Maynooth University’s commitment to community-engaged learning has taken another step forward with the successful award of funding under the Europe for Citizens programme. The Future Foundations for Europe project (FFE), led by Maynooth University colleagues Jennifer Lloyd Hughes, Civic Engagement Coordinator with MU’s Experiential Learning Office, and Dr. Derek Barter of the Department of Adult and Community Education, aims to develop a network of Higher Education and Civil Society partners to engage citizens in debates and discussion groups around the future direction of the European project. This new network: comprising three universities and three civil society organisations, will host a number of events throughout the partner countries, beginning in September 2021.
The geographic span of the consortium from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea, the banks of the Danube to the Atlantic ocean will provide partners with a unique opportunity to explore the common socio-political and economic views and experiences of European citizens, across a range of age cohorts and within the context of social and digital inclusion. Project Partners will use innovative, inclusive, and creative technologies such as live recordings, podcasts, story mapping, and on-line discussion platforms, to engage a broad range of groups including people experiencing poverty, migrants, young people, older communities, and people with disabilities. The FFE consortium will also seek to build on the learning from this project to create a sustainable digital network, an educational resource park, and an open-access journal focused on citizen engagement with European social policy and economic, social, cultural (ESC) rights.
Maynooth University as the lead partner brings its own unique approach to widening the conversation using place-based adult and community education, curricular and co-curricular engaged learning, and campus/community collaborations. We look forward to welcoming our partners to the university when this is possible and both Jennifer and Derek are happy to discuss the project with academic departments, schools, centres, and institutes who want to know more, or explore how involvement in this project could benefit their engaged research and expand their European networks, etc.
The FFE partner projects are Maynooth University; The University of Novi Sad, Serbia; Pecs University, Hungary; The European Anti-Poverty Network, Ireland; The Hellenic Anti-Poverty Network, Greece and URKRAFT, Sweden.