Europe Engage

Project: Summary:

The ‘Europe Engage’ Project seeks to embed the concept and practice of the civic university through Service-Learning (S-L) and student engagement with the community. The overall aim of ‘Europe Engage’ will be to promote Service-Learning as a pedagogical approach that embeds and develops civic engagement within higher education, students, staff and the wider community.

While in the latter half of the twentieth-century universities are characterized by more economic than civic approaches, in this first part of the twenty-first century it is necessary to give protagonism to the third mission of the University: its social responsibility. Universities can and should train future professionals through experiential learning practices that respond to their social commitment by contributing to solve community problems and reach sustainable development goals. This practice results in significant benefits for the student, the academic, the university, the community, and the country.

‘Europe Engage’ seeks to embed the idea of the civic university through service-learning as a pedagogical approach within the participating universities, which enables students and universities to connect with society in order to maintain and develop democracy and healthy levels of social capital within the European context.

Service-learning is a key approach in terms of incorporating a culture of civic and political literacy among the student population into higher education.

“Service-Learning (sometimes referred to as community based or community engaged learning) is an innovative pedagogical approach that integrates meaningful community service or engagement into the curriculum and offers students academic credit for the learning that derives from active engagement within the community and work on a real-world problem. Reflection and experiential learning strategies underpin the process and the service is linked to the academic discipline” (McIlrath et al., 2016, p. 5).

Europe Engage is a three-year project involving twelve institutions of higher education with experience and interest in this methodology. The project includes activities of mapping, training, dissemination, support to institutionalization and the creation of national networks of S-L.

Project objectives:
  • To embed the concept and practice of the civic university through Service-Learning (S-L) and student engagement with the community.
  • To promote Service-Learning as a pedagogical approach that embeds and develops civic engagement within higher education, students, staff and the wider community.
Project results:
  • Two online survey tools, Europe Engage Allocation Report, and a definition of S-L in Europe.
  • Repository of S-L experiences in Europe, and definition of quality standards for European S-L experiences.
  • Public web page that articulates S-L from a European perspective.
  • On-line document that includes a list of trainers, publications, doctoral thesis, and other S-L resources.
Project contributions SDGS’s:

GOAL 4: Quality Education

Project partners
  • AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF MADRID, (SP)
  • NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND GALWAY (IE)
  • IMC FACHHOCHSCHULE KREMS GMBH (AT)
  • HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO (FI)
  • VYTAUTO DIDZIOJO UNIVERSITETAS (LT)
  • SVEUCILISTE U ZAGREBU FILOZOFSKI FAKULTET (HR)
  • ALMA MATER STUDIORUM – UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA (IT)
  • UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON (UK)
  • ERASMUS UNIVERSITEIT ROTTERDAM (NL)
  • ISPA CRL (PT)
  • UNIVERSITEIT GHENT (BE)
Project website:

https://europeengage.org

Contact person: Pilar Aramburuzala and Lorrain Lorraine McIlrath

Email: pilar.aramburuzabala@uam.es

Project start date: 01/09/2014

Project finishing date: 31/08/2017