Join the Multidisciplinary MA Students’ Network on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

Are you interested in the topics of diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion? Do you believe such topics should be more thoroughly investigated within the university community, not just in the world “out there”?

Do you believe research, and the MA study process, can involve a collaborative and interdisciplinary process leading toward social justice? To the point, are you willing to become an engaged student investigating issues of diversity and inclusion within academia? 

The Una Europa Diversity Council, together with the local Una Europa Helsinki team, and Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ) is launching an initiative for the academic year 2023–2024. The purpose of the initiative is to enable Master’s students across faculties, disciplines, and programs to collaboratively investigate diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion within the university community. 

Students who are interested in such topics are often guided to investigate these issues in the world outside academia and refrain from examining their own educational contexts. However, similar challenges of marginalization and disparities related to lack of diversity and equity, and the same patterns of inclusion and exclusion we identify in the outer world, also occur in academia. Our research methodologies, the conclusions we draw, how research leads to policy and practices, and what forms of academic and educational expertise we nurture, is central for the future of academia and for the whole of society. 

The aim of this initiative is to develop a sense of community where students collaborate with peers interested in similar issues, develop their ideas in a spirit of hope and confidence, benefit from cross-disciplinary approaches, and gain additional insights and advisement from other disciplines. The initiative does not replace supervision or student participation in program-based master’s seminars but provides a multidisciplinary framework for our current practices. The hope is to create a support structure, and innovative supervision strategies, based on an enlarged sense of community that lies beyond our normal disciplinary, theoretical, and methodological borders. The resulting networking, collaborations, and theses will no doubt test students’ levels of commitment and could well lead to forums and publications worthy of public scrutiny. To accommodate the students and to adhere to the spirit of the initiative, the preferred language of the network is to be English. However, common sense indicates that flexibility of language choice is key. Thesis may be written in English, Finnish or Swedish. 

Though the specific topics of the theses will not be predetermined, they should fit within the thematic area of diversity, equality, equity, or inclusion. As well, one’s studies may be related to such aspects of academia as scholarly community, teaching, the knowledge base, approaches to studying and learning, accessibility, student experience, support mechanisms, international mobility and international programs, and networking, within the Una Europa collective of universities and/or within the University of Helsinki.  

Since autumn 2023 we have been meeting monthly with the students, and continuously welcome new students to join our network. 

We have already found many supervisors across various disciplines and programs who are interested in contributing to this initiative. 

The benefits include participation in a cross-disciplinary network across the University of Helsinki and among leading European universities. We are confident that the initiative will lead to innovations in the roles of faculty supervision, collaboration and networking. Most importantly, together we can enhance diversity and inclusion at the university level and beyond. 


If you are interested in joining the network, please get in touch with Ameera Masoud