During recent years, universities in the participant countries of this project, have set
internationalisation goals, both to compensate declining populations (especially in Estonia and Hungary) as well as to stay competitive. Together with a wave of migration, which also affects these countries at different intensity, the four participating countries have faced a new demographic situation. Although the number of immigrants, whether foreign students or other, may be not significant, there are debates in the society about the immigration, on one hand, and on the other hand the universities have to adapt to a changing student profile. Issues can raise when there are students from different backgrounds in the classroom whose views may be conflicting between each other or with those expressed by the teacher. But even without a diverse classroom, certain topics can be controversial, like pay gap, political conflicts or ethnic issues.
The long-term objective is the development of meaningful courses for students who come from diverse backgrounds in terms of their geographical and cultural origins, as well as their primary education. The short-term objective is development of a high-impact pedagogical strategy to enrich classroom instructions and promote social change. This material will introduce both the nature of the sensitive issues like minorities or religion but most importantly, introduces different methods how to raise awareness, develop empathy and how to respond to controversial issues, how to handle offensive comments, how to create a safe space as prerequisite for inclusion.
The main output of the project will be a guidance material for university and general education teachers, which in most countries will be adapted into an e-course. There are going to be three MOOCs on Islam, gender issues and radicalisation. In addition to that, a methodological toolbox for teachers will be developed and several multiplier events are planned.
The project is funded through the Erasmus+ scheme 'Strategic Partnership for Higher Education’ and led by the University of Tartu (Estonia) with partners from SGH Warsaw School of Economics, University of Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) and Central European University (Hungary).
At SGH Warsaw School of Economics the project is led by Katarzyna Górak-Sosnowska, associate professor at MECAU. The team includes Dr Urszula Markowska-Manista (University of Warsaw).