EUA Webinar: “Promoting universities’ societal engagement”

Data - 22/04/2020


22 April, 14.00-15.00 CET

This webinar includes presentations of two approaches to addressing higher education’s societal responsibility. One showcases an institution’s implementation of a European framework for community engagement in higher education, as well as the project upon which this framework is based. The other presentation will demonstrate one university’s efforts to support researchers at risk and promote academic freedom.

  • Snježana Prijić Samaržija, Rector, University of Rijeka, Croatia and Ninoslav Šćukanec Schmidt, Director, Institute for the Development of Education, Croatia
  • Orla Duke, Programme Manager Scholars at Risk Europe, Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Tia Loukkola, Director, Institutional Development Unit, EUA

Presentation ‘Towards a European framework for community engagement in higher education’, by Snježana Prijić Samaržija and Ninoslav Šćukanec Schmidt

The goal of this session is to examine whether there is an opportunity to develop innovative policy tools both at the university and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) level for assessing externally and internally the community engagement of universities. Community engagement is about mutually beneficial cooperation between universities and their wider communities, which will be presented on the University of Rijeka example. The session will include: analysis of different approaches to community engagement in higher education; a mapping of challenges connected with community engagement; discussion related to new developments in relation to community engagement; and debate about a possible European framework for community engagement. There have been no initiatives yet at the EHEA level that have focused exclusively on community engagement. We will explain how a European framework for Community Engagement might fill this gap and support universities in institutionalising their cooperation with the wider community.

Presentation ‘European universities welcoming researchers at risk, promoting academic freedom’, by Orla Duke

This presentation will showcase activities at European higher education institutions to support researchers at risk and promote academic freedom. It will also provide examples of how such activities line up with institutional strategies. In particular, the presentation will highlight a 10-partner, EU-funded project called Inspireurope, which coordinates support across Europe for researchers at risk. The presenter will outline the pattern of threats facing researchers around the world today, discuss existing activities to address these, as well as efforts to support individual researchers. The presenter will issue a call to action to EUA conference participants to get involved in concrete activities across Europe in support of researchers at risk and to promote academic freedom.


More information: EUA website


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