Erasmus + Project: Service learning in higher education – fostering the third mission of universities and civic engagement of students

Erasmus + Project: Service learning in higher education – fostering the third mission of universities and civic engagement of students

Code of the project: 2017-1-SK01-KA203-035352

Acronym: SLIHE


Summary of the project:  

The project is founded on the most up-to-date reflection of universities  about  their own roles within modern society and the binds between their components, institutions and community. The connection between higher education area and society is seen as the third mission of universities.  The strategy developed world-wide in relation to the 3rd mission for several decades, is service-learning. Thanks to it, universities fulfill their basic mission in a complex way and prepare a new generation of experts able to integrate academic  qualities,  social responsibility  and  civic  engagement. Some HEI in European higher education area have been   applying service-learning  strategy  for several   years, however, it begins to be discovered or still  remains  unknown  in  most  countries  of  Central  and  Eastern  Europe.  The same is true for the reflection about the social role of universities. The main aim of the project is to strengthen capacities of HEIs related to the fulfillment  of their 3rd mission and to enhance civic engagement of students through  implementation of  the innovative  service-learning strategy in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. 

The partial aim of the project is to improve quality and relevance of study offer in the field of implementation of service-learning strategy in the higher education curricula through development of training curricula and materials adapted to the context of Central and Eastern European countries. The project is based upon experience and expertise of partners from 6 EU and  2 non -EU countries  (associated  partners)  in  the  field  of  implementation  of  service-learning  strategy, putting  forward  new  international,  innovative  and  so  far  unrealized  outcomes.  The project coordinator is Matej  Bel  University  in  Banská  Bystrica.  Project partners come from Czech Republic, Romania, Croatia, Germany and Austria.  There are more than 480 participants presumably involved in the project. The number includes teachers, students, target groups in the communities, conference participants. 

The project activities consist of creating, testing and spreading innovative  outcomes  used during the realization of the project and upon its completion in order to develop and spread the  service  learning  strategy  in  the  field  of  higher  education  and  outside  it,  fostering  social roles of universities and civic engagement of students. 

Among main innovative outcomes of the project there are:  1) training for  teachers  in  service  learning and a guide for  trainers,  2) manual  for  implementation  of  the  service  learning  strategy  in  the  higher  education,  3) recommendations for implementation of service-learning in HEIs and best practice examples. The outcomes of this kind have not been produced so far but they are of key importance for service-learning development and implementation. The outputs will be published in English as well as in national languages. All outcomes will be available online on the project website. 

There are 6 transnational working sessions planned within the  project,  centered  on  the conception  of  intellectual  outcomes  and  steering  of  the  project.  Steering activities include project management, monitoring, evaluation, dissemination, communication and follow-up. The key dissemination activity will be a 2-day international conference. All project outcomes are planned so as to be usable upon the project completion. Apart from partner institutions, their teachers and students, the project will have impact on local communities. It will show in broadening cooperation between actors and decision-makers of various  kind –  a  civic  society,  citizens  and  universities.  The project is a step towards creating of a network of institutions in the field of service-learning on the European level. 


Project duration: 1.9.2017 – 31.5.2020

Total: 33 months 


Identification details of partners SLIHE:

Associated partners:

  • Center for the Development of Learning Service in Latin America - www.clayys.org
  • International Association “Open Interactive School” Non-profit organization - www.ioskole.net

Link to the SLIHE project: www.servicelearning.umb.sk





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