The eRepository was put together on the basis of background needs analysis showcasing an overall lack of information, reference points and learning resources on good inclusive practices with underrepresented students, and on EWS mechanisms existing in different HE settings. Even though there is a positive intention of HEIs to do more to increase access to underrepresented students, this good intention could be hampered by the lack of information and guidance.
The web-based tool is primarily created to support the exchange of know-how among the HE institutions and its teaching and non-teaching staff, promoting different European ideas on how underrepresented students and staff could be supported in their institutional contexts. It contains identification of promising practices related to inclusive learning culture at European HEIs as well as descriptions of HE systems of partner countries, with systemic inclusion aspects and EWS.
(Re)focusing the attention on social dimension of HEIs, the eRepository offers an overview of possibilities for introduction of innovative approaches in education practices needed to level up governance and curriculum delivery, open further access to programs and resources and equal opportunity for the enrollment and retention of the vulnerable students, enhancing their learning relationships and perspectives, and empowering students in general to direct their own learning and supporting underrepresented students transition from HEI to the labour market.
Through its one stop shop virtual space database, the eRepository earmarked promising practices in inclusion of underrepresented groups of students in HEI, e.g. Roma and ethnic minorities’ students, migrant students, students in difficult socio-economic position, etc., across study programs and disciplines. The intention was also to encompass a variety of practices, such as on enrollment and promotion practices, administration and student service practices, teaching practices, learning practices, student union and peer support practices, cooperation practices between HEIs and civil society, etc., so that readers coming from different target groups find it more useful.
Target groups of e-Repository are European HEIs, and particularly their teaching and non-teaching staff that could learn from promising practices, and identify practices with best transferability potential for their institutional setting and country context. It is expected that this web tool becomes a reference point for all those HE institutions intending to better address underrepresented students and introduce some institutional improvements that will better fit the needs of underrepresented students. It is also intended that the database is of use to incoming students, especially coming from underrepresented groups, when making initial choices on the HEIs they want to attend.
The e-repository is available as OER tool provided in English as to ensure wider dissemination, but with selected national partners languages contents as well as sections available in Romany language.