ECHO, EXPERTISE CENTER FOR DIVERSITY POLICY

https://echo-net.nl/en/about-us/

WHO WE ARE

Stichting ECHO is a center of knowledge and expertise on diversity policy. It was one of the national initiatives of the Ministry of Education Culture and Science and the associations of higher education in the Netherlands in 1994, to improve study success in education, more employment at the labotr market and to enhance empowerment and social mobility of Dutch citizens with a non-western background (migrants, children of migrants and refugees). This all should lead to a more inclusive society where all Dutch citizens develop and feel a sense of belonging. From 2003 ECHO is an independent not for profit organization that develops programmes and provides services and training to public and private organizations in- and outside of the Netherlands, on issues related to diversity & inclusion in education and the transition to the labour market. The methodology developed by ECHO to realize its objectives were implemented through project activities at universities in the first place and more and more in secondary and primary education as well. We have introduced models of good practice of international partners and deliverables from EU projects to Dutch universities. This is an on-going process through conferences, study tours and cooperation with colleges and universities abroad. We have been and are part of EU funded projects and are involved as one of the partners in the GAPS initiative (Global Access to Postsecondary Education initiative http://www.gaps-education.org). Furthermore ECHO challenges itself within a continuously changing society to direct itself to present a positive image of Dutch students with a non-western background by revealing their talent through the ECHO Foundation. From 2001 until now every year all universities in the Netherlands are invited to nominate students for an ECHO Award. ECHO awards are given to students with a non-western background who not only excel academically but are also active at their universities and even more important, in society

WHY WE ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE PROJECT

The main activities and experience of ECHO relevant to the current project Partnerships for Digital Education Readiness are:

  • • Organising seminars and conferences in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Employment and municipalities
  • • Coordination of the Students-4-Students campaign, 27 projects with HE institutions in the Netherlands, funded by the ministry of Education
  • • Maintaining TLC, a digital Teaching and Learning Center with innovative practices and knowledge to enhance diversity and inclusive in education (www.echo-tlcenter.nl)
  • • ECHO Masterclass on Inclusive Excellence for Dutch educators with a focus on theory and practice related to Super Diversity, Critical Race Theory, Critical Pedagogy, Micro
    Agressions and Stereotyping
  • • ECHO Junior Academy, children’s university for migrant and underrepresented youth, developed to better inform and prepare, children with a migrant background and refugee children on the education system. Organised in collaboration with city councils, schools, universities, community organisations and ECHO Ambassadors
  • • ECHO Mentor Programme for almost or just graduated migrant students in collaboration with public organisations and corporation
  • • ECHO Award for students with a migrant background who excel academically and are active in civic engagement. This initiative is supported by businesses, government, city councils and universities
  • • Collaboration with HEI partners in the urban area in the Netherlands. Approximately 70% of all students with a non-western migrant background in the Netherlands study at these HEIs
  • • Advice to and collaboration with the Ministry of Education on diversity and inclusion in education. Specifically, with the department of HE, the Equal Opportunities Alliance and the Chief Diversity Officer
  • • Advice to and collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment on diversity and inclusion at the labour market.

OUR ROLE IN THE PROJECT

ECHO is lead partner in charge of developing Capacity Building Tool for IDEA support services. Our capacity building peer learning activities for development of IDEA competences of campus leadership and support staff will be used for improving the campus climate of inclusion and access for students, faculty and staff, and preparing all to better live and lead in a world that is deverse, global and inteconnected.

Ljubljana, Belgrade and Zadar will be actively involved in piloting those peer learning activities, and testing the programme.