Stichting ECHO, Expertisecentrum Diversiteitsbeleid, is a center of knowledge and expertise on diversity policy. It was one of the national initiatives of the Ministry of Education Culture and Science and the associations of higher education in the Netherlands in 1994, to improve study success in education, more employment at the labotr market and to enhance empowerment and social mobility of Dutch citizens with a non-western background (migrants, children of migrants and refugees). This all should lead to a more inclusive society where all Dutch citizens develop and feel a sense of belonging. From 2003 ECHO is an independent not for profit organization that develops programmes and provides services and training to public and private organizations in- and outside of the Netherlands, on issues related to diversity & inclusion in education and the transition to the labour market.
The methodology developed by ECHO to realize its objectives were implemented through project activities at universities in the first place and more and more in secondary and primary education as well. We have introduced models of good practice of international partners and deliverables from EU projects to Dutch universities. This is an on-going process through conferences, study tours and cooperation with colleges and universities abroad. We have been and are part of EU funded projects and are involved as one of the partners in the GAPS initiative (Global Access to Postsecondary Education initiative http://www.gaps-education.org).
Furthermore ECHO challenges itself within a continuously changing society to direct itself to present a positive image of Dutch students with a non-western background by revealing their talent through the ECHO Foundation. From 2001 until now every year all universities in the Netherlands are invited to nominate students for an ECHO Award. ECHO awards are given to students with a non-western background who not only excel academically but are also active at their universities and even more important, in society.
Why we are Participating in the Project
Our Role in the Project
Since the core activities of ECHO are on the area of diversity and inclusion in education and the labour market, ECHO can share her depth of knowledge on different areas related to this proposal. Mary Tupan-Wenno and Pravini Baboeram-Mahes will each bring their specific knowledge and network into the consortium. ECHO will play an important role in identifying practices in the Netherlands and also in Europe and outside of Europe. This is inherent to the work they do for many years now. ECHO will play a leading role in the analysis of cases and can lean on their experience in the past years on what works and what not for highly ethnically diverse communities. The experience of Pravini Baboeram-Mahes in organising masterclasses for educators on inclusive excellence will be beneficial as well as the experience from running the ECHO Junior Academy in highly diverse communities. Besides that Mary Tupan-Wenno will be heavily involved in the part of dissemination in relation to creating systemic impact. Being involved in policy development and closely working with city councils and the ministry of education on a regular basis is instrumental. ECHO is involved in all many networks nationally and internationally so the outcomes can be disseminated in different ways.