European Network of Socially Responsible Universit..
European Network of Socially Responsible Universities
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 28 févr. 2018
The social dimension of Higher Education is one of the overarching themes of the Bologna Process.
Furthermore, recent studies confirm that there is an emerging interest in University Social Responsibility issues (Larrán 2012) an even a recognition of the term, USR as “overarching” regarding the social dimension of Universities. However, most Higher Education institutions are still reluctant to fully implement USR strategies and they have embraced different faces of social responsibility. This means different approaches, mechanisms and actors. Therefore, there is an urgent necessity to collectively reflect and exercise dialogue in order to understand and pursue a more critical and integrated perspective. The project aims to carry out a deep analysis about what universities around the EU so far have understood as USR to shape a common vision able to face the challenges of the current society. Moreover, due the relevant of the issue for all the society, the delimitation of the term USR, as well as its implementation, cannot be only carried out by the universities, but it must involve all the stakeholders (Companies, Schools, ONGs, policy makers, European Institutions, etc.). The previous projects have mostly considered only the internal responsibility of the university, leaving aside the other actors that have influence in the decision making process or in the labour market.
Hence, the project aims to promote the synergy and the transference between HE (teachers, students and staff) and all the mentioned stakeholders, strengthening the links among them.
The students, as the futures professionals of our society, should learn during their university education, not only the technical knowledge they will implement in their career, but also the education in social values which will allow them to become responsible citizens. They have the need to be aware which challenges they will face after according to the current situation, so they will benefit from a transversal approach towards it.
Teachers, researchers and the rest of the university staff must be included in this procedure, reinforcing their roles as social responsibility trainers and active member of the community. Hence, the project also takes into account the needs of a transversal knowledge about USR for this target group.
The project implements an inclusive bottom up approach in which it includes not only students, but all the members of the university community plus all the relevant stakeholders that will participate in awareness of the social responsibility, by creating synergies and transfers between them.
The preliminary work implemented in the frame of the EU-USR project (527209-LLP-1-2012-1-RO-ERASMUS-ESIN) shows an imbalance in terms of actions regarding the social dimension among European universities and regions, and shows the need to:
• Better understand the term, University Social Responsibility, both inside (University staff and students) and outside (companies, Unions, schools, ONGs, policy makers, etc.) HE institutions.
• Increase HE institutions' commitment towards the community in which they operate, promoting the inclusion and the participation of the stakeholders in the process.
• Work on a higher involvement by incorporating USR strategies in the student’s curriculum, as a transversal subject, and not only inside the universities but also with the transfer and exchange with the rest of the community stakeholders.
Our pursued objectives are:
• To review current data and literature on USR within Europe, with a special focus on the ways European universities commit themselves, raise the awareness of the community and deal with the curriculum of their students, in order to obtain the best practices achieved in each region, so the project will create innovative actions for the implementation of the USR.
• To conduct a mapping of socially responsible organizations to promote their inclusion in the project and the synergy between those organizations and the participant universities.
• To promote a political-institutional commitment for the inclusion of USR with a transversal approach in the university faculties.
• To analyse barriers and drivers and define a road map of possible interventions to support Socially Responsible Universities
• To design and test a package of transversal contents to enrich the students’ curriculum from a socially responsible overarching approach. The students will get not only theoretical knowledge, but also a practical experience, carrying out territorial activities in the stakeholder organizations.
• To propose a set of raising awareness actions to be implemented both inside (University staff and students) and outside (Companies, ONGs, policy makers, Unions, etc.) HE institutions.
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