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Civic engagement in Europe: A transdisciplinary approach

Learn more about the transdisciplinarity of civic Engagement and its meaning for society!

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • BA
  • MA
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Environment & Agriculture
  • Law
  • Medicine and Health
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Environmental sciences, Urbanism, Geography
Course dates
5 May - 15 July 2023

The aim of this transdisciplinary programme is to promote civic engagement throughout academia, as a key pillar of the CIVIS goals. In this programme, not only the added value of civic engagement for the society will be elaborated but also for the individual. In particular, the transversal competences (e.g., critical thinking, problem-solving, assumption of societal responsibility, collaborative attitude, open-mindedness, selfreflection) that can be acquired, the values that can be shared and the connection that exists between civic engagement and the enrichment of an individual's identity.

Based on scientific literature, students and lecturers will discuss the different types of civic engagement from a comparative perspective, within and without the university level. Students will analyse the similarities and differences between the European countries regarding the development of the various forms of civic engagement.

Students and lecturers will also discuss how the universities can empower the students to participate in activities like service-learning, that promote civic engagement by connecting it to the curriculum. Throughout the opportunity of the physical mobility (Brașov) students will be able to do field research and get in exchange with NGOs and NPOs and learn more about the role of civic engagement in modern economies, concrete in the tourism industry in Romania.

Students will gain knowledge on different forms of ‘civic engagement’ across Europe. Fundamental knowledge and critical perspectives on Service-Learning, opportunities for engagement at the own higher education institution and at the European level. Insights into civic tourism engagement as social capital in modern economies. Critical reflection on civic engagement, awareness for current societal challenges.

Main topics addressed

  • Comparative perspective on civic engagement
  • Civic engagement in higher education – Service-learning and social justice
  • Civic engagement and European student identity and competencies
  • Civic tourism

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of what Civic Engagement means and it´s role in modern European societies.
  • Develop a critical perspective on Civic Engagement and the role of the Universities regarding the third mission.
  • Empowering students to take responsibility themselves and make a contribution to society.
  • Contextualize civic tourism within broader cultural, environmental, political and economic dimensions of
  • society - communities.
  • Critique tourism practices for their implications locally and regionally.
  • Interpret and evaluate civic tourism as a phenomenon and as a business system.
  • Explain the diverse nature of tourism, including culture and place, regional/local perspectives, and experience design and provision.
  • Identify and assess relationships and networks relative to building civic tourism capacity.
  • Reflecting on the project carried out during the physical mobility from the service-learning perspective.
Dates: 5 May - 15 July 2023 Total workload: 90 hours
Format: Blended ECTS: 3
Location: Brasov, Romania Language: English (B2) 
Contact: radu.pintilii@geo.unibuc.ro  

Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 11 to 15 July 2023. The trip is organised into two parts.

First part: Civic engagement and European student identity and competencies
  • By the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Second part: Civic tourism
  • By the University of Bucharest

Virtual part

The virtual part will be running from 5 to 19 May 2023.

There will be two virtual sessions:

Session 1: Comparative perspective on Civic Engagement
  • By the University of Tübingen

Session 2: Civic Engagement in Higher Education – Service-Learning and Social Justice
  • By Universidad Autonóma de Madrid

Requirements

This course is open to Bachelor's, Master and PhD students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in the following fields of study or related: Psychology, Geography of Tourism, Sociology, Education, History, Public Management, Political Sciences, Public Policies, etc.

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 28 February 2023. 

Apply here

Assessment

The assessment will be based on the following criteria: 

  • Active participation, individual homework, presentation of the final e-portfolio (group-work).
  • Capstone projects - Students in BIP synthesise and apply knowledge acquired from previous virtual and physical classes to develop strategic plans for civic tourism and present it to the local stakeholders.
  • Students presentation of the e-portfolio and discussion together with the lecturers the results.

Micro-programme on Civic Engagement

This transdisciplinary programme can be accredited as Unit 1 in our CIVIS micro-programme Civic Engagement. The micro-programme Civic Engagement is intended to enable you, as a bachelor or master student, to actively contribute to civil society by combining the acquisition of theoretical content (Learning) and its practical application to a real social need (Service).

As a result, you will learn to assume responsibility, gain practical experience, and grow personally. Promoting civic engagement throughout academia, is a key pillar of CIVIS's goals. Courses covering both a broad and a targeted spectrum on Civic Engagement are offered by the University of Bucharest, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the University of Tübingen.

Learn more about the Civic Engagement Micro-Programme

  • Blended Intensive Programme

    This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

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  • Prof. Pilar Aramburuzabala, School of Teacher Training and Education, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Prof. Philia Issari, Department of Psychology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Dr. Iris-Niki Nikolopoulos, Head of Transdicsiplinary Course Program, University of Tübingen
  • M. Sc. Charoula Fotiadou, Sub-section Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, University of Tübingen
  • Assoc. Prof. Marian Marin, Department of Regional Geography, University of Bucharest
  • Assoc. Prof. Radu Daniel Pintilii, Human and Economical Geography, University of Bucharest