London Met participated in the EU-funded Eurofam Network to discuss goals for social justice, sustainable development, and multilingualism among European students and their families.
Date: 4 July 2022
London Met’s Dr Eleni Meletiadou, Course Leader at GSBL, has recently participated in the EU-funded Eurofam Network Management Committee Meeting at the University of Algarve, in Faro, Portugal, as its Dissemination Grants Co-ordinator. She is leading its dissemination strategy to promote this Horizon-funded Action's goals for social justice, sustainable development, and multilingualism ensuring European students and their families' well-being in the post-Covid-19 era.
EurofamNet is a pan-European family support network focused on family support policies and practices, reflecting common goals across participating countries, while recognizing the specific nature of families’ cultural and socio-economic contexts within them.
EurofamNet extends to 34 countries and includes 151 participants (researchers, practitioners, policy sector, civic society, the private sector, family representatives, and policy-makers) and 12 European organisations connected by a desire to advance research and innovation. As the coronavirus situation rapidly evolves, there is now more need than ever for educational institutions to stand together, collaborate, and share ideas to support their local and international students.
EurofamNet's aim is to mobilise a critical mass of researchers across Europe for family support research, working through coordinated activities that are multidisciplinary and inclusive and contribute to high-quality training of the future generations of European researchers in the field of family support from an evidence-based and pluralistic approach.
As educational institutions welcome thousands of local and international students, HEI need to support these students and their families by promoting Social Justice and Sustainable Learning/Development using multilingual teaching, learning, and assessment methods that foster academic achievement for all students, irrespective of their background. In line with its ESJ/ESD Framework, London Met wishes to increase student recruitment and progression, improve student retention, promote research-informed learning that caters for all learners’ needs, foster inclusion of the increasingly diverse student cohorts due to globalisation, and innovate in Higher Education.
London Met’s participation in international communities of researchers and academics, i.e., the Eurofam Network, perfectly aligns with its aspiration to become an international centre of inclusive multilingual research-informed teaching, learning and assessment. LMU also wishes to support its students and their families, as researchers express their deep concern about the mental health issues an increasing number of students has faced lately in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The overall aim is for LMU to become a place for releasing subjectivities, ensuring well-being, and decolonizing society as it promotes inclusivity and equality of opportunity for all learners irrespective of their background.
Dr Eleni Meletiadou is a Senior Lecturer/Course Director at London Met GSBL. Her research covers educational and language assessment, equality, diversity and inclusion, Education for Social Justice and Sustainable Development, writing, gender in management, leadership, crisis management, multilingualism, intercultural competence, HRM and more.
She said: “I really enjoyed working with Eurofam Network’s management committee as we made crucial decisions about its dissemination strategy. As HEI resorted to distance education as an emergency response to the pandemic, the lack of physical presence and the lesser extent of informal discourse and spontaneous interaction created a communication gap which caused negative emotions, gaps in understanding, and misconceptions.
"To counteract, it is crucial to explicitly address students and their families’ individual needs, feelings, and difficulties and emphasize interaction among learners, their families and HEI and relatedness which contributes to psychological wellbeing. This is clearly one the main aims of the Eurofam Network and perfectly aligns with LMU’s vision to lead the way in achieving both local and community improvement through our teaching, research, and engagement.”
Dr Eleni Meletiadou is the Chair of the European Association of Educational Assessment (AEA-Europe) Inclusive Assessment Special Interest Group, the Conference Track Chair of the British Academy of Management (BAM) Knowledge and Learning Special Interest Group, and the European Academy of Management (EURAM) Doctoral Accelerator Mentor.