The taskforce, which launched at the EAIE Conference in Geneva, will look to steer policy and best practice to ensure minority groups feel welcomed within the organisation and education institutions. It is hoped the group will adopt the moniker “Rainbow” to align with NAFSA’s Rainbow SIG.
“We have to look at other minorities, and with the rainbow flag we can always add another colour”
“At the EAIE we are committed more broadly to the common cause of responsible higher education. There are small and big ways in which we are working to make that a reality,” said former EIAE president Markus Laitinen.
“We wish to ensure everyone at our conference feels welcome and safe regardless of their sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or gender,” he added.
Beer Schröder, advisor at Nuffic’s board of directors and the head of the LGBTQ+ taskforce, said its creation was critical in meeting the UN’s sustainable development goals.
“We know the world is not ideal and a lot of countries are by far not able to deal with this,” he said.
“But an organisation like EAIE is fit to deliver a contribution to achieve and create a better world, better understanding and a better acceptance of people who are somehow different.”
Schröder told The PIE News that the eventual goal of the group was to rename itself as ‘Rainbow’, which would be inclusive of more people and align better with NAFSA’s Rainbow SIG.
“We have to look at other minorities, and with the rainbow flag we can always add another colour,” he said.
The 2019 EAIE conference will be held in Helsinki, with the theme of Encompassing all voices.