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Building the inclusive university culture,
from ideas to implementation.

A training programme

POSTPONED! Now: March 30 – April 1, 2022

Hosted by InComm – Feel at Home
@ TU Graz, Austria

Are you involved in the onboarding of master’s and/or PhD students? Are you engaged in making master’s and/or PhD students feel at home at your university? Then we can offer you the perfect training programme! Together we will aim at building the inclusive university culture, starting with our ideas to eventually drawing an implementation plan. This training programme will be interactive, intense and inspiring!

Here are some quick facts:

  • Date: 30.03.2022 – 01.04.2022 (Wed lunch – Fri afternoon)
  • Target group: Postdocs, PhDs, and administrative staff involved in the onboarding of master’s and PhD students
  • Location: Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria
  • Topics:
    • Communication with the new generation of students
    • Creating the inclusive community in the international classroom
    • Building an inclusive community – a community management training
    • Creating an inclusive community by supervising students in their PhD
    • Implementing action back at home universities

Programme Overview

All details listed in this overview are preliminary and are subject to change.

TimeWednesday, 30.03.Thursday, 31.03.OR2nd Option for 31.03.Friday, 01.04.
MorningWorkshop 2: Creating the inclusive community in the international classroom
Sarah Schantin-Williams, TUG
ORWorkshop 3: Creating an inclusive community by supervising students in their PhD
Verena Schwaegerl-Melchior, Barbara Boettger, TUG
Workshop 4: Building an inclusive community – a community management training
Erik de Jong, TU/e
LunchOpening & Welcome LunchLunch Break Talks
AfternoonWorskhop 1: Communication with the new generation of master’s and PhD students
Sarah Schantin-Williams; TUG
Workshop 2: Creating the inclusive community in the international classroom
Sarah Schantin-Williams, TUG
ORWorkshop 3: Creating an inclusive community by supervising students in their PhD
Verena Schwaegerl-Melchior, Barbara Boettger, TUG
Wrap-up & Implementation: We do care about colleagues/students/ourselves so what now? Getting started with implementing ideas
Barbara Boettger,
Sarah Schantin-Williams, TUG
EveningSocial ActivitySocial ActivitySocial Activity:
Christmas Market

Workshop Descriptions

The last twenty years has seen seismic shifts in technology and communication. Social media, public debate, and movements in values have created new paradigms, particularly at universities where new generations are bringing new approaches to interaction and learning. Education professionals, whether teaching, supervising or administrating, are now often faced with these generational differences within their daily interactions. How can we best harness this situation to help build an inclusive university culture? This half-day workshop introduces the key issues and looks at approaches we can adapt in the university world.
Creating the ideal learning environment at any university requires a multitude of different skills from teaching professionals. As our lecture halls and seminar rooms become more international, awareness of what we need to create the best kind of educational culture becomes paramount. Professors and lecturers now routinely lead groups of international students through their learning process. This brings additional challenges as managing different learning styles and attitudes of students towards university work and life can be culturally dependent and vary significantly from student to student. In turn this can affect the dynamic and productivity of the learning environment.
Striving to become more international, universities are shifting their focus on recruiting international PhD students. But how can these become part of our universities and feel welcome and eventually at home at our institutions? PhD supervisors play a key-role in this process and are often left alone with this important task. As universities, we are obliged to offer support to academics in their role as supervisors and mentors and as key players in creating an inclusive community for PhD students with or without an international background. In this workshop we will co-design a workshop for PhD supervisors which can be held at your university. The aim is to use our collective intelligence and experience to draft the perfect training module for this target group.
The communities at our universities are rapidly becoming more international and more diverse. Community management is all about creating involvement from all people at our campuses, students, teachers and staff alike. This one day workshop will focus on how to draft and implement a community strategy with a first set of projects to implement for proper onboarding.
So what now? Are you familiar with the feeling after an intensive training programme that you are full of great ideas, but there is no time to sit down and think about the first steps you need to take to implement some of the ideas at your university? In this session time will be specifically dedicated to thinking/talking about implementation and drafting a first implementation plan to put in place back at your home university.

Guest Speakers

Sarah Schantin-Williams

Picture of Sarah Schantin-Williams

Sarah Schantin-Williams is a business communications specialist and lecturer in intercultural social competence at the Technical University in Graz.

Sarah has both an academic and corporate career. Her business experience was gained whilst working over twelve years in organisational change and communication management in the international media industry.  For over a decade, Sarah has taught university students and now lecturers in creating inclusive international cultures and corporate communication. Her Masters degree is in Anthropology and Cultural Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Verena Schwaegerl-Melchior

Picture of Verena Schwaegerl-Melchior

Verena is an expert in higher education didactics with a disciplinary background in romance linguistics and Foreign Language Teaching and additional qualification in systemic coaching.

Since 2019, she has been responsible for the TU Graz Teaching Academy, i.e the in-house didactical training programme. Verena has taught linguistics courses at several universities and is currently working as a trainer and coach for the teaching staff at TU Graz. After earning her master’s degree in French, Italian and German as a foreign language in Germany and Italy, Verena gained her PhD in Romance Linguistics at the University of Munich.


From Graz airport:

If you fly into Graz, you can either take the train from the airport to the main station (Graz Hauptbahnhof), the bus to Graz Jakominiplatz (in the city center) or take a taxi from the airport to the hotel (costs: approximately 25 to 30 EUR). 

From Vienna airport:

  • By coach (2 hours 40 min): A very affordable way to get to Graz from Vienna is with the flixbus. The direct service from Vienna Airport to Graz takes you to Graz Jakominiplatz/Girardigasse, directly in the centre of the city. You must pre-book tickets for this service.
  • By train (3 hours): Those arriving to Vienna International Airport can take the train ( from Vienna to Graz (change trains at Vienna Main Station if necessary). The train runs along one of the oldest tracks (World Cultural Heritage) crossing the Alps from north to south (built around 1860) with spectacular views of the mountain ranges. Tickets for trains between Vienna and Graz can be bought online or at the train station.


Please see the Graz Accommodation Guide.


Registration for this training programme has closed. If you are registered and have any questions or comments, please contact us at