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Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (SHEFCE)


The Erasmus+ KA3 funded project TEFCE (Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education, 2018-2020) responded to the increasing priority of community engagement in higher education by mapping the current-state-of-the-art in community engagement in higher education and examining the feasibility of creating an innovative framework that could help universities and their stakeholders to measure the community engagement of universities. 

The project resulted in a highly original framework (the TEFCE Toolbox) that avoids adopting narrow indicators guided by ranking/benchmarking philosophies, instead opting for a participatory, qualitative approach that can provide meaningful and context-specific conclusions on how universities are community-engaged and how they can improve their engagement. The TEFCE project resulted in a ‘proof-of-concept’ of the TEFCE Toolbox, having been successfully piloted by four universities in four countries and having received positive feedback on the Toolbox’s value from leading international stakeholders in the area of community engagement in higher education. 

The project Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (hereafter SHEFCE) project will undertake the crucial next steps in the process of creating a viable and sustainable European framework for community engagement in higher education.

Project objectives

Overall objective: Establishing a foundation to allow for mainstreaming community engagement in higher education in Europe. Specific objectives:

  1. Enhancing STEERING: Supporting universities and national authorities in improving policies and practices related to community engagement in higher education
  2. Enhancing COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: Creating a tool for increased access to information on university performance in community engagement in Europe
  3. Creating a LEARNING PLATFORM and NETWORK: Creating a sustainable European learning platform and network on community engagement in higher education

Project Coordinator: Institute for the Development of Education (HR)

Partner Organisations

    • Technological University Dublin
    • Sveučilište u Rijeci /University of Rijeka 
    • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences 
    • Vrije Universiteit Brusel 
    • Universitat de Girona 
    • Association of Catalan Public Universities (ACUP) 
    • NUI Galway
    • Brodoto d.o.o. (IT company)

Associate partners (advisory team) 

  • European University Association
  • European Association of Institutions in Higher Education
  • Council of Europe
  • OECD
  • ESU


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