TEFCE Project

The University of Rijeka is a partner institution in the Erasmus+ project Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education (TEFCE).

The general objective of the project is to increase the engagement of European universities in addressing societal issues at the local and regional level.

The specific objective of the TEFCE project is to develop innovative and feasible policy tools at the university and European level for supporting, monitoring, and assessing the community engagement of universities.

The TEFCE project will directly contribute to the new EU program by proposing a framework for a common European approach to foster the civic mission of higher education institutions. The first step of the project is to examine the existing research and initiatives that attempted to measure the fulfillment of the civic mission of higher education institutions, i.e. their community engagement. The next step is to develop a toolbox for higher education institutions and policymakers at the EU level that can help increase community engagement, and that could qualitatively measure the level of community engagement of individual higher education institutions. The project’s expert team will include researchers from the University of Twente (Center for Higher Education Policy Studies), the University of Ghent (The Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent), the Dublin Institute of Technology (Higher Education Policy Research Unit), the University of Rijeka (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) and the Institute for the Development of Education. Universities and local authorities from Dresden (Germany), Dublin (Ireland), Enschede (Netherlands), and Rijeka (Croatia) will pilot the developed toolbox, and additional expertise on the project will be provided by the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNI – represented by the Catalan Association of Public Universities) and the Public Policy and Management Institute (PPMI) from Lithuania.

Project webpage ; UNIRI project webpage (in Croatian)

Project outcomes

Main outcomes of the project:
– developing innovative and user-friendly tools for community engagement for higher education institutions,
– the relevance and quality of the tools will be tested and confirmed by higher education institutions and experts through piloting,
– issuing recommendations on innovative solutions for policymakers and stakeholders at the European level to monitor, measure, and encourage community engagement of higher education institutions,
– securing the support of key stakeholders at the European level as a basis for influencing European policy and project sustainability,
– increasing awareness among key stakeholders at the European level about the importance of community engagement of higher education institutions and the project’s objectives and outcomes.

Project consortium

The project consortium comprises the following institutions: Dresden University of Technology (project coordinator), City of Dresden, University of Twente – Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, Knowledge Point Twente – Region of Twente, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin City Council, University of Rijeka, City of Rijeka, Ghent University, Catalan Association of Public Universities, Public Policy and Management Institute, European Consortium of Innovative Universities, Institute for the Development of Education.

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