Europe Engage – Developing a Culture of Civic Engagement through Service-Learning within Higher Education in Europe [Reference 2014-1-ES01-KA203-004798] is a 3-year project funded by the European Union (Erasmus+ programme) with the purpose of identifying existing service-learning practice, promoting service-learning as a pedagogical approach, and creating a network in this region, where much remains to be done in terms of civic engagement and service-learning.
The ‘Europe Engage’ seeks to embed the concept and practice of the civic university through Service-Learning (S-L henceforth) and student engagement with community.
The overall aim of ‘Europe Engage’ will be to promote S-L as a pedagogical approach that embeds and develops civic engagement within higher education, students, staff and the wider community.
The establishment of service-learning and regional networks can ensure the development of best practice and can enable the building of the ‘community’ into the higher education curriculum resulting in significant benefits to the student, academic, university, community and nation.
‘Europe Engage’ seeks to embed the idea of the civic university through service-learning and the growth of S-L as a pedagogical approach within the participating universities. This dovetails with the ‘Modernisation of European Higher Education’ strategic priority through the Bologna Process and Declaration (1999) which states that ‘A Europe of knowledge is now widely recognized as an irreplaceable factor for social and human growth and as an indispensable component to consolidate and enrich the European citizenship, capable of giving its citizens the necessary competences to face the challenges of the new millennium, together with an awareness of shared values and belonging to a common social and cultural space.’
‘Europe Engage’ seeks to enact this through the adopting and mainstreaming of S-L as a key way to connect students and universities to the wider society so as to maintain and develop democracy and healthy levels of social capital within a European context.