EU-USR | Comparative Research on University Social Responsibility in Europe and Development of a Community Reference Framework

Comissão Europeia / Lifelong Learning Programme (Action Erasmus Multilateral Project)


LLP–Erasmus-EAC/27/11, 527209


Gabriel Dima (University Politehnica of Bucharest, Roménia)


University Politehnica of Bucharest (Roménia)
Scienter CID (Granada/Espanha)
Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, S.A. (Logroño/Espanha)
Foundation University of Granada Enterprise (Granada/Espanha)
Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Educativas, Universidade do Porto (Portugal)
MENON Network EEIG (Brussels/Bélgica)
University of Edinburgh (Reino Unido)


Equipa (PT)
Isabel Menezes (Investigadora Responsável)
Alfredo Soeiro
Ema Loja
Fernanda Rodrigues
Joaquim Coimbra
José Pedro Amorim
Thiago Freires


01.10.2012 - 01.10.2014




Recursos e materiais (PT) (legendado em Inglês)


The 'social dimension of higher education', which was absent in the genesis of the Bologna Declaration in 1999, became a central issue in the Ministerial declarations of London (2007) and Leuven (2009), targeting increased participation in European higher education by all interested citizens and ultimately aiming to make sure that the HE population reflects the diversity of society. In line with these indications, most European universities are sensitive and aware of the importance of their “social dimension” and they are developing actions to raise the issue among their priorities, not only in policy terms but also in daily practices. However, a European framework for University Social Responsibility (USR), able to foster collaborative learning and benchmarking,  does not exist.

To contribute closing this gap, the USR project aims to create, though a bottom-up approach that starts from some leading EU universities in the field of USR, a European model to enhance social responsibility of universities in a long-term perspective.

The project objectives are: 
- To identify and analyse good practices in the field of university social responsibility;
- To build an open benchmarking system aimed to improve the capacities of HE institutions  in responding to the needs of their communities in a socially responsible way, mapping  the USR-related competencies needed for HE stakeholders;
- To develop a European model for the enhancement of universities social responsibility and to mainstream through professional dissemination work;
- To start the creation of a European network on university social responsibility, that can bring forward the project results. 
The project will have an influence on the impact of European universities on their communities by fostering HE management approaches that are sensitive to the educational, cognitive, labor and environmental impacts produced by the university.