An international project has been launched to address a new priority on the EU’s policy agenda for higher education: the community engagement of universities. The project (entitled ‘TEFCE - Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement of Higher Education’) will develop tools to help universities to better interact with their communities at the local and regional level in order to address pressing social needs. The project is led by the Institute for the Development of Education (Croatia) and Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) and will gather leading researchers, universities, local authorities and university networks from seven EU Member States.
The project will first take stock of existing research and initiatives that have attempted to measure the community engagement of universities. The project will then develop a “toolbox” that could assist universities and policymakers at the EU level in fostering greater community engagement and that could provide a meaningful measurement of an institution’s level of community engagement.
The project’s expert team will include researchers from the University of Twente (Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies), Ghent University (Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent), Dublin Institute of Technology, University of Rijeka (Faculty of Philosophy) and the Institute for the Development of Education. Universities and local authorities from the cities of Dresden (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Enschede (Netherlands) and Rijeka (Croatia) will be piloting the developed toolbox, and additional expertise will be provided by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, the Global University Network for Innovation (represented by the Catalan Association of Public Universities) and the Public Policy and Management Institute from Lithuania.
Project duration: January 2018 - December 2020