The third visit of the SHEFCE project was held at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels on 9-11th March 2022, involving around 20 participants representing the different partners institutions from Ireland, Croatia, Spain, Belgium and Austria: Universitat de Girona, University in Rijeka, Institute for the Development of Education, Technological University Dublin, Donau University Krems, Ghent University and ACUP-GUNi.
The aim of the visit, hosted by the VUB Science and Outreach Office and framed as a training activity, was for participants to learn about community engagement in higher education in specific contexts (and its assessment). Visiting participants attended the visit as “critical friends” to ask further questions about university”s community engagement, their institutional report and the findings of their self-reflection.
The SHEFCE peer-learning visit included discussions in parallel thematic focus groups about community engagement in practice and an introduction to the vision and mission of Open Lab, which is a VUB/ULB initiative that creates an in-between, transformative open space for university and societal actors to meet and experiment. The visit also included an introduction to La Serre, a community project based on an hybrid space with a large shared workshop for artists and a hangar that hosts unsold food processing activities, repair workshops and socio-cultural events.
Presentations from the visit, as well as a report (in the form of a peer reflection by the visiting team) is available on the SHEFCE website.