2021 conference

Committed campus and society – First conference on Service Learning at Swiss higher education facilities 18 & 19 June 2021 | Bern

A committed campus is similar to the Greek “agora”, where people with a wide variety of opinions share their knowledge and questions in a public place. Assuming the role of citizens are students and teachers from various disciplines, who establish a dialogue with members of civil society on the committed campus. At Swiss higher education facilities, cooperation with civil society is still a young phenomenon. The stakeholders bring together real social challenges onto the campus: Studies are combined with campaigns and activities for civil society, creating a new, comprehensive learning experience for all involved. Such practical and community-oriented teaching/learning settings can be used to reflect on other environments, tackle concerns from a transdisciplinary perspective, and uncover and develop often unexpected skills.

This first annual conference on Service Learning at higher education facilities invites stakeholders from universities and civil society to get a sense of different aspects of a committed campus, discover fields of action, devise ideas for projects, and even work together with interested parties to implement them. It also offers junior scientists the chance to present and discuss their work as part of a colloquium for PhD students.

There is a focus on the following topics (see call for papers):

Service Learning in teaching & research: innovative concept of the committed campus
  • Understanding, objectives, and impacts of Service Learning
  • Different disciplinary approaches to Service Learning
  • Service Learning in contrast and comparison to other higher education perspectives (such as education for sustainable development, open educational resources, problem-based learning)
  • Skills development through Service Learning for students, teachers, and people with real-world experience
  • Students as (critical) citizens
  • Civic commitment at higher education facilities (third mission)
  • Deinstitutionalisation, transformative learning and research
Service Learning from a practical perspective: specific effects in and for society
  • Examples and experience arising from cooperation with people with real-world experience and from addressing local or cross-regional topics through Service Learning
  • Challenges in integrating Service Learning into higher education and specific solutions, e.g. to curricular, legal, and qualification-relevant issues
  • Paving the way for new cooperation and joint projects