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Newsletter 57, July 2017




What is good about our research if it is only advancing science and doesn’t have impact on society? This question was raised by Andrew Furca at a conference on the 3rd mission of Higher Education. “Because”, he continued, “Community engagement is not something you do and get done. It’s a strategy. It’s about Partnerships rather than projects. It’s also about honoring the work of communities. It’s about co-creation, co-development, co-production.” In this context it is good to see that new centers and new actors show up to co-construct, co-develop, co-produce with communities. The Science Shop idea flourishes. Networks all over the world revitalize the community engagement work. And from the EnRRICH working environment we can clearly state that there is a growing interest among HEI, but also among students to connect academic work with community based issues.  The question “Where does it happen and how does it happen?” is interesting to explore and will keep us excited until the next Living Knowledge conference end of May 2018 in Budapest (and beyond).

But first – have a nice summer.

Norbert Steinhaus

Save the date: 8th Living Knowledge Conference 2018 in Budapest, Hungary, 30 May - 1 June

The 2018 edition of the LK Conference will be hosted by the Corvinus Business School, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary, from 30 May to 1 June.
The chosen theme is “Enriching Science and Community Engagement”
The LK8 Conference is aimed at academics, practitioners, activists, social innovators, research funders, science educators and communicators, citizen scientists, policy makers, non-governmental organisations, artists, interested community groups and citizens.
The last conference hosted more than 250 participants from 25 countries.
Among others the following questions are going to be discussed at the conference:  

  • How to build on and enrich the public engagement in research practices (through RRI, Open Science, Open Innovation, Science Shops, citizen science, participatory governance, community-based research, inclusion of community members in advisory boards, etc.)?
  • What are the most valued aspects of community-based engaged scholarship?
  • How to assess impacts in science-community partnerships?
  • How to nurture the debate about the place and role of “society in science” / “science in society,” and how to encourage the systematic and ethical involvement of civil society actors and their societal concerns in research and innovation processes?
  • Science event organisers, educators, community organisers carry a lot of the weight in achieving successful 'engagement' - yet, many of their efforts, practices, and challenges go unnoticed, unacknowledged, or taken for granted (organisationally and monetarily). Sometimes leading to burnout, this lack of recognition kills creativity and the very drive of and purpose of engagement: what really matters gets swallowed by bureaucratic procedures, unfulfilled expectations, and lack of time/spaces for replenishment. What new arrangements exist or can be created/practiced to address this at the personal, organisational, and funding levels?
  • How / do we fulfill our promises of community engagement? What are the critiques and expectations from institutions aiming at community engagement? How are these engaged with / addressed?

The conference website with further information will be online soon:
Contact: Réka Matulay,



Staff training workshop on research-based learning held at University of Vechta

On May 3rd a staff training workshop on research-based learning was held for higher education teachers of University of Vechta. The workshop introduced the concept of RRI and linked responsibility to research and teaching. Prof. Dr. Harald Mieg (University of Applied Science Potsdam) introduced the topic of research-based learning and showed examples for the implementation of research-oriented teaching. The possibilities vary from including students in existing research projects of the lecturers, research-projects of students embedded in curricula and research projects independent from seminars. Additionally, it was talked about different forms of research and their applicability for research-based learning. Lecturers are faced with new challenges if research is done directly by students. Ideally, the lecturers know about individual learning processes of students as well as different subject-specific research culture. The examples of the guest lecturer were amplified by Prof. Dr. Marco Rieckmann from the University of Vechta. In the seminar “Out of the box - participatory research with people from the region” students from Vechta do research on questions from the region Oldenburger Münsterland. Seminar and workshop are part of the EnRRICH project aiming at including responsible research and innovation (RRI) into higher education, for example via science shops or by including society in terms of third mission. A second workshop on RRI in higher education was planned in Vechta for the International Week (12th  – 16th of June 2017).

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EnRRICH well (re)presented at C2U Expo Vancouver (2-5 May)

As a Canadian-led international conference, C2UExpo is showcasing best practices in community-campus partnerships worldwide and creating a space for collaboration. Held every two years, the conference allows community members, universities, colleges, government, and non-profit organizations to work together to create an innovative learning environment where research, knowledge, and relationships can be shared and cultivated. The 2017 edition was hosted by the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, aspiring to be Canada’s leading community-engaged university. (Check out how they do this.)

Around 400 people from all over the world attended the conference, including 3 EnRRICH partners (University of Sassari, Science Shop Bonn & Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and 2 advisory board members (Henk Mulder & Budd Hall). They hosted an open space session on Science Shops, showcased the project in different sessions and participated in discussions and panels. Furthermore, the collaborations between European and Canadian Science Shop work was strengthened and many plans for more future collaborations were made. 

Want to learn more? Check out the conference website

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European Technology Assessment Conference (ETAC)

EnRRICH was represented at the European Technology Assessment Conference by the University College Cork EnRRICH team on May 17 – 19th. UCC EnRRICH chaired a session which comprised of three live RRI projects (EnRRICH, MoRRI, and NUCLEUS) and two case studies illustrating RRI in practice in higher education. Visiting Erasmus+ student and EnRRICH member Valentina Ghibellini from University of Sassari also participated in the session. The conference was attended by approximately 200 delegates and it was the first time that Ireland hosted a Technology Assessment conference. 

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660 high school students engage for the first time in a reflection to improve the research and innovation agenda on HIV prevention

The Deputy General Director of "la Caixa" Banking Foundation, Elisa Durán; The director of the Aids Research Institute - IrsiCaixa, Bonaventura Clotet, and the head of the Living Lab for Health, Rosina Malagrida have opened the Co-ResponsHIVility Congress on CosmoCaixa on june 9th. Four hundred of the 660 students who are participating in this educational, and at the same time transformative project, gathered together with experts in the field to present the Research and Innovation Agenda for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) developed for and with young people. 

The project Co-ResponsiHIVility is a respond to the demand of more than 1,000 students from Secondary School who pointed out in recent years that HIV and other STIs are their most worried health problem and tries to find ways for prevention. It therefore invites different stakeholders (educational community, civil society organizations, policy makers and the scientific community) to participate in collaborative deliberation processes. The aim is to end up agreeing on a Research and Innovation Agenda on HIV and other STIs prevention that better responds to the needs of different groups. 

The project is developed within the educational programme Xplore Health, promoted jointly by "la Caixa" Foundation and the Living Lab for Health of IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, with the collaboration of the European Commission project EnRRICH. It also counts with the collaboration of a wide range of entities, such as the Public Health Agency and the Center for Epidemiological Studies on STIs and Aids of Catalonia (CEEISCAT), among others.

Find out more about the Co-ResponsHIVility project here.

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EnRRICH community of practice in action: Newcomers learning from experienced Science Shops

Within the frame of the EnRRICH project, in 2017 Vilnius College of Technologies and Design continued piloting its newly established Science Shop. Basing on the first-year experience, the engagement of lecturers was identified as one of the key success factors. Therefore it was decided to arrange Erasmus+  training visits to experienced Science Shops in order to discuss VTDK pilots with proficient colleagues and learn about their best practices. In supportive collaboration with the members of Community of Practice, this idea was developed and put into action. This spring two Erasmus+ training visits to Ireland (Dublin Institute of Technology, Queen‘s University Belfast)  were carried out, one more training visit to Belgium (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) will take place in the second part of June.

In the beginning of April, two VTDK lecturers have visited Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and took part in Students Learning with Communities Awards ceremony, met with DIT lecturer in Product Design to discuss Community Based Research, attended Masters students in Strategic Management presentations of their Community-Based Research projects to community partner: Recycle IT.
At the end of May, another team of three VTDK lecturers has visited Queen‘s University Belfast (QUB). During the visit, lecturers had fruitful discussions with QUB and Ulster University Science Shop coordinators regarding establishment and sustainability of partnerships with CSO, coordination, and support of Science Shop projects. VTDK lecturers also had a chance to meet QUB master and Ph.D. students undertaking Science Shop projects and hear about the projects from the student point of view.
Both teams found the mentoring visits effective and valuable. The finding and insights will be discussed in the upcoming VTDK Science Shop lecturer‘s community meeting at the end of June.

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RRI Tools

Announcement of RRI Session at the SDG Conference

On the International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: Actors and Implementation, that will be held on the 18th and 19t September 2017 in Barcelona, will also be a parallel session on RRI. The session will address the question “Responsible Research and Innovation: a new concept for a new society?”. 

Link to the conference website

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UCC CARL Team and Partner CSOs meet with UCC President Patrick O’Shea

Professor Patrick O’Shea became the 15th president of University College Cork on February 1st 2017. Patrick joined UCC from University of Maryland where he was Vice President and Chief Research Officer. The university’s Science Shop, 

UCC CARL (Community-Academic Research Links), sought a meeting to brief the president on the role UCC has played in developing civic engagement policy at a national level and the strides made in integrating a civic engagement ethos at an institutional level in the university. On May 24th 2017, the CARL staff, members of local community groups, and students and staff involved in previous or current CARL projects met with the president to give a comprehensive account of CARL activities and the impact of these activities. The meeting with Professor O’Shea provided an opportunity to showcase the work of UCC CARL and synergistic projects such as EnRRICH. The timing of the meeting was also important as University College Cork’s new strategic plan is coming into effect in September 2017. The CARL team hope to maintain strong communication links with the President’s office to ensure civic engagement is an integral element of the university in future years. (pictured are UCC President Patrick O’Shea with UCC CARL Staff, partner CSOs, UCC staff and students, and EnRRICH project members Kenneth Burns, Catherine O’Mahony and Ruth Hally.)

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New ECSA working group: Citizen Science and Open Science

ECSA, the European Citizen Science Assosiation, has launched a new working group on Citizen Science and Open Science. It aims to explore and work on the following aspects:

Explore interrelations between Citizen Science and Open Science.
Foster exchange of experience and gathering of good practice at the intersections between Citizen Science and Open Science.
Channel opportunities for the CS community toward engaging in regional policy processes on how Citizen Science is addressed as part of Open Science, in cooperation with policy engagement work such as DITOs.
Help reduce technical, legal and other barriers that keep ECSA members and their partners from adopting open science policies and approaches that maximize the long-term impact of their programmes.

Visit their website here

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New Project of Science Shop Potsdam: Prostheses made with a 3D-Printer

The Science Shop Potsdam received national funds to develop, in cooperation with the University of Potsdam and the Oberlinhaus, a mobile self-help lab for people with disabilities. With high-tech machines like a 3D-Printer, these people will get the opportunity to design and construct assistive equipment according to their individual needs. They see their role in providing free access to tools, 3D-printers and information and want to work on capacity building. Their project starts with show casing different inventions in workshops, schools, and universities to generate ideas.

You can read an article on this project here (it's in German), visit their website or write an email.

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Sparks exhibition continues its tour through Europe

There are upcoming openings of new exhibition venues in Europe. Hungary has already opened its exhibition to visitors mid-June, and Belgium, Malta, and Latvia are opening at the beginning of July. If there is an exhibition ongoing close to your home, make sure to drop in! 

Have a look at the website here

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ALLISS – 3rd Mission of Higher Education

The ALLISS platform, co-founded by French institutions of higher education and research (ESR) and civil society organizations, has launched a White Paper on Higher Education Research in which they constitute that the interactions between civil society actors and ESR institutions were massive, a so called invisible continent of Research-science-society cooperation. (Have alook at the paper here.)
A conference organized by ALLISS from 7 to 9 January 2015 highlighted the significant gap between the quality and the strength of the research-science-society cooperation and the very insufficient forms of political and institutional support. The platform now puts a lot of efforts in strengthening the policy support. (Find out more on their website.)
Thus, from 5-7 April 2017 ALLISS has organised a conference in Strasbourg on the “Third mission of Higher Education". About 45 participants from 11 countries and 4 continents discussed possible next stages of interaction between universities and wider society. This exchange contributed with new perspectives and new view points from the global south or non-Europe, nevertheless it was a pity that a lot of ‘Old Europe’ was not present. A first sharable outcome of the meeting – in which Science Shops from Benin, Haiti, Lyon, Québec and Bonn took part – was to write a monograph on current networks (links, sites, experiences, pertinent institutions, to write an "International White Paper on the Third Mission of Higher Education", to organize a working group on the public values of higher education and to set up a working group called “observatory of practices”. (Get in touch here.)

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BigPicnic – Big Questions. Engaging the Public with Responsible Research and Innovation on Food Security

Big Picnic is an EU funded project that brings together the public, scientists, policy-makers and industry to explore the global challenge of food security. With 19 partners, under the lead of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the H2020 project will co-create a range of exhibitions and participatory events with people from all walks of life, to generate dialogue and build greater understanding of food security. This collaborative approach will give a voice to adults and young people on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), communicating their views to policy-makers, and encouraging debate on the future of our food

Botanic gardens build the majority of the BigPicnic team as they are uniquely placed to address both social and scientific issues surrounding food security. Thus BigPicnic will demonstrate that they are spaces where people can engage with, and help develop the solution to complex and controversial issues in science.
One of the key challenges of this project is how to successfully engage policy and policy makers. Food security is a relatively new issue and decisions on policy and research are primarily influenced by the views of industry and consumer associations rather than the general public. So how do we ensure that the project’s findings are taken into account effectively across stakeholder groups and the countries in which the project is working? How can we inform future work and research around food security?
A session at the 6th Global Botanic Gardens Congress in Geneva, Thursday 29 June, will explore potential opportunities to engage with relevant stakeholders and invite other relevant speakers to share their experiences, discuss the barriers to engaging policymakers and stakeholders at different levels and how we can work together to overcome these.
Contact: website, email.

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Great news: Wave of Science Shop openings!

Science Shop: first steps in Belarus

In the Republic of Belarus, the idea of Science Shops became known thanks to the support of the German Federal Government's Support Program for Belarus. In winter 2015, a project group of the Education for Sustainable Development Association (Minsk, Belarus) was introduced into the experience of Bonn Science Shop within the framework of a joint Belarusian-German project. Together with the Belarusian Pedagogical State University Maxim-Tank (BPSU) they successfully implemented the research-oriented project "Education for Sustainable Development for All Generations - Social Contract" in 2015 and 2016.
Members of the Association are educational institutions and NGOs from different regions of Belarus that actively promote values and ideas of sustainable development in local communities. They all support the cooperation of different stakeholders in order to promote and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. To expand the potentials of scientific knowledge and its inclusion in the practices of Schools of Sustainable Development, a new joint project: "A Science Shop as a tool for integration educational practices into sustainable development processes" was developed. The key idea of the project is the development of a cluster model for the activities of a Science Shop in the Republic of Belarus and its establishment at BSPU.
The project was launched in April 2017 in Minsk at the Partner Conference "Discovering the Horizons" of the German Federal Government's Support Program for Belarus. The main idea of the project was then presented to the members of the Association at the Festival of Innovative Practices of ESD of Local Communities "Bridges of Generations” in May. Linking their activities with the working methodology of a Science Shop was accepted as an opportunity to expand the sustainability of regional educational initiatives. The joint development of a Cluster model for the organization of Science Shop activities will now be the objective of a Summer School to be held in the early days of July.

Student Project Bank at Bournemouth University is a Science Shop in its Pilot year

Based on the successful Dutch model of a Science Shop, the Student Project Bank is a mutually beneficial collaboration between external organisations and BU students. As part of their studies, the students get to work on a live project with the potential for real-world impact. The organisation gets the opportunity to benefit from their students’ knowledge, skills and creativity while gaining valuable insights into their specific project area.

You can access more information via this link

A new member of the Science Shop community was born: Corvinus Science Shop (Budapest, Hungary)

In May 2017, the community-based learning and research activities of Corvinus Business School (CBS) have finally been institutionalized: both the Faculty Council of CBS, and the Senate of Corvinus University of Budapest (CUB) approved the foundation of a new organizational unit, called Corvinus Science Shop.
Corvinus Science Shop has opened its doors with a series of workshops in May and June. First, the CBS faculty was invited to discuss how community partnership and engaged scholarship can be enacted in their day-to-day activities as educators, mentors and thesis supervisors. The workshop provided room not only for introducing the Science Shop idea in details but also to learn about those aspirations and needs of colleagues the Science Shop might serve and satisfy.
In the second workshop they were already pursuing a sort of matchmaking. The fundamental goal was to make it clear and appealing to colleagues that business and management education might integrate projects with non-business organizations. A CSO partner was invited to introduce its mission and operations to the CBS faculty representing various fields of business and management studies. After a joint exercise of mapping the problems and challenges the CSO is currently facing, potential research questions and seminar projects relevant to the courses and fields of the participants were created. The several ideas finally materialized in two CSO projects ready to be launched in the coming autumn semester.
By these and the previous steps supported by the EnRRICH project they are aiming at building up both the internal (faculty, students) and external (CSOs, communities) constituencies of Corvinus Science Shop. Establishing it requires a lot more though: the formulation of strategy, structures, pocessess, etc. This is where the current and upcoming workshops – now within their Science Shop team at Corvinus – are targeted to.

Here is the link to the Cornivus University of Budapest: 

New Science Shop in Nuremberg, Germany

Science Shop Nürnberg defines itself as an open space that implements scientific projects and develops various formats around DIY-Science. The aim is to make science accessible for all people, regardless of their background and educational status. In the spirit of the Science Shop movement, they want to work on complex subjects and help science to incorporate the concerns and ideas of the average citizen. By working closely with local institutions like Urban Lab (participative urban development) and FOODCUBE (aquaponic systems), they are currently focused on urban agriculture. They are being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the City of Nuremberg in the first year.
Future topics are dependent on their members and partners - they are open to support all kinds of science-related projects. Their team currently includes a biologist, two designers, a cultural geographer and electrical engineers. That is why they are able to make connections between the disciplines, which is their main potential. In their current project “Meer davon - Berlin liegt an der Nordsee” they connect electronics and the internet of things with gardening and urban development. After the construction of an IBC-Aquaponics-System they are now working on a sensor box. It will monitor water parameters that can be accessed from the cloud and are published as open data. Further projects in 2017 include measuring photosynthesis parameters and developing sensoric supports for our insect farming system. And to celebrate the start of the first Science Shop in Bavaria, they stick to the stereotypes and grow their own hops - an important ingredient for the Science Shop beer that will be brewed with a small local craft beer company.
Spreading knowledge and consciousness about innovative agriculture and water quality is their main aim for this year, which is accomplished in two workshop-lecture packages regarding aquaponics and water quality. This knowledge can be deepened in weekly Science Sessions that are also open to their visitor’s own projects. Further actions will be the construction of our Science Dome (a mixup between greenhouse and biolab), the scientific backing of FOODCUBE and our presence at various city-wide science-related events. Through all these event formats, they hope to spread knowledge and establish contacts with the municipality and local educational and scientific institutions. They are trying to expand their funding next year with the aim of creating one or two full-time positions. Looking further ahead, they would like to expand their focus on urban planning and development as well as on innovative energy systems - but they are also open to other disciplines.

You can access their German website here

Athena Institute launched a Science Shop

The Athena Institute is a research and education department at the Faculty of Earth & Life Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Its Science Shop supports non-profit organizations in all countries over the world by implementing research projects with a potential societal impact within the four research themes of Athena: Emerging Technologies and Society, Health, Wellbeing and Society, Sustainability and Society, and Education for Science and Society. Athena furthermore coordinates research projects for individuals, civil society organizations (CSO) and communities who aim to address real world problems or explore opportunities for sustainable futures within one of the four research themes. It offers the opportunity where the community partners provide the research questions and students conduct research in order to address the question. In most cases research includes active participation with various stakeholders, including the communities. The institute offers programs for Bachelor and Master Degrees for students from the Netherlands as well as from abroad. 

You can read about Athena Institute and the Science Shop here.

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Call for Papers in a special issue of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation on citizen science

Submission deadline: 15 July 2017

In this special issue, the editors invite to submit articles that demonstrate the diversity of citizen science, in terms of approach and research themes, and the contributions of remote-sensing techniques. There is special interest in articles about innovative research that identifies the intersection between remote sensing and citizen science for conservation, such as DIY balloon or kite mapping, the use of photo-sharing apps and the integration of satellite observations with ground truth by volunteers.

Full text here.

Submit article here.

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CIMULACT has published its 23 research topics

With the help of Citizens the Horizon 2020 Science with and for Society project CIMULACT has decided on its suggestions for research topics and has ordered them according to the Grand Societal Challenges. 

You can read the deliverable here.

Or go to their website.

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Science in Public 2017

10 - 12 July 2017 in Sheffield, UK

Science and technology are essential ingredients of our humanity. The emergence of fruitful and diverse scholarly perspectives on the history, practice, communication, governance and impacts of scientific knowledge reflects this fact. Yet rapid scientific and technological change has also unsettled the idea of what it means to be human; for example, through new frontiers in physical and cognitive enhancement, shift to knowledge economies, and potential threats to employment from mass automation. These changes take place in a context of broader challenges to expertise and evidence, dramatically illustrated by the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump. Taking these matters seriously calls for a renewed focus on compassion, benevolence and civilization. Science in Public asks this year: How do science and technology affect what it means to be human?

Annual Engagement Australia Conference 2017

20 - 21 July 2017 in Adelaide, Australia

Creating Culture, Entrepreneurship & Knowlege through Engagement
The 14th international conference of engaged scholars and practitioners will explore the question "How do we harness the benefits of collaboration and partnership to create culture, entrepreneurship and knowledge?" through diverse perspectives on the role for engaged universities as catalysts for resilience, the importance of new forms of experiential learning to optimise employability outcomes, the role for national frameworks and benchmarks to enable a future transition that is centred on the role of universities in shaping societies, economies and communities.

2017 IARSLCE Annual Conference

14 - 16 September 2017 in Galway, Ireland

The annual conference of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning & Community Engagement is a scholarly venue to disseminate new knowledge on service-learning and community engagement. The focus of presentations, symposiums, and keynotes is on research incorporating a variety of theoretical, methodologies, and perspectives. The conference also serves as a gathering place for networking and association business meetings for members. A significant component of the conference is the mentoring of graduate students and new faculty members interested in advancing their own research agendas in this field.

International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals: Actors and Implementations

18th - 19th September 2017 on Campus Nord, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona.

The Conference serves as a leading international meeting aiming to create a permanent and multidisciplinary knowledge network on implementation of SDGs, engaging universities, governments, cities and public agencies. The Conference will gather multidisciplinary experts and high-level practitioners from around the world to exchange knowledge, ideas, experiences and expectations on the challenges involved with the SDGs.  
You access more information and register by following this link.

European Learning & Teaching Forum

28 - 29 September 2017 in Paris, France

The European Learning & Teaching Forum provides a platform for the exchange of experience on and good practices in learning and teaching in higher education among EUA members and other higher education stakeholders. Within universities, the Forum aims to target vice-rectors for academic affairs, deans, programme directors, academic staff, and researchers in the field of learning and teaching. It also wishes to identify and better engage with dedicated policy makers, networks and organisations, thus strengthening the voice of EUA in ongoing policy debates on changing learning landscapes.

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