EU Workshop: Assessing European Universities Between Social Impact and Quality Assurance

EU Workshop: Assessing European Universities Between Social Impact and Quality Assurance

Photo Credits: Personal Pic_UNINATeam.

Naples, 29 September, 2022

The Q&A EU workshop organized by UNINA within the AURORA EU Universities Alliance framework has been held in Naples (Federico II) and online on 29 September 2022. It has seen the participation of prestigious experts in the fields of quality and assessment in HE from different backgrounds: European Universities (ENGAGE EU Alliance; UNITA– European Transnational Alliance ; FilmEU – European University Alliance for Film and Media Arts; ERUA – European Reform University Alliance); intergovernmental organisation (OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, national agencies (ANVUR-Italian National Agency for the Evaluation of the University and Research Systems), EU associations (Science Europe – Major research funding and performing organisation) and EU Policy Board.

Over the past decades, universities have played an important function in social innovation in collaboration with businesses and government agencies, as the university’s role goes beyond teaching and research and engages an entrepreneurial and socioeconomic development mission.

During the workshop, participants shared experiences and perspectives on how European Universities can innovate teaching, research, and knowledge diffusion. The workshop has addressed this question with a focus on the evaluation of European University Alliances. Besides Quality Assurance (QA) which involves different national regulations and university-based traditions for student learning assessment, the workshop focussed on how universities cooperate and how students and faculty can change their mindset because of Europeanization, pivoting toward a social impact perspective and prioritizing working toward SDG. Indeed,  the Research Assessment Reform recognizes the diverse outputs, practices and activities for research, researchers and research organizations.

Universities can play a critical role in stimulating entrepreneurship through offering entrepreneurship education, facilities and advice for graduates starting businesses, and incentives for academics for spin-off enterprises and innovation collaborations with off-campus businesses.

Student and faculty mobility and collaborations and their engagement with companies and other social actors at the European level can go beyond international research impact metrics, economic returns on entrepreneurial activities in regional contexts, and internal quality assurance (QA) procedures within and across institutional settings. Concerning that, three important pillars have been discussed: the transformation of courses within the alliances; – the coordination of student and faculty mobility to promote internationalization; and – the dialogue with stakeholders for social engagement and entrepreneurship.

The workshop pointed the reflection on the evaluation of the University’s Social Impact, exploring the actual interdependencies between the actors belonging to a given ecosystem of knowledge;
– the nature of the participation of the actors in the processes of knowledge and value creation;
– metrics and evaluation designs for social impact analysis.

The workshop is available on the UNINA youtube channel (https://youtu.be/DJyEhoRkQTM), and on the Aurora UNINA website. Please find the link below for the recorded livestreamed event.

For more information you can visit the event page at the following link. https://www.aurora.unina.it/assessing-european-universities/

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