Blog

The Power of Reflection and Community in SPEAR
The Power of Reflection and Community in SPEAR
Peter Bjelskou, University of Southern Denmark

SPEAR’s reflective practices involve more than “just thinking”. Structured reflection is an integral part of the processual dynamics of SPEAR’s Communities of Learning and Communities of Practice. Here partners mutually benefit by engaging in a circular exchange of learning, practice, and feedback (read more about this). This mechanism ensures more synergetic effects by building upon what might otherwise be considered a traditional learning programme and a best practice network, to create a complete self-generating entirety. This empowers members to become effective GE-practitioners in their own contexts, and experience how diversified groups can be more than the sum of their parts.  

Experience of the Vilnius University in promoting diversity and equal opportunities
Experience of the Vilnius University in promoting diversity and equal opportunities
Rūta Ruolytė-Verschoore, Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator at Vilnius University

In 2017, the strategy Open University for People with Disabilities has been approved in the Senate of Vilnius University. The main goal of it was to provide a systematic approach towards the creation of equal opportunities for studying and working for people with disabilities. Since then, great achievements have been made in this field.

Gender equality benefits for the University
Gender equality benefits for the University
Vilius Alesius, Internal Communications Manager at Vilnius University

I work as Internal Communications Manager at Vilnius University in Lithuania, and I am proud to be a part of the SPEAR team since I am certain this will help our community to become more tolerant, diverse and of course aware of gender issues at all levels. Hardly anyone could possibly argue that unevenly divided societies are less sustainable. They are usually distinguished by higher rates of anti-social behaviour and violence. Countries and organisations that maintain greater gender equality are more solid and their people, i.e. citizens or employees, are healthier and enjoy better well-being. Therefore, I hope to contribute to this project as a communicator and I am looking forward to persuading more men to become proactive contributors to gender equality.

Transnational gender equality work
Transnational gender equality work
Peter Bjelskou, University of Southern Denmark

As we endeavour to promote gender equality in nine European academic institutions, the SPEAR project partners must establish a firm foundation of mutual understanding.  We accomplish this by developing clear lines of effective communication across institutional, cultural, and national boundaries, and among very different political and historical contexts. This collaboration entails more than merely transnational dynamics:  within larger national cultures, multiple versions and subvarieties exist. Furthermore, we are all individuals with professional and personal identities and idiosyncrasies - we may be separate from certain aspects of our national mainstream cultures, and deeply entrenched in other parts of them. There are many aspects to consider in this organic process between peers, to ensure that we are in synch.