Background

CONTEXT

Students are increasingly interested in university social responsibility when choosing the universities they want to study in. They want to have a positive impact on their communities, instead of replicating old models that don’t work.

WHAT IS UNIVERSITY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (USR) ?

University Social Responsibility (USR) is an growing phenomena that promotes
responsible everyday management. It refers to:

  • Research, Teaching, Support for Learning and
  • Public Engagement
  • Governance
  • Environmental and Societal Sustainability
  • Fair Practices

Utilising the Benchmark Standards for University Social Responsibility across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), that were produced in an earlier EU Lifelong Learning Programme funded project, the work of the current project develops the concept of facilitation of learning as a key to effective engagement of students as active agents of their own learning.

HOW IS THE ESSA PROJECT ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE?

By using a group of trained facilitators, a cohort of 60 students drawn from the 3 participating universities will be trained as Social Responsibility Auditors. This will be done through a student-centred programme, delivered in blended mode (online and offline). The programme will culminate in 4 Cross-National Student Audits of different European higher education institutions.

Students awarded a Level 6 EQF Certificate in Social Responsibility Auditing following satisfactory completion of:

  • the training,
  • the linked audit
  • the assessment requirements by means of production of individual e-portfolio of evidence of learning

OBJECTIVES

  • Creating an innovative approach to the recognition and validation of knowledge, skills (including soft skills) and competences
  • Producing a significant Open Educational Resource (OER) for a ECTS 5 Credit Certificate in Social Responsibility Auditing (EQF Level 6)
  • Contribute to the wider process of developing alternative models of curriculum development

ACTIVITIES

Integral to the project will be production of a significant, innovative Open Education Resource (OER) that will include:

  • a Facilitator Training Manual
  • an Auditor Training Scheme
  • an Auditor Manual and 
  • an Assessment Manual for the Certificate in Social Responsibility Auditing

The Open Education Resource will be launched at a trans-national European Conference to be held in 2019. The project will conclude in August 2019, with the Open Education Resource being available for use across the territories of the European Higher Education Area from then on.

Find out more about the team leading the project.