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.