UNICOMM Project – University Community Active Participation Project


UNICOMM NEWS

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Call for Participants: Summer Academy on Student Participation

Start your summer with an international exchange of experiences, knowledge, skills and ideas. Workshops, team-building, brainstorming, and other useful tools and activities – all of it waits for you! Sounds interesting? Apply until June 10.

CHECK DETAILS​​

Click and read about Summer Academy

Call for Participants: Competences for Student Engagement Support

Join us in shaping the future of student engagement support within the UNICOMM project! Are you an academic or non-academic staff member passionate about fostering a vibrant university community? We want to hear from you!

MORE INFO

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The European survey report is here!


What values ​​are most important to students?  What to focus on if you want to engage young people: current important topics or their motivations? Click on the image below and learn more about „University as community: students’ perceptions of participation, engagement and belonging at European higher education institutions”

READ MORE ABOUT THE REPORT “UNIVERSITY AS COMMUNITY: STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF PARTICIPATION, ENGAGEMENT AND BELONGING AT EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS”


Save the date: 
Student engagement in focus
17 October, 13:30 – 16:00 CET

We invite you to join the online event focusing on student engagement, especially participation in extracurricular activities, and its role and impact on belonging and a sense of community at higher education institutions.

A more detailed agenda will be available shortly.

Please register here

WHAT you will get:

  • Insight into the current level of student engagement and belonging: results from a Europe-wide survey
  • Hands-on recommendations on how to devise suitable activities that match the needs and expectations of current student cohorts and how to enhance student engagement at your institution
  • Inspiration from ongoing (student-led) initiatives, for example in the field of mental health support carried out by students for students

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Are you a student of the University of Warsaw? Join Masterclass Workshops on Community Building!

 

Add new practical skills to your portfolio, challenge your creative thinking and build with us new solutions for the whole university community! Join Masterclass Workshops on Community Building organised as a part of the international project UNICOMM – the unique initiative in which you can learn, develop your skills and co-create the results. Apply to the project and become a member of a diverse and motivated team that develops the university together!

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: OCTOBER 8TH

More info​​

Click and get more information about Masterclass Workshops on Community Building

 


ABOUT THE PROJECT

[OPIS W JĘZYKU POLSKIM PONIŻEJ]

The main aim of the project is to identify the patterns and factors that support the incorporation of inclusive and active student participation, enhance student competences to allow them fully participate in the inclusive HEI community and create guidelines and recommendations concerning organisational structures of European Higher Education Institutions in the context of the uncertain times and rapid changes.

MOTIVATION AND OBJECTIVES

The idea of the project comes from the belief that HEI is more than academic courses and research, and that all of the people who attend and work at HEI should matter and feel motivated to be engaged in the initiatives that are important for them.
The main motivation to conduct this project is to re-establish the sense of belonging to the HEI community for the students who spent most of their studies in the online mode and are uncertain how the further education will look like.

Partners’ experience shows that students’ active participation in initiatives and projects is enhancing the relationship between students and HEI. Due to the rapid changes in the modalities of studies, HEIs were focused on providing the best possible solutions to sustain the high quality of online education. The community aspect of academia often fell into the background. Yet the pandemic situation made prominent how important are relationships and a sense of being part of a certain group. Hence, the project will strengthen the sense of belonging to HEI through engaging students into active participation that will bind them with the institution and enhance their sense of agency.

From the institutional perspective, the motivation for such project is to realize the social mission of the HEIs in practice. With their diverse potential, HEIs should have a positive impact also outside the academic environment and be actively involved in building active and engaged societies that will face today’s world problems. The project aims to enhance this involvement through students’ active participation in initiatives that will bring positive impact for the communities outside the academia, and will respond to most current social, environmental and digital issues. Students should have equal access to the HEI’s academic and non-academic offer, thus the inclusion of diverse groups of students into the active participation is also one of the main points in the projects’ agenda.

This project will allow not only to enhance the academic communities in the partner institutions and individuals involved, it will allow to re-define the meaning of this community in the contexts of everyday challenges. We are not sure which changes from the pandemic times will stay with us for longer or will become part of the daily work and studies, thus the project will propose results and tools regardless of the situation.

Grafika projektu UNICOMM. UNICOMM PROJECT – UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY ACTIVE PARTICIPATION PROJECT. Na zdjęciu zadowolona, międzynarodowa grupa studentek i studentów UW

 

PROJECT STAGES

The perception of the academic community and relation with the HEI changed over the last years due to world events influencing everyday life and generational changes. Therefore, the first objective is to analyze factors influencing the bond-building between students and institution through a survey conducted in European HEIs. The analysis will identify topics important for students that are connected with values that matter for them as individuals, and also the motivations that push them to engage into non-academic initiatives offered by the university. Identifying good practices enabling international students and working students to engage will lead to development of more inclusive opportunities of participation for diverse groups of students.
The results of the analysis will be presented in the form of a report summarizing variables influencing the construction of an active and inclusive HEI community.

 

To create an active and inclusive community, universities need to actively increase the quality of non-formal and practical offer for both students and staff, so they would feel confident enough to engage into various activities and roles. Thus, the second objective is to enhance the skills and competencies of engaged students and staff supporting student participation, and to facilitate the university community growth. Insight and practical experience gathered through the learning and teaching activities will result in designing and delivering curricula-set of soft, interpersonal and intercultural skills trainings for students who are actively participating in initiatives organized by HEI and for the staff that supports students in participation. It will be adaptable for in-person and online training depending on the mode of studies, and available in the open access. In order to gain more insight into the situation of the employees who are supporting students’ participation the international peer-coaching group in a form of professional learning community will be designed and piloted. A series of podcasts will be created as another result.

The final objective is to incorporate innovative methods of active student participation into frames of higher education in Europe. Student-led initiatives supported by the partner institutions will lead to the development of high-quality methods of supporting student participation at European HEIs. The methods that will sustain the quality regardless of the  mode of teaching – offline or online. The results will be summarized and presented in the form of video tutorials on how to create and lead initiatives for students and a Handbook with guidelines and recommendations on how to develop and enhance the university community in the context of uncertain time and rapid changes.

CO-FUNDED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION

PROJECT COORDINATOR: UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW
Volunteer Centre of the University of Warsaw
PROJECT PARTNERS

INSTAGRAM PROFILE

 

Zdjęcie przedstawiające zespół projektu UNICOMM. Na zdjęciu osiem przedstawicielek instytucji wchodzących w skład konsorcjum. Photo of the UNICOMM project team. Eight women - representatives of the institutions that are part of the consortium

 


ZAŁOŻENIA I CELE PROJEKTU

Projekt UNICOMM ma na celu identyfikację czynników które umożliwiają inkluzywną i aktywną partycypację osób studiujących w działaniach pozaakademickich oferowanych przez uczelnie. Głównymi rezultatami projektu będą narzędzia pozwalające na wzmacnianie kompetencji i wspieranie aktywnego zaangażowania zarówno studentów jak i osób pracujących na uczelniach, ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem studentów zagranicznych oraz studentów aktywnych zawodowo. Finalnym efektem działań projektu będzie opracowanie wskazówek i rekomendacji, które pomogą europejskim uczelniom budować zaangażowaną społeczność w czasach pełnych zmian i niepewności.

Idea projektu wywodzi się z przekonania, że uczelnia to nie tylko zajęcia akademickie i działalność naukowa, a każda osoba będąca częścią społeczności akademickiej powinna mieć możliwość angażowania się w ważne dla siebie inicjatywy.  Dlatego też główną motywacją stojącą za projektem UNICOMM jest wzmocnienie poczucia sprawczości i przynależności do społeczności uczelni osób studiujących, zwłaszcza tych, które rozpoczęły studia w trybie online i często nie czują więzi z instytucją. Ważnym aspektem projektu jest również wzmacnianie umiejętności i wzajemna wymiana doświadczeń osób pracujących w europejskich uczelniach, które aktywnie wspierają zaangażowanych studentów i studentki.

Projekt realizowany jest w ramach Programu Erasmus+ (Akcja 2. Partnerstwa współpracy dla szkolnictwa wyższego).

ETAPY PROJEKTU

Pierwszym etapem działań projektowych jest zidentyfikowanie tematów, które interesują współczesnego studenta, wartości, z którymi osoby studiujące się utożsamiają, ich motywacji do działania oraz czynników wpływających na budowanie więzi z uczelnią.

Zgodnie z wiedzą i doświadczeniem konsorcjum, aby studenci i pracownicy uczelni czuli się na tyle pewnie by uczestniczyć w tworzeniu aktywnej i włączającej społeczności, uczelnie powinny nieustannie podnosić jakość pozaformalnej i praktycznej oferty. Dlatego kolejne działania w projekcie będą skupione wokół podnoszenia kompetencji i wzmacniania umiejętności. Ostatnim etapem projektu będzie wypracowanie wskazówek do włączania innowacyjnych metod wspierania partycypacji studenckiej w struktury szkolnictwa wyższego w Europie. Metody te mają zachować wysoką jakość niezależnie od trybu nauczania i pracy danej instytucji.

Projekt UNICOMM pozwoli na nowo zdefiniować znaczenie społeczności akademickiej w kontekście codziennych wyzwań. Dzięki efektom projektu, europejskie uczelnie będą mogły wprowadzać trwałe, a jednocześnie elastyczne rozwiązania wspierające budowanie przynależności oraz wzmacnianie poczucia sprawczości wśród osób studiujących i pracujących w europejskich instytucjach szkolnictwa wyższego.

PROJEKT WSPÓŁFINANSOWANY ZE ŚRODKÓW UNII EUROPEJSKIEJ

KOORDYNATOR PROJEKTU: UNIWERSYTET WARSZAWSKI
Uniwersyteckie Centrum Wolontariatu
PARTNERZY PROJEKTU

PROFIL NA INSTAGRAMIE