HECSOs project

Higher Education institutions and Civil Society Organisations together for community

The project foresees the development of a partnership between Universities and Civil Society Organisations with the aim to transfer the know-how to fostering community engagement and multi-stakeholder partnerships among actors operating in several countries. 

University researchers and students will play a central role in these processes, as the project will allow to set up ad hoc research groups in the partner Universities, that will work with CSOs professionals to collect, analyse, model and re-elaborate data and practices in different forms (models, recommendations, toolkits).

Project’s objectives:

SO1: To develop innovative and evidence-based models (and related implementing tools) for impactful community engagement interventions by setting up a trans-disciplinary and continuous collaboration between Universities and CSOs, analysing existing innovative practices on the ground all over Europe and adopting collaborative and research-based learning methodologies. 

SO2: To widen the academic offer of Universities by identifying specific professional roles that make community engagement approaches more effective and impactful, by generating skills and competency frameworks related to these professional roles, by developing corresponding training courses curricula and implementing a first experimental course addressed to master’s students. 

SO3: Fostering civic engagement through jointly-organised (Universities and CSOs)multi-stakeholder policy workshops at local levels to brainstorm with local stakeholders and citizens on how to design more effective and inclusive initiatives in their territories and to develop local policy recommendations to enable and support community engagement approaches at local, national and European levels.

Erasmus + Priorities in HECSOs


The project has the priority and purpose of working on common values in order to increase community participation and citizen engagement through reaching synergies between the academic world and the third sector. The values of sharing and European solidarity will be at the centre of the project through the activities already mentioned.

Stimulating innovative learning and teaching practices is one of the specific priorities to which this project responds, which will allow students and researchers to integrate sustainable development in their university and extra-university CVs.

Doing research and modelling promising practices of community engagement will reinforce the interaction between research, projects and local policies in order to develop and institutionalize new methodologies and practices in teaching and learning.