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Plataforma Justicia Social e Inclusión

Social Justice and Inclusion platform

Social Justice and Inclusion at the University of Deusto

The institution

The University of Deusto is a hub of 39 research teams working at its six faculties (Psychology and Education, Social Sciences and Humanities, Engineering, Law, Economic and Business Sciences and Theology) in three different campuses: Bilbao, San Sebastian and Madrid.

Since its foundation, the University of Deusto has made efforts to promote social justice and inclusion through its core areas of action: education, research and social engagement, which have been historically linked to important societal issues like human rights, migration, poverty, peace and conflict, development, cultural diversity, and humanitarian action.

Over the last three decades, the University has been able to consolidate its expertise in these areas and has played an important role in the establishment of local and international research networks around such topics. In fact since 1987, UDEUSTO has undertaken a strong internationalisation that has facilitated and multiplied its opportunities for international collaboration. This strategy is based on a strong networking with key institutions and stakeholders across and outside Europe, on the quality of the research results and impact and the educational endeavours undertaken by UDEUSTO. At present UDEUSTO participates in a broad number of EU-funded research collaborative projects (FP7 and H2020), is part of a large number of international networks and has signed several cooperation agreements with universities and research centres around the globe.

The platform

The issues of social justice and inclusion have been addressed in the fields of:

  • Education, where research has been conducted on the role of education in promoting social inclusion and enhancing quality of life among vulnerable groups. The international experience of the team dates back to the late 1990s, with training programmes for specialists in social intervention, focusing on actors who worked to combat social exclusion, using intensive community learning methods. The teams have taken part in numerous projects, including the following EU-funded projects: “Capacity for Change and Adaptation of Schools in the Case of Effective School Improvement”, the recently approved H2020 “Encouraging Lifelong Learning for an Inclusive and Vibrant Europe (ENLIVEN) and “Teaching and Learning Methods in VET in Europe”, funded by CEDEFOP.
  • Ethics, by addressing social development and transformation, peace and conflict from a perspective that puts dignity at the centre of human action. With broad experience studying different social realities from an ethical perspective the Centre for Applied Ethics is acknowledged for prestige in its field. In recent years, it has published a considerable amount of scientific work, had a greater impact on the international scene and increased its participation in academic and professional networks. Currently the team is running two FP7 projects notably EID and UNDERVIO.
  • Employment and the social economy as tools for social inclusion and well-being. UDEUSTO has a proven experience on the analysis of social reality and the diagnosis of existing needs, on the identification of good practices, the proposals of concepts and alternatives to social challenges and the integration of social innovation and scientific-technological paradigm. UDEUSTO work to provide solutions to local and international changes and challenges of society, as well as to contribute to the improvement and transformation towards a fair and balanced development.
  • Human Rights, Humanitarian Action and Integration: UDEUSTO ideated and chaired the Thematic Network on Humanitarian Development Studies (HumanitarianNet), a network of excellence funded by the European Commission; chairs the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA), which runs the European Master on the issue; is part of the Network of European Universities on Professionalisation of Humanitarian Action (EUPHRA). At doctoral level, the University coordinated a Marie Slodowska Curie Initial Training Network to train professionals in Sustainable Peace Building Research and Training (SPBUILD) which came to an end in 2013. On the topic of integration and migration, in 2004 the University launched IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion) a network of 30 European universities and research centres specialized in the study of migration and social integration which was also funded and recognised as a network of excellence by the European Commission. As a result of its research efforts and in order to train the professionals needed to address the global challenge of migration, in 2010 the University formulated a Joint European Master’s in International Migration and Social Cohesion (MISOCO). Drawing from this program, UDEUSTO initiated INTEGRIM, an ongoing Marie Slodowska Curie Initial Training Network comprised of 8 European HEI and 6 non-academic partners, which trains early stage researchers on the issues of integration and international migration, its pathways and policies.

Finally, the University, together with another 41 European universities, is also part of the European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation. This educational programme has provided remarkable opportunities for international collaboration on research and training across disciplines, regions and countries.