This week we presented at EUROSoTL at Manchester Metropolitan University – the European conference on the Scholarship and Learning. The theme this year was methods of teaching and learning which encourage community.

Three of our board, Esme, Toby, and Janine, presented at the conference. We finished our presentation with three recommendations for the ‘Scholarship of Teaching’ community:

  • Reconceptualise the university community as an open community. We believe education and lifelong learning should be available for everyone who needs or wants it. This involves opening university classes and spaces to people governments officially deny access to.
  • Build social communities with learners at the forefront. For us, education and community are inseparable, and we wanted to demonstrate at the conference that if universities want to build strong communities they need to reconsider how they permit access for everyone.
  • Take action in the wider societal context. Universities don’t (and shouldn’t) exist separately from the cities and societies they work in. Especially in the UK, universities have to address hostile and violent government policies. In order to feel meaningful solidarity in a university community, we need to oppose policies and discourses which oppress people crossing borders. This includes the UK government’s ‘push-back’ tactics, life-threatening deportations, and policies which kill.

This was a great opportunity for us to hear what other similar organisations are working on, but also to have a platform to engage with more universities across Europe.

Have ideas for what we should present on in future? We would love to hear from r2e students, alumni, etc who want to get involved or even come to upcoming events.

Esme Smithson Swain

Esme is the External Relations Coordinator from 2021-2023. She is studying philosophy and law at Amsterdam University College, and has been involved in Right2Education since the beginning of university - first as a buddy, then a teacher, then on the board.