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The SPOC team meet at Leiden University

Researchers at the University of Birmingham are working with African and European partner universities to develop a new Small Private Online Course (SPOC) on Decentering Epistemologies for Global Well Being.

Professor Francis Pope and Dr Carlo Luiu from the University of Birmingham are part of the EUniWell – the European University for Well-Being project.

They are working with team members from Leiden University, Université Mohammed V de Rabat, University of Cologne, University of Nairobi and University of the Western Cape - meeting in Leiden to plan the SPOC.

It will be fascinating to see how students from the different partner institutions view wellbeing and how these viewpoints can vary between different participants."

Professor Francis Pope - University of Birmingham

The team will recruit student participants from the partner universities with which to trial the first ever SPOC conducted jointly between multiple European and African universities.

Professor Francis Pope comments: “It will be fascinating to see how students from the different partner institutions view wellbeing and how these viewpoints can vary between different participants.

Dr Carlo Luiu states: “I’m really intrigued to see how the project tests my own research perspectives of city resilience, the environment, and wellbeing; the SPOC will give unique insights in urban wellbeing.”

Team members from the six universities will investigate three overlapping themes of environment, knowledge and intersectionality, and their relationships to wellbeing. The students will perform wellbeing fieldwork in the six cities where the partner universities are located.

The team will use case studies to explore how wellbeing relates to the decolonisation agenda and how to guard against ‘parachute science’ - researchers extracting data from typically low countries without acknowledging local infrastructure and expertise.

The outcomes of the SPOC will form the basis of a conference at Leiden University in 2023.

Further information on the project can be obtained from Professor Francis Pope - find out more on the EUniWell project.