Webinar: Community engagement in higher education: trends, practices and policies


NESET, in collaboration with the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC), is organising a webinar based on NESET analytical report: Community engagement in higher education: trends, practices and policies. This report argues that universities play a crucial role in responding to societal needs, and can further enhance their societal impact at local, national and international levels through community engagement, whereby:

  • engagement refers to the range of ways in which university staff, students and management interact with external communities in mutually beneficial ways, either as part of teaching and research or as part of other projects and joint initiatives.
  • community is defined as ‘communities of place, identity or interest’, and thus includes among others, public authorities, businesses, schools, civil society and citizens.
  • societal needs addressed through community engagement refer to all political, economic, cultural, social, technological and environmental factors that influence the quality of life within society.
The concept of community engagement is (re)emerging as a policy priority in higher education and is closely linked to key areas of EU initiatives such as European Universities Initiative, Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) alliance and the transformation agenda for higher education. It also connects with broader policy developments related but not limited to social inclusion, active citizenship and environmental sustainability.

Date: March 19th (Friday) 13:00-14:15 (CET).

Webinar panelists

  • Thomas Farnell, Higher Education Policy Expert, Institute for the Development of Education, Croatia.
  • Ellen Hazelkorn, BH Associates, and Professor Emerita, Technological University Dublin, Ireland.
  • Prof Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Rector, University of Rijeka, Croatia.
  • Marieke Hopman, Assistant Professor for International and European Law at Maastricht University and Project Leader of the Maastricht Platform for Community-Engaged Research (MPCER), The Netherlands.


  • Sumathi Subramaniam Policy Officer, Unit for Policy on Higher Education, European Commission, Belgium.

You can access the video recording of the webinar on the NESET’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QkYWcW_pv0&t=1220s

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