The EUC Engaged Citizens Programme (ECP) is an extracurricular programme in which a small group of students gets the opportunity to initiate and engage in activities that commonly fall outside the scope of their academic learning journey. The programme runs for the duration of an academic year and consists of weekly sessions (Wednesday afternoons).
The ECP is an interdisciplinary programme for inquisitive students who enjoy and consider it important to engage collectively with societal issues. The programme fosters learning and critical thinking through theoretical training, hands-on workshops, group projects and inspiring guest speakers. The ECP offers modules on personal growth, urban ecology projects, and documentary making & visual arts.
The co-creative nature of the ECP allows students to tailor the programme to their own needs and interests under the guidance of the coordinator. As such, students play an active role in driving the programme toward the success of each session and project.
The Purpose Of the Engaged Citizens Programme
Considering the turbulent world we are currently living in, and the resulting implications on both the personal and societal levels, the ECP focuses on the broad concept of well-being and environmental sustainability. Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)'s Strategy 2024 focuses on making a positive impact on society by “Taking Responsibility on Sustainable Development”. An essential part of that positive impact is creating a sustainable world. It comes from the realisation that the pace at which we need to restore our environment for our own survival must be faster than we realised until recently. In the coming years, EUR will embark on an accelerated sustainability programme. In line with this ambition, we believe it is essential to support our students and create space to take action towards accelerating sustainability.
In light of EUR Strategies, the ECP is an interdisciplinary programme designed to experience, reflect, and act on the whole spectrum from the individual to the global space. The ECP aims to provide students with a platform upon which they can create awareness and knowledge in the field of well-being, environmental sustainability, and nature conservation. One of the main goals of the ECP is to expose students to different aspects of well-being and sustainability from different angles and levels through initiating and participating in Urban Ecology Projects in the Rotterdam area. It will allow students to actively act on a chosen aspect and implement their newly acquired knowledge and skills for the benefit of our community.
The goal of the programme is to help students see how personal context, community engagement, and world perspective are intertwined and connected. By understanding the interplay between these factors, students can develop a deeper understanding of the complex issues facing society today and become more effective agents of change through student initiated projects focusing on urban ecology. This includes turning knowledge into action in the form of innovations and solutions for a sustainable way of life on the personal, local (community) and global level. Understanding the connection between these three levels, i.e. (1) personal growth, (2) community engagement, and (3) global social impact, is essential for students to become responsible, engaged citizens who are committed to taking meaningful actions toward accelerating sustainability and preserving the natural environment.
The Structure Of the Engaged Citizens Programme
The Engaged Citizens Programme integrates three modules:
(1) Personal Growth Trajectory
(2) Student-led Initiative (Urban Ecology Project)
(3) Documentary Making & Visual Arts Module
The general structure of this year-long programme is designed to allow the three modules to run in parallel, meaning that they will happen simultaneously throughout the duration of the programme. By running in parallel, the programme aims to provide a holistic learning experience for the students, allowing them to acquire knowledge cumulatively and develop professional skills while positively impacting their community.
(1) Personal Growth Trajectory: This module will focus on personal growth and development of the Honours students. It will include goal-setting, self-reflection, communication, and teamwork. This module will involve workshops, masterclasses, and group activities that will be spread out over the year. Students will learn about engaged citizenship, inner development goals, how to create habits and behavioural change, the neuroscience behind decision-making, practice mindfulness, attend a mindful cooking workshop, and more.
(2) Student-led Initiative (initiating an Urban Ecology Project): The Student-led Initiative module is focused on engagement in an Urban Ecology Project. Students will work together to identify an issue in the Rotterdam area related to urban ecology and develop and implement a project to address it. This module will involve hands-on learning and practical experience, with students taking on leadership roles and working collaboratively with each other to plan, design, and implement a sustainability project. Students will expand their knowledge about the global health model, nature-human interactions, regenerative cultures, social engagement, biodiversity, restoration and sustainable food.
(3) Documentary Making & Visual Arts Module: This module will provide the opportunity to learn about documentary making, visual arts, and storytelling. Students will work together to create a documentary on the urban ecology project, using their newly acquired skills. They will develop creative and technical skills in areas such as photography, videography, and editing. Students will produce and present a final documentary project that showcases their learning and experiences throughout the programme.
These three modules are designed to complement each other. The personal growth trajectory provides a foundation for the other two modules and the urban ecology project provides a real-world context for the documentary-making and visual arts module. Documentary making and visual arts can be powerful tools in urban ecology projects, helping to raise awareness, inspire action, and engage communities in sustainable practices.
Who can apply?
The Engaged Citizens Programme is open for committed and inquisitive (current) first- and second-year EUC students. In the selection process, we put a high premium on motivation, curiosity, and explicit deliberation on how the programme can contribute to students’ personal learning goals. The programme runs for the duration of an academic year (parallel to the regular coursework) and consists of weekly sessions (Wednesday afternoons).
How to apply?
All first and second-year EUC students can apply to the programme.
Your application should consist of the following:
- A video of up to 7 min in which you:
- Present who you are and why you would like to participate in the Engaged Citizens Program.
- What do you think you could learn from the ECP and what can you bring to the ECP?
- Present an idea you would want to explore related to the urban ecology and sustainability issues in the connection between the individual and the global scales;
- Present one idea for an event, workshop, or excursion that you could co-organize in the program;
- Briefly present the latest book, film, or exhibition that truly captivated you and explain why;
- or Briefly mention a potential action you would want to execute to contribute to our community’s well-being.
2. Your CV (as a pdf file, with your full name as the document’s name).
You can submit your video by sharing a link to it in an email. Please make sure that everything works before sending.
Please send your application to email@example.com with the following subject line:
Engaged Citizens Programme Application before May 3rd 2023, 23:59.
Students that will be offered a spot in the programme will be notified via e-mail by May 10th 2023
Kick-Off Meeting will take place on May 17th, 15.00-18.00