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Online Guide for University / NGO partnerships

Intellectual Output 5, using the PBL (problem-based learning) approach

The guide suggests recommendations and a framework for cooperation between higher education institutions and professional environments for the integration and training of students in professional environments. This guide is intended for students, NGOs, companies and public services that host students on internships or work-study programs.

What is the goal of the guide?

The strategic goal of the online guide is to provide a framework of cooperation between universities and NGOs in order to optimize the learning outcome of internships for students. The guide aims at providing a clear framework for setting up, managing and evaluating the professional integration of students within a cooperative frame between the university and the NGO, with hands on management tools. The main focus of the guide is interculturality.

This guide book is developed based on an experimental process. Both universities and work placement sites) can benefit.
This output consolidates earlier described outputs and outcomes. It should be emphasized that, during the project many students have had a period of internship in NGOs. The objective of the cooperation framework is to insure individualized learning opportunities to students during their placement. Their mission, wherever possible, has been based on the Project Based Learning (PBL) model which emphasizes learning activities that are interdisciplinary, student-centered. Practical training were alternated with learning sessions co-developed by the university and the NGO (informal, non-formal as well as informal knowledge were blended). An adapted evaluation method has also be worked out.

The guidebook has been developed, tested and improved during the period of internship.

In what aspect is the guide innovative in the module?

- The method of work for IO5 is a significantly innovative approach to NGO-University partnerships
- The product aimed is innovative for addressing stakeholders’ needs, by providing more attractive education and training processes, in line with individual needs and expectations of the work market.
- The online guide relies on the PBL approach and intercultural approach, both are innovations and for us necessary in giving the foundations of a successful practical experience in the field of education.

Why a guide is necessary?

In order to enhance the quality of education, universities have to ensure that the right skills are developed and delivered to match the needs of the current labor market in terms of addressing diversity and inclusion needs in education and social intervention settings. In this perspective, better collaboration between universities and NGOs is desirable. Although it has become familiar that universities cooperate with civil society organizations in many aspects it is still common that employers and even students themselves complain about the gap between academic knowledge and expected skills on the field. For this reason we have developed a structure in which cooperation is a crosscutting element through all IOs. IO5 will develop a tool that describes this experience in order to facilitate cooperation between NGOs and universities for students learning through improved internship processes.