MInkluWB - Ment­or­ing-based In­clu­sion in busi­ness and eco­nom­ics study pro­grams with re­gion­al fo­cus on West­ern Balkans

The MInkluWB project enables students from partner universities in the Western Balkans to be trained as peer-mentors for beginning students. These qualification opportunities shall be embedded within the regular curriculum at the local universities and hereby sustainably establish inclusive mentoring structures.

The setup of mentoring-structures in the introductory phase of the study program serves as an approach to the individualisation of learning paths and thereby as a possibility for quality improvement in the academic teaching at universities which actively deal with the increasing diversity of students.

Wherever it is possible to guide members of underrepresented groups into higher education and to the successful completion of their courses of study, social cohesion as well as social stability are increased. For universities, there is the chance to address new target groups, to expand teaching programs and to use diversity as a resource. In this context, one of the central objectives of the Bologna process is “the support of students from underprivileged groups” (EC 2015). Here, inclusion can be understood as social participation which does not only refer to the exclusion of, for instance, handicapped people but also relates to all forms of discrimination.

One prominent feature of the MInkluWB project is the cooperation between universities and civil society organisations which support groups with difficulties regarding the transition from school to university. In Germany, the Initiative ArbeiterKind.de is one of them.

As a cooperative project, MInkluWB displays multiple perspectives:

  • Students from the participating universities have the opportunity to attend a Summer School on the subject of peer-mentoring in Germany.
  • Professors and employees of the partner universities jointly develop localised mentoring-concepts and root them on a curricular level.
  • On site, mentoring-tandems are formed which help to support students, who have been disadvantaged, in the introductory phase of their studies.
  • Through mutual exchange, cooperation with stakeholders of the civil society and public relations work awareness regarding the inclusiveness of higher education is increased. This serves also to overcome a deficit-focused perspective on so-called “non-traditional” students.