Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) in Turku and Vaasa, Finland is an internationally acknowledged research university with an extensive responsibility for preserving the Swedish educational and cultural heritage as the only Swedish-speaking multi-disciplinary university in Finland. Due to the Swedish language and the university’s location on the South-West and West coast, ÅAU also serves as a bridge for collaboration in research and education between Finland and other Nordic states.
ÅAU employs 1,200 staff and provides high quality education to 5,500 undergraduate and 780 postgraduate students, of whom 500 postgraduate students (64%) are awarded Masters Degrees and around 70 students (9%) graduate with Doctoral degrees per annum. The number of scientific publications averages 1,500 annually.
The Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies will be the faculty directly involved in the Include Me project, at the core of this faculty is the belief that health, well-being and proper educational access is the foundation of a safe society. The research in the fields of education, health sciences and social sciences contribute to positive development for all regardless of age and social status, ensuring equality for all learners.
Minority Research is of strategic importance within the University, drawing on their national experience with dissociative groups and low levels of social cohesion in certain areas, ÅAU are keen to ensure that the available materials and resources on conflict resolution and mediation are of the highest quality possible. They recognise that a pan European approach, encompassing the experiences of a varied group, will create a more well-rounded and useful suite of materials.
Åbo Akademi University, is a leading University in Finland, spear-heading education and research in the field of Minority research and health and well-being. With the choice of minority studies as a strategic research profile Åbo Akademi University endeavours to be an active research agent within Europe as the emergence of multicultural and multilingual societies puts pressure on individual European nations to find new mechanisms to addressing societal, ethical, legal and educational issues that embrace and include a multitude of different communities.
EUCEN The European University Continuing Education Network (EUCEN) is an international non-governmental not-for-profit association founded in 1991. It is the largest European multidisciplinary Association in University Lifelong Learning. Current EUCEN has 174 members in 36 countries, all of them universities who are actively committed to and involved in the development of University Lifelong Learning (ULLL).
It includes 17 national networks for University Continuing Education (UCE) and ULLL in Europe and 8 associations concerned with the education of adults. EUCEN is one of the founding associations of the EUCIS-LLL platform (now known as the LLL Platform).
The main aims and objectives of EUCEN are:
- to contribute to the economic and cultural life of Europe through the promotion and improvement of the quality of LLL and continuing professional development within higher education institutions in Europe and elsewhere, and
- to foster universities’ influence on LLL knowledge and policies throughout Europe. EUCEN represents a very rich source of expertise in the field of ULLL, university management and Innovation.
EUEI European E-learning Institute (EUEI) specialises in the creation of powerful online platforms, immersive educational environments and provision of resources and tools to create truly valuable learning experiences. EUEI was founded on the concept of ‘continuing education’; a post-secondary education programme, which encourages Higher Education/VET students into further education and provides further enrichment to learners in a wide range of sectors, covering topics that are professional and/or personal. As an organisation, EUEI places tremendous worth on the informal and flexible nature of continuing education and crafting flexible, online learning courses for those wishing to improve themselves and stay ahead in their careers and in business, or those who have the desire to go back into education and retrain. EUEI have recently begun training on MOOCs and are excited about the possibilities which these open online courses offer to their audience. Building inclusive and resilient communities is a key goal of the organisation, they are passionate about change, creating courses which aim to combat injustice in many sectors, this ties in directly with the objectives of the Include Me project, increasing social cohesion and educating interested targets groups on the skills needed for effective mediation.
Momentum – Momentum is an Irish VET organisation focused on developing progressive learning programmes and platforms for education with special focus and competence on training content, digital media and social media as a powerful tool in reaching marginalised target groups. Founded in 2003, Momentum Marketing Services (MOMENTUM) has grown rapidly in size and now employs 24 staff and subcontractors and equips over 600 learners per annum with lifelong learning skills and tools.
Much of its work is community based, working with groups facing economic, social and political challenges, making the team highly aware of the issues faced by disadvantaged and disenfranchised groups and perfectly placed to engage with these persons. This expertise has its grounding in peace and reconciliation work, highly relevant conflict resolution experience which is derived from its border county base of Leitrim which was adversely affected by the on-going conflict in Northern Ireland. This was manifested in a variety of ways, including a reduction of investment, withdrawal of services, absence of economic investment and employment opportunities, stigma associated with proximity to the areas of conflict, reduction in cross-border traffic and social intercourse, increase in emigration, decline in tourism and increased isolation of already marginalized sectors.
MOMENTUM understands the dynamics of migrant communities’ and has carried out work in this field. It was employed as a facilitator and evaluator under the International Fund for Ireland Building Foundations – Community Based Economic & Social Regeneration Programme under the 3 overarching themes of
- Cross Border Facilitation
- Social Inclusion and
- Peace and Reconciliation.
It also worked as evaluator on the 3 phases of the Peace Programme which is designed to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and to promote reconciliation by assisting operations and projects which help to reconcile communities and contribute towards a shared society for everyone.
TUZLA T.C. Tuzla Kaymakamlığı (TK), situated in Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkey, is a district governorship established in 1992. It is the main public authority responsible for governmental and administrative issues in the district and coordinates all the services of public institutions and organizations in Tuzla. This organisation takes an active role in the economic, cultural,educational and social development of Tuzla.
As Tuzla District Governorship, one of our prior objectives is to take part in the projects which meet the needs of Tuzla and contribute strategic development of Tuzla by developing unique projects and to benefit from available local and EU grants by observing the new developments in public administration and civil society and in the process of EU candidateship. One of our priorities is to place emphasis on the human resources training in order to develop effective and productive projects. Within this framework, we have increased the number of local and international projects aiming to facilitate the social integration, to promote entrepreneurial spirit, to assist people to get information, experiences and competences, to teach soft skills, to enhance the tolerance among migrants and refugees who have different cultural and social backgrounds, to eliminate the discrimination and to provide people with an opportunity in establishing their own policy.
UBSF The Solidarity Foundation is part of the UB Group, the UBSF has 16 members of staff and more than 4000 associates with an additional 20 people working on a voluntary basis. The staff and volunteers at the UBSF bring enthusiasm to the foundations programmes, they ensure the highest standards of education is available, and also ensure that those who are most in need of assistance are able to avail of the foundations resources, such as the student refugee programme and equal education for all.
The Foundation exercises University of Barcelona’s social responsibility in different environments in which it is located: the university community, local and national levels (where it develops social action programs) and the international level (where it drives development cooperation projects).
The UB Solidarity Foundation fosters initiatives defending human rights and promoting social action, making them ideally placed partners for the Include Me project due to their ethos, ideology and experience working to foster community cohesion and relationships.
The Foundation promotes the defence of human rights in different ways:
- by carrying out joint actions at local levels with individuals and/or institutions,
- by creating outreach tools, -and by furthering global citizenship education.