VUB neemt deel aan een nieuw Erasmus+project rond toegankelijkheid en kwaliteit van community-engagement onderzoek, onderwijs en dienstverlening. Misschien heb je als onderzoeker of docent al wat ervaring met community engagement? Of wil je je graag eerst verdiepen in de bestaande expertise, tools of aanbevelingen hierover in hoger onderwijs? Of wil je inzetten op een actieplan, en in dialoog gaan met verschillende beleidsniveaus en andere stakeholders?

 Het doel van dit project is om universiteiten en beleidsmakers te helpen bij hun (verdere) uitwerking van community engagement. Onder leiding van het Kroatische ‘Institute for the Development of Education’ maken we deel uit van 22 partners, associate partners en stakeholders op lokaal, nationaal en internationaal niveau om dit doel te bereiken. 

 Hoe gaan we te werk? 

Via een toolbox brengen we praktijken in kaart en werken we actieplannen uit voor een betere integratie van community engagement in hogeronderwijsinstellingen. We ontwikkelen in overleg met stakeholders en beleidsmakers aanbevelingen over de concrete uitrol van community engagement. Via dit project werken we een Europees netwerk uit waarbij uitwisseling van ervaring en expertise centraal staan. Ten slotte zal via een engagement heatmap deze expertise toegankelijk zijn voor iedereen die de smaak voor community engagement te pakken heeft. 

Verbetering van community engagement 

Kortom, we zetten gezamenlijk de schouders onder community engagement zodat het geen geïsoleerd doel is van een onderzoeker of een hogeronderwijsinstelling. We zetten ons in op verbetering van community engagement via een gedragen visie waarbij toegankelijkheid en uitwisseling centraal staan.

Volg ons via de projectwebsite: https://www.shefce.eu/project

Lees het volledige persbericht (Engelstalig) onderaan 

Foto: Tim Gouw via Unsplash

SHEFCE: steering higher education for community engagement

VUB participates in a new Erasmus+ project which puts focus on accessibility and improvement of community engaged research, education and services. Maybe you have already some experience in community engagement in your research or teaching practice? Or you want to be more informed about the existing expertise, tools and recommendations in higher education? Or maybe you want to focus on action plans, and engage in dialogue with the different policy levels and other stakeholders?

The aim of this project is to help universities and policymakers with their (further) concretizations of community engagement. The SHEFCE project is led by the Institute for the Development of Education (Croatia) and brings together 22 partners, associate partners and stakeholders on a local, national and international level to reach this goal. 

What are the following steps in this project?

With the help of a toolbox we map out different practices in community engagement and we develop action plans for a better integration of community engagement in higher education. We involve stakeholders and policymakers to develop recommendations about the actual implementation of community engagements. With this project we create a European network that facilitates the exchange of experience and expertise in community engagement. Finally, we develop an engagement heatmap which will make this expertise accessible for anyone who has developed a taste for community engagement.  

Improvement of community engagement 

In short, together we are committed to make sure that community engagement is not an isolated goal of a researcher or an institution in higher education. Instead, we aim to improve community engagement by means of a shared vision that centralizes on accessibility and exchange.

Follow us via the project website: https://www.shefce.eu/project

 Read the entire press release in the text below.

Press release: Steering higher education for community engagement

Newly launched EU-funded project will help universities and policymakers improve community engagement in higher education 

25 november 2020 

An international project has been launched to support community engagement of European universities, understood as university partnerships with external stakeholders to address societal challenges. The project (entitled ‘SHEFCE – Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement), which is funded through the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme, aims to build the capacities of universities, policymakers and stakeholders in Europe for mainstreaming community engagement in higher education. The SHEFCE project is led by the Institute for the Development of Education (Croatia) and gathers 22 partners/associate partners from six EU Member States. The associate partners include the European University Association, the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education, the European Students’ Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Council of Europe. 

 Community engagement is an integral part of universities’ third mission’ activities. However, community engagement has so far been largely marginalised in higher education policy, with priority given to the the economic significance and impact of universities. The broader societal role of universities has begun re-emerging in policy initiatives, as reflected in the EU’s Renewed Agenda for Higher Education and the Horizon 2020 ‘Science with and for Society’ programme, as well as in the recent European Universities Initiative.  

The SHEFCE project is a follow-up to the project TEFCE – Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education that has developed a toolbox to support universities and policymakers in supporting community engagement. The SHEFCE project will have four main outputs:  

  1. University action-plans for community engagement at five partner universities 
  2. Policy recommendations for system-level support for community engagement in higher education in five countries and at the EU level  
  3. A European online platform for community engagement in higher education with resources and tools to support universities and communities.  
  4. Piloting a European university-community engagement heatmap’ to help universities learn from good practices at unviersities in other countries 

 The project’s partner institutions are five ‘action-planning’ universities (Danube University Krems, Free University of Brussels, Technological University Dublin, University of Girona and University of Rijeka) and experts in the field of higher education policy and community engagement (Association of Catalan Public Universities, Ghent University, Institute for the Development of Education, National University of Ireland Galway) and a social impact agency (Brodoto). The partnership is further supported by four local partners, three networks/national stakeholders and five international associations. 

 The SHEFCE project is co-funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education and will last until August 2023. 

 Further information: While the project website and social media are under development, please visit the web site www.tefce.eu for more information or contact SHEFCE project manager Thomas Farnell, Institute for the Development of Education, tfarnell@iro.hr) 

List of SHEFCE project partners

1 

Institute for the Development of Education 

Croatia 

2 

Danube University Krems 

Austria 

3 

University of Rijeka 

Croatia 

4 

Ghent University  

Belgium 

5 

Technological University Dublin  

Ireland 

6 

University of Girona 

Spain 

7 

Free University of Brussels 

Belgium 

8 

Association of Catalan Public Universities 

Spain 

9 

National University of Ireland Galway 

Ireland 

10 

Brodoto 

Croatia 

 

Associate partners 

Advisory team 

1 

European University Association  

2 

European Association of Institutions in Higher Education 

3 

European Students’ Union  

4 

Council of Europe 

5 

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 

National stakeholders and partner networks 

1 

Irish Universities’ Association / Campus Engage 

2 

European Higher Education Society (EAIR) 

3 

Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Research 

Local partners 

 

1 

CitySpark  

Belgium 

2 

Dublin City Council  

Ireland 

3 

Girona City Council  

Spain 

4 

Rijeka City Council 

Croatia