Tecnológico de Monterrey in late-October successfully led the first program under the APRU Open Dialogues Pilot, circling in on the topic of gender-based violence prevention in learning environments.
This comes shortly after UNESCO flagged that school violence is widespread, occurs in all countries, and affects many children and adolescents. Whilst data on sexual or gender-based violence in school is difficult to collect, global data shows that one in four young women has already experienced violence by an intimate partner by the time they turn 24.
Forty undergraduate students (23 men and 17 women) from Tecnológico de Monterrey, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, University of Oregon, and Universidad de Chile participated in the first dialogue that allowed the students to share their points of view, perspectives, and ways to support their communities. The dialogue exercise was guided by a team of experts and fifteen moderators.
“Walking down the path of the mainstreaming gender perspective is opening the way to the true future. Celebrating, recognizing and working on diversity in co-responsibility as universities and giving our student communities the powerful tool of ‘dialogue’ is weaving threads of equality for the well-being of our societies.” said Alba Cázeres from the Center for the recognition of Human Dignity at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
The APRU Open Dialogues Pilot aims to develop a collaborative model for promoting sustained dialogues among the consortium universities, to create empathy and awareness on current shared topics, as well as develop leadership skills.
“Nowadays, bringing together students from different countries to learn from one another is not just technologically feasible and cost-effective, but necessary in terms of developing the very cultural sensitivity and intercultural communication skill sets that are highly needed in the global job market,” said David Huerta Harris, Director of International Transversal Models at Tecnológico de Monterrey.
“Participants are invited to listen strongly enough to integrate other visions into their own, thus developing a broader understanding of the issues and challenges our societies face.”
The October pilot program was delivered in Spanish, with a first English-language program to be announced soon for 2024. On the list of expected outcomes are the creation of immediate and lasting impact on student communities; improved connection of students across borders; strengthened awareness of diversity and inclusion issues; and collection of insights to assess the pertinence of building a larger-scale Open Dialogues consortium program.