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On Monday, 28 October, AUC student initiative Right2Education was announced as the second runner-up of Aurora Universities Network’s Diversity and Equality Award. The prize ceremony was held in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

Right2Education Aurora Diversity Award

Aurora university network

Launched in October 2016, Aurora is a European university network that meets biannually to exchange knowledge on topics concerning bibliometrics, student life, innovation, and diversity and inclusion. Currently, ten European research universities are members of the Aurora network, including Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam (one of AUC’s two founding institutes). The Autumn  2019 edition of the Aurora Conference was hosted at VU Amsterdam which saw members from around Europe gather to discuss issues ranging from better accommodating intellectual disabilities on campus to LGBTQ+ visibility, gender diversity and virtual mobility in the context of the university.

Aurora Diversity Award

Diversity and Equality Award

Since 2017, the Aurora Universities Network has annually awarded the Aurora Diversity and Equality Award. With diversity and inclusion as one of the core themes that Aurora observes, the award is meant to recognise outstanding diversity and equality initiatives from partner universities within their network. The jury panel consists of a mix of academic, administrative and support staff. Nominated projects/initiatives are judged based on the following criteria:

  • To what extent it engages with diversity and inclusion
  • To what extent diversity and respect serve as a focal point of their equality agenda
  • To what extent it encourages the involvement of marginalised groups
  • The amount of participation by target group representatives
  • Their potential to instigate long-term change and impact
  • Its role in cultivating respectful environments
  • To what extent it stresses diversity as an integral element of university life
  • How innovative the initiative is
  • How transferable it could be in varying contexts
  • How clear the mission and how feasible its implementation is

Right2Education among the finalists

For the third edition of Aurora’s Diversity and Equality Award, Right2Education came in third among all nominees.

Started by eight AUC alumni in Autumn 2016, Right2Education (R2E) is an NGO that offers Dutch and English courses at various levels for individuals with refugee status in the Netherlands. While attending the language courses, these individuals are welcomed to the AUC community as guest students where they take lessons that are developed and given by AUC student volunteers. Apart from offering lessons, R2E also offers a variety of social activities to better facilitate integration and socialisation, including potluck dinners, film screenings and excursions around the country.

AUC would like to thank Right2Education and those involved for their role in expanding AUC's community and for making AUC a more inclusive university campus.