European University of Post-industrial Cities (UNIC) is an alliance of 10 universities aiming to boost mobility, inclusion and social impact. UNIC universities and cities are the following: Koç University (İstanbul), University College Cork (Cork), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Rotterdam), Malmö University (Malmö), University of Lodz (Lodz), University of Liege (Liege), University of Zagreb (Zagreb), University of Oulu (Oulu), University of Deusto (Bilbao), Ruhr University Bochum (Bochum). Within this alliance universities are collectively working on creating and implementing numerous mobility opportunities such as exchange programs, joint graduate programs, virtual-blended learning as well as staff and-faculty trainings and promotion of city-university cooperation towards mapping societal problems and devising solutions.

One of the themes of the alliance is superdiversity across our institutions so that universities can become more friendly and inclusive for different groups and stakeholders. To this end, a number of initiatives and activities have been carried out such as establishing a network of scholars and practitioners, state of the art research, superdiversity trainings, establishing connections with new students and candidate students, and superdiverse classroom guideline. The State of the Art (SoA) Report (2021) explains the need to focus on superdiversity vis-à-vis universities as: “Superdiverse student communities are already present and included in teaching, research and administrative practices of higher education institutions. However, there is a gap between higher education institutions’ superdiverse student populations, marked by multi-dimensional complex identities, rapidly changing needs, and activist mindsets; and institutional strategies and policies which rely on single-dimensional identity markers, gradual policy responses and identity politics.”

UNIC alliance also launched a joint research program on engaged research to involve and engage citizens, civil society and public/private authorities in research and innovation. Within this framework the alliance has been developing a joint strategy, structure, platform and excellence on engaged research as a strategy for enhancing inclusion, impact and mobility within and in between the partner universities towards strengthening the alliance by adding an important research dimension to the existing collaboration.

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unic koc university
UNIC Koç University