ASCL leads new Small Private Online Course (SPOC) on well-being

Together with African and European partner universities the African Studies Centre Leiden is developing a new Small Private Online Course (SPOC) within the framework of EUniWell. The course is titled 'Decentering Epistemologies for Global Well-being'.

The course will look at how to apply approaches and knowledge from multiple regions of the world to well-being. Professor Marleen Dekker and Madi Ditmars are leading this initiative that is part of the EUniWell - the European University for Well-Being - project. Together with team members from the University of Birmingham (UK), University of Cologne (Germany), University of Nairobi (Kenya), UniversiteĢ Mohammed V de Rabat (Morocco) and the University of the Western Cape (South Africa) they had a kick-off meeting in Leiden on 13-14 October 2022 to plan the SPOC.

Global perspectives
The team will recruit student participants from the partner universities with whom to trial this innovative SPOC that has been jointly designed and developed by the three European and three African universities. Team members will investigate three overlapping themes: environment, knowledge, and intersectionality, and how these relate to well-being. The students will perform fieldwork in the six cities where the partner universities are located. Through collaboration with their international peers they will synthesise their results into global perspectives. In addition to the well-being themes, the team will use case studies to explore how well-being relates to the decolonisation agenda and how to guard against extractive or ‘parachute’ science between the Global North and the Global South. The outcomes of the SPOC will form the basis of a conference at Leiden University in 2023.

The future of education
The ASCL is excited to be involved in such a multidisciplinary and international project. Professor Dekker highlights that ‘well-being is at the centre stage of global development processes and it is imperative to understand diverse perspectives on well-being. It will be fascinating to bring these different perspectives together in a virtual classroom’. Madi Ditmars states: ‘How and what we have always been teaching will have to be adapted to meet the demands of the 21st century.  Students meeting other students from around the world in virtual spaces, collaborating and co-creating knowledge is the future of education.’

Further information: contact Madi Ditmars at Read more about the EUniWell project.