Service-Learning to embed real democracy and civic engagement in European higher education

A one year project focused on embedding real democracy and civic engagemnent values within European higher education by promoting policy recomendations.
students protesting human rights

Project: Summary:

Europe is currently facing important challenges such as debt, the departure of the UK from the European Union and the growing threat of right-wing nationalism. Mass migration to Europe in recent years, the societal divisions created by newcomers to particular communities, pressure on housing and growing homelessness in cities, all indicate a Europe where university engagement or involvement with society is needed more than ever before. For this, Europe needs pedagogical tools that promote values such as social justice, commitment, cooperation, and solidarity, that contribute to the education of reflective citizens and professionals with critical thinking. Managed properly, service-learning methodology can make a valuable contribution to student employability, national prosperity and the growth of a functioning democracy.

For all these reasons, this project aims to embed service-learning in European Higher Education with the purpose of making a significant contribution to a peaceful, just and democratic society in challenging times, and fostering civic engagement that encompasses democratic processes and purposes.

Hence, EASLHE advocates the creation of a framework that will facilitate European higher education institutions to focus on the education of democratically-minded and socially committed students.

EASLHE strongly believes in the importance of policymaking for creating the framework that allows the European university to focus on the education of democratically-minded and socially committed students. The association intends to inform European policymakers and relevant stakeholders (including governments, academic governance bodies, university accreditation agencies, university ranking organizations, civic engagement and SL experts, etc.) so that they translate their political vision into programs and actions that promote real democracy and civic engagement through the use of service-learning.

Project objectives:

  • To raise awareness among European policy makers and relevant stakeholders so that they translate their political vision into programs and actions that promote real democracy and civic engagement through the use of SL.
  • To set a framework to facilitate the institutionalisation of the service-learning methodology in European higher education
Project results:
  • O1.1: A network of relevant stakeholders within the European higher education field.
  • O1.2: A Manifesto as a public declaration of principles and intentions to support and promote the use of service learning by HEIs.
  • O2.1: A white-book on SL in European Higher Education with the aim of mobilizing public opinion.
  • O2.2: Series of webinars to define and disseminate policy recommendations.
  • O2.3: European Summit on SL, Democracy and Civic Engagement to disseminate and celebrate the project results.

Project contributions SDGS’s:

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education
  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  • GOAL 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
  • GOAL 17: Partnerships for the goals

Project partners

  • European Association of Service-Learning in Higher Education EASLHE
  • Asociación de Aprendizaje-Servicio Universitario, ApS(U)

Contact persons:  Pilar Aramburuzabala Berta & Paz-Lourido

Email: pilar.aramburuzabala@uam.es  bpaz@uib.es

Project start date: 01/02/2022

Project finishing date: 31/12/2022

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