You can read more about the new phase of the project on the dedicated page.