Training Modules

When the six partners came together in 2017, one of the most important goals we set for EUCRITE was to provide staff members with materials that would prepare them in their daily work and interactions with refugee students.

The training modules presented here are the product of a two-part development: in February 2019 we met in Graz for a test-run where each of the partners presented its module to a small group of staff members who were able to discuss and give extensive feedback. Suggestions and criticisms were later incorporated and the final versions will be presented during the staff-training event in Darmstadt in June 2019.

The modules are organized in the order they were presented in the test training in Graz, but we encourage users to pick, choose, and mix according to their own needs and interests.

We wish to provide not only training modules but also food for thought for staff interested in exploring new and innovative ways to work with students with refugee background.

Dealing with diverse target groups, backgrounds and cultures is certainly inspiring and fulfilling, but social diversity is also never characterised by harmony alone. We frequently find ourselves in complicated communication processes, which are often accompanied by irritations, uncertainties and contradictions. In order for such situations and experiences not to lead to frustrations, aversions, negative feelings or even disengagement, it is most important to reflect on one’s own feelings and reactions, as well as on one’s own involvement in intersectional power differentials and experiences of socialisation. Herefore the concept of Diversity has proven to be particularly helpful.

Throughout this module we encourage participants to challenge their familiar ways of thinking. By exploring the key principles of Diversity and applying them to our own experiences in our work with displaced students, we furthermore aim to improve our professional practice in dealing with social and cultural differences.

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Presenters: Aaron Szczerba & Benedetta Gennaro, TU Darmstadt

The final purpose of the module is to build an online catalogue of FAQ (to be published on the EUCRITE website) that can be used and adapted by all HEIs which have students with refugee background.

The FAQs sent by the six partner universities involved in the EUCRITE project have been analyzed and divided into three main categories:

  • legal status
  • services
  • academic rules

For each category FAQs s will be introduced, together with some relevant and useful information which can help the university staff to structure the FAQ page.

The module also includes a short list of suggestions on how to write effective FAQs.

This catalogue of FAQs can be a useful tool for all Universities interested in taking a closer look at the issues concerning their refugee students; moreover the catalogue can possibly work as a reference for improving some of the services provided to students with refugee background.

The module ends with some time dedicated to discussion among all participants.

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Presenter: Barbara Minuzzo, Politecnico di Torino

This Forum Theatre Workshop (FTW) will help participants reflect on real-life problems while engaging with refugee students in the course of their work at the University.  

Augusto Boal believed that, in the same way that in traditional pedagogy can be passed from teacher to student without critical consideration, so to could ideas be passed from actor to audience in theatre (Boal, 1998, p19). Forum Theatre is one of set of tools that emerged from his vision. Forum Theatre revolves around the presentation of a short scene by actors, in which audience members are invited to replace the protagonists. This interaction encourages the audience to explore the different ways of dealing with situations.

In our FTW, the scenes will portray real-life challenges in our partner universities.  In these sequences we will explore University staff dealing with refugee students in three settings: student registration, the teacher-student relationship in dealing with a grade, and student discussions with the international relations staff. This interactive workshop will give the participants the opportunity to experiment, discuss and assess different behaviors and actions which could potentially be applied to these real-life situations.

This workshop will:

  • raise awareness among staff members on the causes and effects of stress in dealing with the refugees in the University system
  • ideate realistic scenarios to manage problem situations, thus relieving stress of not knowing what to do
  • provide opportunities to discuss and exchange best practices
  • share our cultural representations of these situations

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Facilitator: Caroline Schlenker, INP Grenoble

The aim of this module is to make you understand the situation of refugees. We aim at creating empathy by working with a simulation activity which was developed for this special purpose. Putting oneself into the shoes of a refugee, going on a journey with them by taking part in a simulation activity will help to understand. Having somehow experienced what refugees have to go through will raise the awareness for their situation and help when communicating with these students. Patience and empathy are needed in these encounters.

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Facilitators: Barbara Boettger, Gerlinde Mueller-Reinisch, Birgit Steinkellner, TU Graz

This module is aimed at providing the basics of Design Thinking as a tool for creating a more inclusive Higher Education System. By analyzing three case studies, participants will develop solutions which seek to facilitate and promote refugee integration in Universities. This student-centered approach will encourage participants to move beyond the apparent focus on barriers and pitfalls and towards a solution-driven mindset.

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Facilitators: Milla Vaisto-Oinonen, Johanna Sorvari, Aalto Univeristy and Laura Pauwels, KU Leuven