Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (SHEFCE)

Erasmus+ Key Action 2, Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education
The SHEFCE project is a followup to the threeyear project entitled TEFCE Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education (

There are increasing demands for universities to open up to society and to demonstrate their societal impact. Community engagement is a key precondition for societal impact and refers to partnerships between universities and their external communities, encompassing public, business and civil society sectors, to address societal needs. However, universities that wish to become more community-engaged lack methods and tools for doing so, policymakers lack a clear definition of community engagement, its dimensions, benefits and policy options, and communities wishing to partner with universities still find them difficult to approach.

Project objectives:

  • The long-term objective of the project Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (SHEFCE) is to contribute to increasing community engagement of European universities, in the form of partnerships with local and regional stakeholders to address societal challenges.
  • The specific objective of project is to build the capacities of universities, policymakers and stakeholders in Europe for mainstreaming community engagement in higher education.
Project results:
  • University action-planning for community engagemen
  • Policy recommendations for system-level support for community engagement in higher education
  • European online platform for community engagement in higher education
  • Piloting a European university-community engagement heatmap

Project partners

  • Institute for the Development of Education, Croatia
  • Danube University Krems, Austria
  • University of Rijeka , Croatia
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Technological University Dublin, Ireland
  • University of Girona, Spain
  • Free University of Brussels, Belgium
  • Association of Catalan Public Universities, Spain
  • National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland
  • Brodoto, Croatia

Project consortium: associate partners

Advisory team

European University Association
European Association of Institutions in Higher Education

European Students’ Union

Council of Europe

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

Dissemination partners

Campus Engage (IRE)
European Higher Education Society

Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research (AUS)

Local partners

CitySpark (BEL)
Dublin City Council (IRE)

Salt City Council (ESP)

Girona City Council (ESP)

Rijeka City Council (CRO)

Project contributions SDGS’s:

  • GOAL 4: Quality Education
  • GOAL 5: Gender Equality
  • GOAL 10: Reducing inequalities
  • GOAL 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Project website: SHEFCE

Contact person: Project coordinator


Project start date: 01/09/2021

Project finishing date: 31/08/2023

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