On November 25-26, 2019, UNIMED took part in the kick-off meeting of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project NEXUS in Madrid, Spain. NEXUS is a three-year project, coordinated by UNED (Universida Nacional de Educacion a Distancia) and bringing together a total of 6 partners from 7 European Countries: Malmo Universitet (Sweden), Zavod za Avtorsko Produkcijo Izobrazevanje Inovativnost in Sodelovanje (Slovenia), Institut za Razvoj Obrazovanja (Croatia), European Citizen Action Service (Belgium), and Knowledge Innovation Center (Malta).
In a context of increased democratic disenchantment amongst young people, those with a migrant background being most at risk of exclusion, NEXUS aims to promote higher education students’ participation in democratic life. It will examine and support HEIs’ pivotal role in fostering students’ active citizenship and develop innovative civic education material and training. Building upon the idea that there are many opportunities for meaningful civic learning in online environments, NEXUS will use technologies that are familiar and attractive to digital natives, to explore the relationship between digital participatory tools and democratic participation.
As part of the project activities, the consortium will develop a MOOC on civic education, specifically targeting students with a migrant background. Subsequently, a knowledge exchange platform will be created, based on open educational resources and practices. Guidelines for HEIs on community engagement and service-learning, as well as a repository of civic technology projects and tools (e.g. data access, community organizing, budget tracking, etc.) will also be made available to the higher education community.