University and Society
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University and Society

Interdependencies and Exchange

Edited by Ágnes Kövér and Gaby Franger

What role can the university play in the broader community or society in which it is embedded? Must it remain segregated in the halls of science and knowledge, which tower above the community? This book examines the growing number of questions and concerns around university-community relations by exploring widely accepted theories and practices and placing them under new light.
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Chapter 10: Volunteering@WU: implementing community service learning in Austria

Renate Buber, Ekaterina Ivanova, Stefanie Mackerle-Bixa, Michael Meyer and Paul Rameder

Abstract

The service learning program Volunteering@WU was launched by the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in 2010. The program’s mission is to serve as an integrating and bridging mechanism to broaden the horizons of the participating parties, to foster learning processes in classroom and real-life situations, and to develop the social competences of both volunteering students and their fosterlings. This case study aims to show how the predominantly American-based concept of service learning translates into the context of a European university. After a brief literature review on community service, the chapter introduces the concept of Volunteering@WU by discussing its stakeholders’ interests, aims, methods, output, and evaluation procedures. The program’s advancements within its six-year duration are addressed. Currently, the program faces many challenges, which are discussed against the background of future program management.

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