Service learning (learning through engagement) is a teaching-learning format in which students can combine university learning with civil society engagement in a project-based and practice-oriented manner. The cooperation between the university and public organisations, which is of common interest, is intended to create real added value for the cooperation partners.
Service-Learning seminars can be both subject-specific and interdisciplinary. In both cases, new spaces of experience open up for the students, which draw their attention to societal issues, stimulate the application and reflection of their knowledge and contribute to sustainable, interdisciplinary skills acquisition. Reflecting on practical experience is an essential part of the method, which enables the students to expand and strengthen their social and personal skills.
University Network on Social Responsibility (Hochschulnetzwerk Bildung durch Verantwortung)
The University Network on Social Responsibility is an association of around 30 universities that want to actively shape democracy and to promote and assume responsibility for society – in particular through formats such as service learning. The Network’s main topics are networking, the exchange of experiences, the promotion of research and practice, as well as joint lobbying, press and public relations work. Through these, it intends to communicate the topic of “engagement by and in universities” more widely in society.
Since summer 2013, the network has been using the website www.campus-vor-ort.de, which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, to exchange ideas, projects and success stories.