With the adoption of its first gender-equality, diversity and inclusion plan, ECIU makes diversity and equality the priority of ECIU’s management and the priority in all ECIU activities. With this plan, the topics of gender equality, inclusion and diversity will be integrated in the organisation of ECIU, in the processes in research, innovation and education, and in the day-to-day work of everybody involved in ECIU.
As a consortium of innovative universities, ECIU believes that equality and diversity are a driving force for innovation. ECIU strongly believes that more attention needs to be paid to addressing existing inequality and lack of diversity, access and inclusion to enable us to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
Moreover, the European Education Area sets priority to disconnect educational attainment from one’s gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, (dis)ability, age or sexual orientation, and puts the inclusion of students in a perspective of lifelong learning, thus inviting people to enhance their skills and competencies continuously.
“All the existing equality plans of ECIU’s partner institutions were thoroughly studied, and dozens of ECIU experts and key players we’re involved in the process to ensure strong support for the plan,” says ECIU Secretary-General Katrin Dircksen. “We already learned a lot in the process of creating this plan, and I am honestly proud at the result. It has the support of ECIU’s top management now, and rightly so: Equality, diversity and inclusivity deserve strong support and constant attention.”
As stated in its 2030 Vision, ECIU aims to develop an open system of innovation, and hence of accessibility and inclusivity – which means that no department or group is left out and that everybody feels welcome and included. Therefore, diversity – embracing and taking into account differences between individuals and groups – and equality – providing equal access to resources, opportunities and participation (incl. decision-making) – are of key importance. Consequently, the ECIU Board adopted the Gender Equality and Diversity on 10 March 2023.
The plan covers the ECIU objectives in specific development areas, and an action plan including data collection and monitoring. The plan must be regarded as a living document and will be adjusted and reviewed at a yearly basis.