PEACEMAKERS - Peace Dialogue Campus Network: Fostering Positive Attitudes between Migrants and Youth in Hosting Societies

Scientific Coordinator: Monica Rubini

Sector: Higher Education

Unibo structure involved: Department of Psychology

Project Duration in months: 24
Start Date: 02/10/2017 
End Date: 01/10/2019

Budget: 181.418,00 euro
Unibo Budget: 28.985,00 euro

Coordinator: KOC UNIVERSITY (TK)

  • UNIBO (IT);
  • Erasmus Rotterdam University (NL);
  • Universidad Abierta (PT)

Over the past years the Eurasian landscape has witnessed unprecedented levels of international migration. The UN statistics estimated that in 2015 the number of international migrants worldwide reached 244 million, including almost 20 million refugees. The humanitarian crises in the Middle East and Africa result in more people seeking to improve their lives outside of their homelands.

The background information gathered from partnering institutions showcases that the number of migrants/refugees is on the increase, and lack of effective communication and social inclusion due to cultural conflicts and prejudices is a growing issue in common throughout Turkey and Europe. Based on this reality, this project aims to foster a more peaceful generation in Europe and in Turkey that approaches migrants with positive attitudes to tackle prejudices, discrimination and racism, and to promote social inclusion through intercultural communication, interaction and empathy. This is also the reason why it needs to be carried out transnationally.

The projects aims to achieve this objective via an international peace dialogue campus network of university students, led by 24 “Peace Envoys” that will be trained for 2 years in the Peacemakers project to develop their problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative working and conflict resolution skills through rigorous academic preparation, experiential education and leadership development. Both formal (online course) and non-formal (train-the-trainer camps) education methods will be used. The 24 Peace Envoys will be composed of 6 students from each partner university (except Aberta). They will gather in 3 train-the-trainer camps in Istanbul, Florence, Rotterdam respectively. In these camps, the Peace Envoys will be trained as trainers, who will be assigned, right after C1, with the task of training student groups and creating peace dialogue students’ clubs in their home universities, which will finally become a “Peace Dialogue Campus Network”.

This project will be complementary to previously EU funded projects that aimed to foster peacebuilding and conflict resolution activities by targeting university students in some key European countries where racial, ethnic, cultural and migration-related conflicts have begun to take a worrying prominence. It will also complement the existing peacebuilding, conflict resolution and intergroup dialogue academic and extracurricular activities on campuses by giving it a wider conceptual and goal-oriented framework. It innovates by pulling together 6 universities from 5 different Erasmus program countries to do peacemaking activities on a common platform and then back on their own campuses to contribute to peacebuilding.

Through promoting intercultural learning, cultural interaction and social inclusion, this project will contribute to the concept of European Citizenship, which is among the priorities of the EU policies.

It will contribute to the learning mobility of individuals, because 1) 24 students will travel to Erasmus program countries for training and academic and intercultural exchanges, as well as 7 academic and administrative staff members, and 2) Erasmus exchange students will have the chance to take our online course (O3), when they go to the partner universities in this project that will offer it as part of their curricula. 

The project will utilize non-formal education / blended education tools while training the participants as trainers. A “Manuel for Train the Trainer Camp” and “Peace Envoy Handbook” (O3), and eventually a “Peace Dialogue Campus Network Best Practice Guide” (O4) will be prepared.

Another innovative output of the project is the creation of an online course that will be offered to all students in partner universities. Students will take this course in a given semester and earn ECTS or a certificate of participation once they complete it successfully. The curriculum of this course will be designed based on a need analysis (O1), and the final report of C1.

All of the partner universities will share what they do on social inclusion in the project network and therefore that information will be accessible for all parties, which is another part of the innovative nature of the project.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union