We are very proud to have been invited to present VUB’s CERL initiatives as inspirational practices for building sustainable campuses at the EUTOPIA E-week, hosted by the university of CY Paris Cergy.
VUB’s transversal sustainability plan was presented by Maarten Ipers. Colleague Iwein Bayens elaborated on the Sustainable Infrastructure Master Plan. And UNIVER.CITY’s project manager Linde Moriau shared experiences and ambitions with CERL at VUB.
As this sample of testimonials of participants in VUB’s CERL strategies suggests, we really believe that VUB’s engagement strategies are impactful for all stakeholders involved: students, lecturers, researchers, community partners, etc. These strategies help them to gain meaningful skills, broaden their networks, make them more aware of their individual and collective change capacities and enable them to take responsibility for today’s and tomorrows’ societal challenges and needs.
By doing so, we do believe community engagement allows us to improve our core activities both quantitatively – fostering better student learning, greater staff satisfaction and commitment, more community based and engaged research and outreach activities – as well as qualitatively – guiding us towards more inclusive and democratic university policies and procedures, more sustainable and mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships.
But we also have learned that not all CERL practices come to the same result, that not all CERL strategies are truly beneficial. So we are really looking forward to take our CERL experiences to the next level, thanks to the EUTOPIAn synergies and collaborations. These will enable us to learn both from each other’s’ successes and failures and – by doing so – help us design and deliver even more impactful CERL strategies, paving the way towards truly sustainable campuses.