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ECEM project meeting in Porto

In the framework of the recently kicked-off Enriching Communities through Engaged Mobilities (ECEM) project, partners met in Porto on 11 and 12 May to discuss how to use service learning to boost the civic engagement on the one hand, and inclusion and diversity of international students on the other. Inclusion and civic engagement are two horizontal priorities of the Erasmus+ programme 2021-2027 but approached as individual elements. Based on this observation, the ECEM project wants to further develop the connections between civic engagement, internationalisation and inclusion.

Ensuring active citizenship and participation in society is understood as a key element in the process of making mobilities more inclusive and societies more integrated. Ensuring a sense of belonging through actively participating in society, enforces inclusive and integrated societies at European level.

The ECEM project therefore seeks to:

  • Increase the civic engagement component of mobilities in the field of internationalisation of Higher Education, contributing to making interaction with local communities the norm in mobilities;
  • Ensuring recognition of learning outcomes for participants that take part in civic engagement initiatives;
  • Improve the collaboration frameworks between Higher Education Institutions and other societal actors to make mobilities contribute to societal change and common European values.

The project brings together organisations representing students, Higher Education Institutions, national funding agencies and civil society parties and community organisers to create a cross-sectoral approach that improves policies and practices by creating tools to foster collaboration and improve implementation. It builds on the experiences of the project partners in the fields of inclusion and engagement, trying to consolidate advances that have been made in the last programme cycle.

The project is coordinated by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and project partners include, the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), SGroup – Universities in Europe, the Institute for Development of Education (IDE), CitizensLab (CLab).  The European Association for Service Learning in Higher Education (EASLHE) acts as an associate partner.

Photo by SGroup