Project details and outputs

A key goal underpinning the project will be to ensure that the project delivers a legacy of progress and impact that will last beyond the lifetime of the project.
We will aim to develop guidelines and best practices to inspire further exploration of opportunities for engaged learning initiatives to be embedded in local society and which can lead to demonstrable and long-term societal impact.


For this reason, our work will result in the production of our five main Intellectual Outputs:

  1. State-of-the-art review of Engaged Learning

    This output will provide an overview of the different international models of engaged learning such as curriculum-based project learning and front-door models such as science shops. The review will also contain a chapter describing the context and breadth of engaged learning in each partner country. Where our review will be particularly innovative is in its dual focus on understanding the practicalities and structure of the initiatives as well as capturing their impact on all stakeholders – students, Civil Society Organisations and the wider society, and on the university. We will also aim to understand any additional impacts including contribution to curricula or pedagogy and in making academic research accessible to the broader community outside of the university.

  2. Case Studies Compendium

    The Compendium will use a case study methodology, to explore engaged learning in each partner institution. We will aim to understand the social, economic and political context of each institution in order to understand the scope for engaged learning and for the opportunities for transferring elements of existing programmes into new initiatives.
    The Compendium will include an overview of the engaged learning landscape in each partner institution, including the extent to which it is employed and supported across the disciplines and how it feeds into institutional strategies e.g. education and / or research strategies. The compendium will also provide a more in-depth exploration of one or more specific case studies of engaged learning from each institution.

  3. Pilot Project Delivery and Synthesis Report

    The Synthesis Report will detail the activities undertaken by each partner in developing their own innovative engaged learning programme. This output will provide detailed examples of engaged learning practice and should help others in the field to understand what took place, providing enough detail to transfer the innovations we have piloted.
    The Synthesis Report will also provide a detailed evaluation of each new programme, with evidence of how the programme has impacted upon all stakeholders and the wider society. This output should help others in the field to understand what took place, providing enough detail to consider the transferability of a given innovation to their specific context.

  4. Conference Anthology 

    This output will comprise a collection of papers written by invited speakers to the CaST Final International Conference. This conference will be the culmination of the project and will provide an opportunity for world leaders in the field of engaged learning, as well as representatives from civic and civil society and Higher Education Institutes who wish to gain new insights into the area of engaged learning, to come together and discuss the outputs of the CaST project, including the innovations developed and piloted by the project partners.
    The Anthology is likely to include discussions on the practical methodology of engaged learning, pedagogical strategies and approaches of engaged learning, as well as perspectives from both higher education institutes and communities, of the benefits of engaged learning in different contexts.

  5. Engaged Learning Toolkit

    This output is designed with dissemination and impact in mind and we will focus mainly on identifying what elements of the case studies and Pilot Projects we believe to be both good practices and transferable.
    The Engaged Learning Toolkit will include:

    - Guidance for university strategy formation around engaged learning

    - Guidance on how to provide immersive and experiential learning programmes which tackle local and societal challenges

    - Guidance on how to embed a culture of sustainable engaged learning across an institution

    - Case studies with illustrations, infographics and videos/film showcasing best practice from partner institutes

    - Examples of how engaging with and mobilising communities can facilitate teaching

    - Guidance on evaluating engaged learning programmes

    - A policy-focussed short paper seeking to unpick the successful and less successful elements and processes of engaged learning

    - A paper aimed at Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the benefits to them and the community they serve, of partnering with universities on engaged learning programmes


Through identifying and disseminating effective approaches of socially engaged learning, we aim to:

  • promote the mutual benefits of experiential engaged learning to universities and their local societies;

  • contribute to the self-efficacy and employability of participating students; Unpick the successful and less successful elements and processes of civic university partnerships;

  • improve global understanding of how engaged learning can be nuanced to be successful and sustainable in different socioeconomic contexts;

  • contribute to the success of our regional and national economies.


The CaST Project is funded with the support of the European Union's ERASMUS+ Programme. All views expressed are those of the authors and not of the European Commission.