Pilot visit of TEFCE in Dublin: towards a European Framework for Community Engagement of Higher Education
The fourth and last pilot visit of the EU-funded project TEFCE (Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement) was held last 7th and 8th of November 2019 at the Technological University of Dublin (TUD), Ireland, co-hosted by TUD and the Dublin City Council.
A representation of different members from the consortium attended the fourth and last pilot visit of the TEFCE project: participants from the Institute for the Development of Education (IDE), the University of Rijeka, the City of Rijeka, the University of Ghent, Technische Universität Dresden, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), as well as Catalan Association of Public Universities & the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) gathered in Dublin to discuss and reflect on the piloting process and results of the TEFCE Toolbox for Community Engagement at TUDublin in order to better understand the community engagement of the university and its authenticity.
The programme of the pilot visit consisted of focus group discussions around the different sections of the Toolbox ( such as Teaching & Learning, Students, Research, Service/Knowledge Exchange, Management...) and included the sharing of experiences and perspectives by students, faculty and management members from TUDublin, as well as from the communities that work with the university. The pilot team and the peer learning visitors critically reflected on the level of community engagement at the university, the practices identified, and the strengths, opportunities and threats to community engagement for TUD. The pilot visit resulted in further confirmation of the value that this collaborative and co-creative approach brings to participants.
The overall conclusion of the Dublin piloting meeting was that the TEFCE Toolbox brings value in critically understanding where community engagement fits into the university and consists of an enriching learning journey for all participants involved. At the same time, the team identified several aspects of the Toolbox that could be further improved and clarified in order to finalise the tool.
The TEFCE project started in January 2018 and will finish in December 2020. It is an EU funded project under the Erasmus + programme Key Action 3 "Forward Looking Cooperation Projects". It is led by the Institute for the Development of Education (Croatia) and Technische Universität Dresden (Germany) and it gathers leading researchers, universities, local authorities and university networks from seven EU Member States. Its main objective is to develop innovative and feasible policy tools at the university and European level for supporting, monitoring and assessing the community engagement of higher education institutions. Read more here.
The forthcoming consortium meeting will be hosted by ACUP and GUNi in Barcelona in April 2020.