Community engagement in higher education

There are increasing demands for universities to open up to society and to demonstrate their societal impact. Community engagement is a key precondition for societal impact and refers to how universities address societal needs in partnership with their external communities, encompassing public, business and civil society.

The TEFCE and SHEFCE projects

Between 2018 and 2021, the project TEFCE – Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education (www.tefce.eu) developed and piloted an innovative institutional sefl-reflection framework for community engagement in higher education – the TEFCE Toolbox – and a recommendations on how to embed communtiy engagement in higher education policy.

As a direct follow-up to the TEFCE project, the project Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement (SHEFCE) goes the next step to further build the capacities of universities, policymakers and stakeholders in Europe for mainstreaming community engagement in higher education.

SHEFCE objectives

The SHEFCE project will produce four intellectual outputs (IOs):

1) University action-planning for community engagement at 5 partners universities
2) Policy recommendations for system-level support for community engagement in higher education for 5 EU Member States
3) European online platform for community engagement in higher education
4) Piloting a European university-community engagement heatmap

Further information about the project is available in the following SHEFCE Fact Sheet.


The SHEFCE project is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme (Key Action 2; Strategic Partnerships in Higher Education)

Project Coordinator:

Contact: iro@iro.hr 

Project funding

The views expressed in this web site are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and of the Institute for the Development of Education and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the project’s funding / co-funding institutions. The funding / co-funding institutions cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.