Certificate in University Social Responsibility Auditing (ESSA)


Commencing 1 September 2016, this three-year project aims to create a more flexible approach to student learning, assessment and certification across Europe’s higher education sector, in a way that will enhance graduate employability. The aim is to improve levels of student satisfaction by allowing them to engage with real world issues in a sphere that is of considerable significance to many of them -  social responsibility.

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.

By using a group of trained facilitators, a cohort of 60 students drawn from the three participating universities will be trained as Social Responsibility Auditors in a student-centred, action-reflection learning based programme, delivered in blended mode.

This will culminate in four Audits of different European higher education institutions, carried out by cross-national teams of the students involved.

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

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.

The OER will be launched at a trans-national European Conference to be held in Spring 2019. The project will conclude 31 August 2019, with the OER being available for use across the territories of the European Higher Education Area from then on.

This Innovation Strategic Partnership project is led by the UK’s National Union of Students, supported by the European Students Union, working with the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Porto (Portugal), Kaunas University of Technology and the Students’ Associations of these universities (EUSA, AEFPCEUP and KTUSA).