New Erasmus+ project on university social responsibility

Friday 18-11-2016 - 18:23

A new 3 year Erasmus+ project, European Students, Sustainability Auditing (ESSA project) has been launched with the aim to create a more flexible approach to student learning, assessment and certification across Europe’s higher education sector. The purpose is to improve levels of student satisfaction by allowing them to engage with real world issues in a sphere that is of considerable significance to many of them -  social responsibility.


This Innovation Strategic Partnership project is led by the UK’s National Union of Students, supported by the European Students Union, working with the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Porto (Portugal), Kaunas University of Technology and the Students’ Associations of these universities (EUSA, AEFPCEUP and KTUSA).


The project makes use of the Benchmark Standards for University Social Responsibility across the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), and strives to effectively  engage students as active agents of their own learning.


By using a group of trained facilitators, a cohort of 60 students drawn from the three participating universities will be trained as Social Responsibility Auditors in a student-centred, action-reflection learning based programme, delivered in blended mode.


This will culminate in four Audits of different European higher education institutions, carried out by cross-national teams of the students involved.


Students will be awarded a Level 6 European Qualification Framework (EQF) Certificate in Social Responsibility Auditing following satisfactory completion of the training, the linked audit and the assessment requirements by means of production of individual e-portfolio of evidence of learning.


Integral to the project will be the production of a significant, innovative Open Education Resource (OER) that will include

  • a Facilitator Training Manual

  • an Auditor Training Scheme

  • an Auditor Manual and

  • an Assessment Manual


The Open Education Resource (OER) will be launched at a trans-national European Conference to be held in Spring 2019. The project will conclude, with the OER being available for use across the territories of the European Higher Education Area from then on. For more information, please consult


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