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

VUB participates in a new Erasmus+ project: SHEFCE – Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement. The project 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.