Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
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Sub-section Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement is an important part of the third mission at the University of Tübingen. We want our students to acquire social responsibility and to reflect critically on their own role within society. Therefore, the sub-section Service-Learning and Civic Engagement supports the integration of voluntary community involvement into academic studies by promoting the innovative Service-Learning pedagogy.

Our Service-Learning formats are open to all students – regardless of their subject, semester or individual study program. Most of these courses are elective parts of the Transdisciplinary Course Program, which provides a large part of the compulsory key qualifications module of every Bachelor student’s study program. By awarding these credit points, we actively promote the compatibility of civic engagement and studies. Since 2020, we are part of the CIVIS network, an alliance of currently 10 European universities, giving us the opportunity to cooperate in Service-Learning activities beyond the local level.

Our concept of Service-Learning encompasses a wide variety of formats:

• Service-Learning classes
Here, students, lecturers and community partners work together to address real social challenges. Typically, we offer two to three classes each semester. Community partners and respective topics, i. e. service and learning objectives, may change from semester to semester.

• Mentoring programs
We encourage students to become a mentor for other students or pupils. Thus, they strengthen their personal responsibility and provide motivational support for their mentees. Mentors are prepared by the programs’ hosts, who range from student initiatives, the local library or individual faculties – all of which are being individually assessed by the sub-section. In conjunction with a workshop, in which they academically reflect on their experiences, student mentors can earn credit points.

• Civic engagement in student initiatives
We consider volunteering in student initiatives an important part of personal development toward active citizenship. Therefore, we promote student initiatives, whose members are thereby eligible for earning credit points for their personal volunteering. New initiatives may apply at any time and will be individually assessed. Furthermore, representatives of the registered initiatives will have to participate in a workshop each semester, to exchange ideas with other initiatives and jointly reflect on their work.

• EngagemenTransfer
This program is tailored to individual forms of non-profit activities of students. Starting from 60 working hours at a public or private institution, students can earn credit points for their civic engagement in conjunction with a workshop, in which they will academically reflect on their experiences. The sub-section will review the institution in advance to ensure that the activity is in accordance with our guidelines.

• Civic Engagement Certificate
The (non-degree) certificate Civic Engagement is awarded to students, who complete three units throughout their course of study: Firstly, they will complete a regular Service-Learning class of their choice. Secondly, in addition to a reflection workshop they will have to provide a record of their volunteering, which can be done through one of the aforementioned formats as long as it encompasses min. 180 working hours. Lastly, they will need to complete a suitable class at the Transdisciplinary Course Program.

Country: Germany

Year: 2021-2022

Institution: University of  Tübingen

# of students: 400

Interaction with beneficiaries: Mixed

Academic Degree: Undergraduate | Master

Discipline(s): Open to different disciplines

Community Service Area & ODS: Sustainable cities and communities | Good health and well-being | Quality Education