First Generation Awareness at the EUI



The EUI embraces diversity and is committed to enhancing equality, fairness and inclusion. In the framework of this strategy, the social composition of the researcher and student population is monitored regularly and special attention is paid to the social factor of parental education levels. The data collected for this purpose among the newly admitted Ph.D. researchers show that up to 25% are first-generation university degree holders and about 85% are the first in their family to pursue a Ph.D. degree. 

In the light of these figures, the EUI is seeking to increase awareness of the challenges that first-generation Ph.D. researchers and Master students might face and provide them with resources, insight and inspiration to support them as they pursue their degree.

To achieve this goal, a network of first-generation faculty members, post-doctoral fellows and alumni has been set up to support and encourage these researchers and Master students throughout their journey.

The term “first-generation” used here applies to members of the EUI academic community who grew up without a parent or guardian who completed a university degree.


Programmes and services

Information meeting with newly admitted Ph.D. and Master students

In the fall term, a meeting is organised for newly admitted Ph.D. and Master students who identify as first-generation, to introduce them to the initiative. The date will be communicated soon.

Draft Agenda: 

  • Introduction by the Academic Service Director
  • EUI first-generation figures
  • My experience as a first-generation:

Faculty member

Max Weber Fellow

  • Peer group programme
  • Mentoring programme of the Alumni Association
  • Further ideas


 Peer group programme

Opportunities for exchange among first-gen Ph.D. researchers and Master students can help participants to open up, share common experiences, and reassure them that they are not alone with their questions or doubts. The Academic Service helps with the organisation of small peer groups as a safe space to meet informally and talk about first-generation issues.

Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in creating or joining a peer group.


Mentoring programme of the EUI Alumni Association

This programme provides an opportunity for first-generation doctoral researchers and Master students to connect with EUI Alumni who are available to share their first-generation experience and give support and advice.

Please contact [email protected] if you would like to connect with an Alumna/Alumnus as first-generation mentor.


Individual or small group meetings with professors or Max Weber Fellows

A short survey conducted among first-generation EUI researchers and students revealed that most of them considered individual or small group meetings with senior academics helpful, to address any potential disadvantage related to being first-generation at the EUI. A group of first-generation professors and post-doctoral fellows is available to provide guidance.

This service will be put into place in the fall term 2021.


Get involved

EUI academics who identify as first-generation are part of a mailing list to get up-dates on the initiative. If you wish to join the list, or if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, please write to [email protected] .


Page last updated on 22 October 2021

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