Building Inclusive Societies:

Diversifying Knowledge and Tackling Discrimination through Civil Society Participation in Universities

FAC Research is a partner organisation in BRIDGES, a project cofunded by Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education and the Servicio Español para la Internacionalización de la Educación (SEPIE). BRIDGES  runs from October 2019 to July 2022.

Higher Education (HE) plays a fundamental role in shaping our subjectivities and social relationships. HE curricula and pedagogies can and do reproduce discrimination and exclusion; but they also have the potential to promote social inclusion. BRIDGES aims to suggest ways in which Higher Education Institutions (HEI) can tackle discrimination and promote social inclusion by building relationships with marginalised groups in civil society, and eliminating barriers to their access to universities and HE more generally. To achieve these objectives, BRIDGES constitutes a strategic partnership between HEI and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) in 4 European countries (Spain, Germany, the UK, and Greece).

Affirming the role of the university as an institution that can promote social inclusion, BRIDGES seeks to strengthen the relationship of universities to civil society. Specifically, by forging a strategic partnership between HEI and CSO for the transfer of innovative strategies and curricular development based on the latter’s generally undervalued, yet invaluable experience. Specifically, BRIDGES draws on Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodologies to develop a range of materials geared at making HEI inclusive of socially marginalised groups, in particular EU citizens and residents with migration backgrounds, who encounter barriers due to intersecting discriminations based on ‘race’, ethnicity, language, religion, citizenship status, gender identity and expression, sexuality, class, age, and disability. BRIDGES uses the PAR methodology of Narrative Productions (NP), which consists in a horizontal co-production of knowledge that seeks to eliminate hierarchies between ‘researchers’ and ‘researched’ by validating the theoretical importance of situated, experiential, and marginalised knowledges.

BRIDGES will produce 4 outcomes:
  • BRIDGES Toolkit on innovative strategies for dismantling structures of exclusion and transforming HE curricula from a decolonial feminist perspective. Read the Greek-language toolkit below, download it here, or access the English-language toolkit on the Virtual Lab.
  • BRIDGES Course “Inclusion Without Discrimination,” aimed at current and future HE instructors, the course will be designed using participatory research methods adapted to curricular design and test-taught by HEI and CSO instructors during year 2 of the project (3 ECTS).
  • BRIDGES Monograph “Diversifying Knowledges, Building Inclusive Societies: Theories and Methods of Narrative Productions.” An open access monograph of narrative productions co-authored by the researchers in partner HEI and CSO working at the intersections of multiple marginalisations across the research sites. The monograph will include a methodological guide to narrative productions and participatory curriculum design, systematising the project’s own research and teaching processes.

Partner Organizations:
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
  • Sindillar: Sindicato Trabajadoras del Hogar y del Cuidado (Barcelona, Spain)
  • Institute of Sociology, Justus-Liebig Universität  (Giessen, Germany)
  • an.ge.kommen e.V. (Giessen, Germany)
  • University of Brighton (England)
  • Feminist Autonomous Centre for Research (Athens, Greece)
  • Office of Displaced Designers (Lesvos, Greece)

BRIDGES TOOLKIT