Service learning

Organisations and universities: a partnership for the future
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Service learning is an educational approach in which participants are trained while working on the real needs of the community with the aim of improving it. In order to disseminate this methodology and publicize some successful cases in Barcelona, on Tuesday 23 February, the virtual conference Organisations and universities: a partnership for the future was held.

The conference is part of the Social Transformation working group of the Municipal Advisory Council of Universities (CAMU), which since 2018 has been addressing, among other issues, the extension of service learning in Barcelona and its social impact. The conference aims to respond to some of the city challenges identified by the working group, such as increasing the visibility of the service learning carried out by universities and strengthening the network of collaboration between them and local organizations. In particular, the conference will share the necessary information to undertake a service learning activity with universities, identify new challenges and opportunities for collaboration, and create a space for debate and contact between organizations and universities.

The first part of the day (10.30 am - 1 pm) and the final conclusions (4.30 pm - 5 pm) were broadcast live on the Barcelona City Council YouTube channel, along with a chat for questions and comments, which were sent live to the speakers. The detailed programme of the event can be found at the bottom of this page.

This and other proposals of the CAMU working groups are promoted by the Department of Science and Universities of Barcelona City Council. This is why this conference, open to all kinds of organisations, focused on the field of science, understood in a broad sense as an essential tool for tackling contemporary urban and social challenges.


Conference video recording

In order to ensure that the information and experiences shared during the conference continue to facilitate contact and collaboration between organisations and universities within the framework of service-learning projects, two recordings are available below: a summary version of the conference, which includes the most relevant or representative moments, and an extended version, with the entire conference (except for the thematic groups, which required registration).






10.30 - 10.35. Welcome 

Welcome, connectivity check and presentation of the day.

10.35 - 10.45 h. Introduction 

  • Presentation of the Department of Science and Universities and orientation of the conference, by Julia Miralles de Imperial, delegate for Science and Universities of Barcelona City Council.
  • Presentation of the work of the CAMU Social Transformation working group, by Sebastià Sarasa, professor emeritus of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and coordinator of the working group.

10.45 - 11.45 h. Two service-learning experiences from the scientific field 

  • FAADA and school canteens for climate change, health and animals in the subject of Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Biology of the UB. Service learning experiences promoted by various organisations linked to the Barcelona City Council's Council for Educational Innovation (CIP) and the Faculty of Biology of the University of Barcelona. Presentation by the Faculty of Biology (UB) and the Foundation for Advice and Action in Defence of Animals (FAADA).
  • Climate impact of natural gas and large energy infrastructures. Service-learning experience promoted by the Observatory on Debt in Globalisation (ODG) and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in the framework of the Research-Action workshop of the Master's Degree in Science and Technology. Presentation by the UPC's Institute for Research in Science and Technologies for Sustainability and the Observatory on Debt in Globalisation.

11.45 - 12.00 h. Break 

12.00 - 13.00 h. Round table: Service Learning in Universities 

Presentation of the service learning activities and spaces of the Universitat de Barcelona, the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, by:

  • UB - Victoria Morín, lecturer at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
  • UAB - Sara Martínez, coordinator of the ApS Office at the UAB (FAS).
  • UPC - Dídac Ferrer, Head of the Innovation and Community Office.
  • UPF - Vanessa Soria, technician of the Teaching Innovation Area.
  • UOC - Nadja Gmelch, Director of the Open Knowledge, Globalisation and Cooperation Projects Operative Group.

Moderator: Mireia Esparza, Service Learning Promotion Centre.

13.00 - 15.30 h. Lunch break

15.30 - 16.30 h. Thematic groups

Contact, debate and prospection of collaborations, divided in groups dynamised by online participation tools and framed respectively in the following three axes:

  • Group 1 - Healthy and sustainable food
  • Group 2 - Environment and cities of the future
  • Group 3 - Gender, diversity and equity

16.30 - 17.00 h. Conclusions and closing

Presentation of the conclusions and main results of each thematic group, by a member of each group. Closure by Julia Miralles de Imperial, Delegate for Science and Universities, Barcelona City Council.



The conference is organised by the Department of Science and Universities of Barcelona City Council with the collaboration of the Municipal Universities Advisory Council and La Mandarina de Newton, which is also conducting the event.


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