Yhteiskuntavastuu osaksi korkeakoulujen opetussuunnitelmaa

Synergioiden luominen korkeakouluyhteisöjen ja yhteiskunnallisten sidosryhmien välille

EventMarch 2017

USR-NET @ Journée de la coopération ULB in Brussels, Belgium


Our Belgian partner, CONEXX-Europe, was invited by the Université Libre de Bruxelles to the 'Day of Cooperation'. At this event, we had the opportunity to raise awareness regarding social responsibility, encouraging students to reflect on and participate in this respect. We conducted an activity in which the students from all disciplinary backgrounds took par, exchanging opinions on this transversal subject. They also gave us some interesting ideas on how the university could in itself encourage their students to be more socially responsible and vice versa.


EventMarch 2017

USR-NET @ Solvay Fair for Impact in Brussels, Belgium


Our Belgian Partner, CONEXX-Europe, took part in a job fair with social impact with the aim of making the students of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management aware of the importance of bearing in mind the social responsibility of a company to make the choice of the enterprise or organization where they are going to do their internship, work or start up. We also capitalized on the event to make visible and to promote working options aligned with the Principles for Responsible Management of Education and the values of social responsibility. Conexx-Europe encouraged students’ participation in different activities that already exist within the University in the framework of university social responsibility.


MeetingOctober 2016

Project Meeting in Cádiz, Spain: Interesting ideas and good vibes


Spanish project partner University of Cádiz kindly hosted the 2nd USR-NET Transnational Project Meeting on 4-5 October 2016. The interactive meeting took place in the Economics and Management Faculty of the University. Partners worked in groups, sharing insights and suggestions about all forthcoming activities and fostering teambuilding. Partners also held a fruitful brainstorming session about the future of the USR-NET project, exchanging ideas about sustainability, impact and the importance of networking.



InterviewOctober 2016

“Currently, the relationship between universities and society is like that of a quarrelsome couple: mutual accusations and lack of communication. We should bring love back between them.” says Prof. Andrea Lenzi, President of Italian National University Council (UCN)

What does it mean being a University Socially Responsible?
Talking about university social responsibility means first of all to admit that, at least in Italy, we have assisted to a progressive disconnection between the society and the university. Until the '70s and' 80s the universities were, in fact, not only places for education, but places of authentic growth, of cultural and social debate, capable of orienting the country, of promoting social mobility and  offering perspectives. Then the university has not responded critically and proactively anymore to society vices, and rather than helping to limit them it has become their mirror. As a result, today the university is struggling to provide adequate responses to an increasingly complex society.
The university today is perceived as a foreign body, not as an integrated player in the territories and in its civic processes. More as a social cost than as a resource. This happens because universities fails also and above all in its patterns of communication and engagement to the external world.

Prof. Lenzi was interviewed by USR-NET project partner Sapienza University of Rome, in the frame of the USR-NET project. The whole interview is accessible here



InterviewSeptember 2016

“The implementation of Social Responsibility at the university level is only achieved with the consensus and engagement of the governing bodies”, says Ms. Valérie Swaen, Professor of Marketing & CSR at Louvain School of Management & Head of the Louvain CSR Network

Ms. Valérie Swaen, Professor of Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility at Louvain School of Management (Université catholique de Louvain) and head of the Louvain CSR Network gave us her insight on USR, accelerators and barriers to Social Responsibility (SR) implementation in universities.
Ms. Swaen underlined that the right approach to “teaching” social responsibility contents should be finding an equilibrium between theory and practice. “It’s not enough to discuss these issues in a theoretical way; this should be done through practice, motivating students to contribute directly to society in some way”.
Further, Ms. Swaen suggested that a first step would be to integrate in all curricula an introduction course about social responsibility to make students think about what is the impact of their actions on society at large..

Ms. Swaen was interviewed by USR-NET project leader Conexx-Europe on 19 September 2016, in the frame of the USR-NET project. The whole interview is accessible here



sapienza
InterviewSeptember 2016

“The society, therefore, is recognized as a subject not only interested in learning about or in using the results of scientific research and innovation, but also as a co-protagonist in the definition of the scientific agenda”, says Prof. Eugenio Gaudio, Rector of Sapienza University of Rome

What does it mean being a University Socially Responsible?
Talking about university social responsibility means to implement strategies and offer services and opportunities aimed at the social, environmental and economic feasibility of the academic community, defined as a collaborative group of students, researchers, technical personnel and government bodies that co-inhabit a responsible campus and support its responsibility.

How does it apply to university activity? Which are the key elements of USR implementation?
Being responsible also means to have a careful look at what is happening outside the University, reconsidering the cultural value of science, promoting participatory processes in research and innovation, and encouraging the engagement and cross-fertilization with its reference territory.

Prof. Gaudio was interviewed by USR-NET project partner Sapienza University of Rome, in the frame of the USR-NET project. The whole interview is accessible here



sapienza
InterviewSeptember 2016

“The university must be an open institution, which creates breaches and not walls..Educating to social responsibility implies this attitude to openness and collaboration.”, says Dr. Carlo Musto D’Amore, General Director of Sapienza University of Rome

What does it mean being a University Socially Responsible?
The university is socially responsible for its own nature, or at least it should be, because of its function of institution aimed to guarantee personal growth and social mobility.
The university is a growth factor for its reference territory and, therefore, it should be in constant contact and relationship with what surrounds it.
Today there are models and methodologies, called sustainability reports, which measure the economic, environmental and social impact of university even in relation to the context in which it is established analysing the GDP that it could generate both at local and national scale.

Dr. Musto d’Amore was interviewed by USR-NET project partner Sapienza University of Rome, in the frame of the USR-NET project. The whole interview is accessible here


InterviewAugust 2016
“The brain footprint is the parameter to measure university’s involvement in sustainability and Social Responsibility”, says Ms. Sabine Denis, Co-Executive Director at The Shift, Belgium

Ms. Sabine Denis, Co-Executive Director at The Shift Belgian platform and meeting point for companies, NGOs and other organisations interested in sustainable business models was interviewed by USR-NET project leader Conexx-Europe in relation to the concept of University Social Responsibility. “I think that the problem lies with the concept of Social Responsibility; it is too broad and blurry..the focus should be on sustainability..Universities should provide society with sustainable solutions to technical and socio-economic issues…”. On promoting a transversal approach of SR in Universities: “If universities are presented with a big package of social responsibility actions and measures to take, they will choose to implement the easiest ones such as transparency, reporting and social projects..Yet this will not produce any substantial change. I would suggest that you focus on the first pillar: teaching. Indeed, including USR into academic curricula is the only way to make people aware of the issue. And that in turn spills over to the other pillars..” On barriers and incentives to promote USR: “The main barrier is surely the autonomy of the teaching body. On the other side, universities are dependent on public funding and making public funding conditional on including SR and sustainability in curricula is one of the solutions. University rankings are also sensitive topic for universities..” The whole interview is accessible here


InterviewAugust 2016
“Compulsory attendance to social responsibility courses should be introduced", says Ms. Opaline Meunier, President of UNECOF

USR-NET project leader Conexx-Europe interviewed, in the frame of the project, Ms. Opaline Meunier, President of the Union of Students of the French Community in Belgium (UNECOF-Union des Etudiants de la Communauté Française) on the concept of University Social Responsibility, its implementation and potential. Conexx-Europe presented the project, its approach and activities to Ms. Meunier who expressed the view that there is no real interaction between society and university. Universities share their knowledge and expertise with society, but the opposite is not happening. This is, according to Ms. Meunier, partly due to a conception of the university as a ‘place for pure knowledge’ and it must be preserved intact and protected from bad external influences. She also noted that while USR topics are taught in voluntary modules and, thus, potentially all students can attend them, the way these modules are structured makes them appealing to a limited number of students. The whole interview is accessible here


Interview July 2016
“The commitment of the university governing bodies is the first step and a key factor to succeed in the implementation of University Social Responsibility”, says MEP Mr. Ramón Jáuregui

USR-NET project leader Conexx-Europe interviewed, in the frame of the project, Mr. Ramón Jáuregui, Spanish Member of the European Parliament, Chair of the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and one international leading promoter of Corporate Social Responsibility. The interview aimed at detecting barriers, accelerators, risks and incentives in the implementation of the University Social Responsibility. Conexx-Europe presented the project, its approach and activities to Mr. Jáuregui, who showed interest and shared his valuable insights, expertise and recommendations. “The commitment of the university governing bodies is the first step and a key factor to succeed in the implementation of University Social Responsibility. The Social Responsibility is an attitude and the ability of self-demandingness towards producing a good impact at social and environmental level (or at least reducing the most possible the bad effects) in the use of the resources needed to provide products and/or services”. The whole interview is accessible here

Synergy June 2016
Join our LinkedIn group on University Social Responsibility in Europe

We are already counting 37 members! Support our efforts to promote University Social Responsibility across Europe! Post comments, stir the discussion, share views, articles and publications, get information and help us expand our community.
Click here to join us today!


Research May 2016
Give us your input! Research on University Social Responsibility (USR)

A research and innovative action on USR is undertaken in the frame of the USR-NET project

Are you a University STUDENT? Do you want to make a difference? Tell us how your University benefits society and your community! We need your insight about your own university. Your opinion counts. Take just 5 minutes to answer this questionnaire
Are you a University STAFF? Do you want to make a difference? Tell us how your University benefits society and your community! We need your insight about your own university. Your opinion counts. Take just 5 minutes to answer this questionnaire
Are you part or member of a University's GOVERNING TEAM? We are highly interested in your opinion about University Social Responsibility (USR). Take just 5 minutes to answer this questionnaire
Are you part of the extended University SOCIETY, ie. part of an organisation related or potentially interested to collaborate with Universities, such as companies, NGOs, policy-makers, trade Unions, etc. We are highly interested in your opinion about University Social Responsibility (USR). Take just 5 minutes to answer this questionnaire


Event January 2016
Kick-off meeting in Bucharest, Romania

The USR-NET kick-off meeting was held on 14-15 January in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by the project partner Innovate4Future - Center for Advanced Educational Solutions. Partners discussed the details of the project implementation, agreed on the overall planning and elaborated on the guidelines for the first step, namely the development of the learning guide of transversal contents for Socially Responsible Universities.
For more photos from the meeting click here