The conference What it means to be a committed university has crossed European borders

The question What does it mean to be a committed university resonated throughout the lectures, presentations and workshops during a three-day virtual conference, which took place from 13 to 15 July 2020 and whose main organiser was Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica.

During the Third European Conference on Service-Learning, participants were able to take an active part in the panel discussion, 3 keynote speeches, 31 presentations and 10 workshops led by leading experts in service-learning and third mission development from universities in Europe, Latin America, the United States and Africa. With more than 230 participants from all over the world, the conference has gone beyond the European dimension. It was a source of exchange of knowledge from the field of practice and research of service-learning, a space for mutual sharing of experiences and contacts and building networks in this field.

"For me, the strongest moment of the conference was the exchange of experiences between people from different countries on how to implement service-learning at universities and how to develop this strategy and respond to the needs of communities even during the COVID-19 pandemic. To the question: What does it mean to be a committed university? There is no universal answer. The implementation of strategies that fulfill the third mission of universities is strongly determined by their context. However, being an committed university does not mean having this characteristic included in its mission, but taking concrete steps to fulfill it in everyday practice and setting up its teaching, research and action processes for solving community problems and civil society development“. Alžbeta Brozmanová Gregorová, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica

Recordings of the main lectures, video presentations and materials from the individual sections are available at We believe that they will become educational material and a source of inspiration for the development of service-learning and topics of committed universities.

The conference was organized by partners of the Erasmus + project “Service-Learning in Higher Education” (number 2017-1-SK01-KA203-035352): Matej Bel University (Slovakia), Babes Bolyai University (Romania), Palackého University Olomouc (Czech Republic),  University in Rijeka (Croatia), Danube University Krems (Austria), Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany) and the European Association of Service-Learning in Higher Education (EASLHE) in collaboration with the Latin American Center for Solidarity Service-Learning  (CLAYSS). The conference is part of the Third Regional Service-Learning Week in Central and Eastern Europe region (CEE) organized by CLAYSS and CEE Service-Learning Network.