Higher education institutions today operate in a rapidly changing environment – teaching and learning in higher education are being influenced by a well-rehearsed set of global trends such as the changing demography of student populations; growing global interconnections and the proliferation of digital media; and an increasing market orientation in higher education, disenchantment with political representation and skepticism regarding policy decisions among young people.
In addition, research suggests that students from an immigrant background are even more excluded from participation, as they appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of civic knowledge.
It is within this environment that NEXUS examines the role HEIs have in promoting civic and social responsibility of students, with an emphasis on including migrant students in such initiatives.
The objective of NEXUS project is to empower students (with a special emphasis on migrant students) to enjoy their rights, uphold human rights values, and contribute positively to their society and the global community. It will do so by innovating civic education through 4 main pillars of intervention, resulting in increased participation of students in social life of their communities.
The project is arranged around four pillars of activity:
- Pillar 1: Civic education micro-learning units
Will lead to the production of a MOOC on Civic education for students with migration background
- Pillar 2: Community engagement (learning) and service-learning guidelines for Universities
Will see the creation of a knowledge-sharing platform for civics-educators, focused on migration, and guidelines for HEIs on student’s civic engagement, focusing on the nexus family-community-civil society-state-HEI. A strategic framework on civic engagement of HEIs will emphasize how service-learning can address the needs of migrant students’ inclusion
- Pillar 3: Re-wiring Civics to 4.0: connecting students to institutions in the digital age
Will see the compilation of an inventory of digital tools for Open Democracy and digital citizenship education, a handbook for educators on civic education for a digital age and the organisation of a training seminar for educators on the same topic
- Pillar 4: #DIYCivics – campaigning for effective citizenship
Finally, the fourth pillar we see the production of a podcast on civic education and documentaries featuring migrant student activists.
The expected impact of NEXUS’ approach is to enable and support HEIs in recognizing the value of different citizenship styles and emerging online environments, that may supplement or supplant civic knowledge of diverse student body.
|European Commission, Erasmus+, KA2 – Strategic Partnerships for higher education|
|UNED – Universidad Nacional de Educacion a Distancia, Spain|
|From 01 September 2019 to 31 August 2022|
|Cristina Stefanelli, c.stefanelli[AT]uni-med.net|