Social Responsibility is something that most of the people relate to the Corporate field. However the Public sector should be, by nature, more interested in the consequences of the actions of an organization (either public or private) on the society. The Universities, for instance, are institutions that have a huge impact on the surrounding society, and furthermore they work in fields such as education and research in which Social Responsibility becomes utterly important.
The EU, in the past few years, has been highly active in terms of social policies and priorities aimed at enhancing the positive impact of any kind of organisation and institution as well as individuals on the society. With the Europe 2020 strategy the Commission aims at a Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive growth which includes social responsibility. Moreover there has been consultations and a Green Paper promoting a European framework for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Even though in Europe there is a concept of social responsibility, what is missing is a common framework of University Social Responsibility (USR from now on) based on the same indicators and criteria.
The general objective of EUREXCEL is to create and identify a homogeneous framework of criteria and indicators of Social Responsibility in the field of Higher Education. The research and the training that will be carried out in order to raise awareness among University managers and staff will contribute to the institutionalisation of USR and its formal presence in the quality rankings. The harmonisation of the USR will be achieved with the creation of a quality seal that will be awarded to the Higher Education Institutions following the indicators. Therefore, the project will aim at creating a network of universities with a USR quality certification.
Considering the needs of fostering a more effective and efficient university governance model, rewarding innovation and community-relevance and building a more connected HE system to the surrounding communities, the EUSRExcel project aims at developing a common understanding and commitment to USR in Europe by:
INNOVATION TRAINING CENTER, S.L. – Spain
UNIVERSITÀ LA SAPIENZA (IT)
UNIVERSITY OF GIRONA (ES)
VAMK-VAASA UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES (FI)
DUBLIN CITY UNIVERSITY (IE)