NEW! SEU Pilot Synthesis now available

The third intellectual output of the Erasmus+ project SEU - Socially Engaged Universities is now available: the Pilot Study Synthesis.

This report is the third output from SEU and describes five pilot projects delivered by the SEU partners in partnership with their municipality or a local community. The aim is to explore different models of community university partnerships (CUPs) and share experience and expertise of how European Universities can work with and for their local communities through “Third Mission” activities in addition to their core teaching and research tasks.

Each project draws on the findings of the first two outputs and aims to address a locally identified challenge. We describe each of these projects in turn, and discuss the collaborative approach, and the benefits and challenges of working in partnership. One additional challenge encountered by all of the partners was the unforeseen, and totally unprecedented global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Each partner describes the innovative approaches used to ensure that the projects continued, albeit in an altered form.

Belgium: Youth in the Keizerspark, Ghent

Ghent University played an important facilitating role in a project which succeeded in initiating a dialogue between the key stakeholders involved in tackling the problems related to youths in the Keizerpark in Ledberg, a submunicipality of Ghent.

Germany: Exploring Magdeburg’s Cultural Life in collaboration with the City of Magdeburg

The University of Magdeburg and the City of Magdeburg aimed to learn more about the phenomenon of "staying away" or “non-participation” from the cultural events and activities in the city involving students from the Cultural Engineering course who combined qualitative and quantitative social science research to generate new knowledge

Italy: Parma: mountains of quality

The University of Parma supported an existing project “Parma: mountain of quality”, a programme which aims to preserve biodiversity and reduce anthropic desertification amongst sixty family-managed farms in the Province of Parma, in the Emilia Romagna Region. The label “Parma: mountains of quality” aims to help communicate the quality of the organic products produced by farmers in this mountain area who aim to be socially and economically sustainable. Students from the University of Parma participated in the field research.

Netherlands: Knowledge Broker Delft

The Delft City Deal on Education consists of the municipality of Delft, The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), Delft University of Technology (TUD) and Inholland University of Applied Sciences. In Delft, the position of a knowledge broker was established with the aim of creating connections between the community of Tanthof, the universities and the municipality, connecting them around societal issues to create new knowledge and possible (policy) solutions to societal community challenges.

UK: Tidelines

The University of Exeter and Tidelines aimed to explore creative approaches to community engagement, with a view of creating a Community Environmental Hub focused on the Exmouth and Exe Estuary environment and on how climate changes are affecting biodiversity along the estuary. Relationships with communities along the Exe Estuary as well as within the University of Exeter within the University of Exeter have been created, facilitating students and researchers to support the communities to respond to the challenges they face.

Pilot Synthesis Report

Also available from the "Download" section of the SEU website.


The SEU Project is funded with the support of the European Union's ERASMUS+ Programme. All views expressed are those of the authors and not of the European Commission.