The EUC Engaged Citizens Programme is an extracurricular programme in which a small group of students gets the opportunity to initiate and engage in activities that commonly fall outside of the scope of their academic learning journey. The Engaged Citizens Programme is situated at the intersection of Critical Thinking and Critical Making. It is an interdisciplinary programme for reflexive thinkers and doers who enjoy, and consider it important, to engage collectively with complex public issues. The programme corresponds to a study load of 15ECTS and runs parallel to the regular coursework.
What do we do in the Engaged Citizens Programme?
Each academic year, the Engaged Citizens Programme welcomes twelve new students. It is a selective and intensive programme in which we aspire to make stories that travel beyond the boundaries of our discipline and institution. The ECP is composed of three important modules: the Documentary-Making Module, the Student-Led Initiatives, and the Personal Leadership Trajectory.
In the Documentary-Making Module (DMM) students are challenged to explore socially relevant themes, within and around Rotterdam, that deserve to be expressed in film. In contrast to scholarly work, which can be experienced as rather rigid and limited in terms of creativity, the DMM is interest-driven, supports playful experimentation, and leaves room for trial and error. At the same time, students find themselves engaged in a process in which they encounter challenging questions related to narrative-development, collaboration and ownership, and the ethics of representation. Some of the films produced during previous years can be found here.
The Student-Led Initiatives help to make the ECP a dynamic and adaptable programme. In the course of studying together, students might discover areas of interest that deserve to be pursued. Rather than strenuously trying to anticipate these in advance, we choose to allow this to happen. Students have the room (and resources and guidance) to formulate learning objectives - when we encounter areas that require further exploration - and they are helped into a position to organize learning activities accordingly.
Finally, the Personal Leadership Trajectory is the place where we slow down and reflect on our personal and collective learning journey within the programme. Altogether it is a rich programme that is always brought to life by the students. The lessons learned feed back into, and add to, the regular coursework at Erasmus University College.
ECP: Documentary-Making Module
In the Documentary-Making Module (DMM), students are challenged to explore socially relevant themes, within and around Rotterdam, that deserve to be expressed in film. Much of our academic work relies on written or oral communication, but there are more modalities in which we can conduct and present research. In the Engaged Citizens Programme, students acquire all the elementary skills to produce, shoot, and edit a documentary film. The research and filmmaking process is supported by both professional filmmakers and academics.
The DMM encourages students to think of themselves as storytellers. A lot of our workshops cover themes such as narrative development, knowing your (intended) audience, and visual storytelling. The lessons learned are applied in the documentaries that students – in teams of four – produce, but are also very much relevant for the ways in which we shape and present our ‘academic output’. At the end of the journey, we organize a screening during which the makers introduce and present their work.
ECP: Personal Leadership Trajectory
Engagement is a condition of social life. We always already find ourselves in a wide variety of networks (economic, technological, cultural, etc.). But within that entanglement, we can also choose how we organize our attention and which issues we engage with. Our capacity to do so successfully is to a large extent determined by how well we know ourselves. Knowing and being able to proactively tap into your potential personal drivers contributes to being able to effectively engage with people, initiatives, ideas and projects. During the Personal Leadership Trajectory students will uncover the patterns, convictions and habits that govern their engagement. They will become aware of how thoughts, feelings, cultural context and emotions feed into these mechanisms and how they can transcend them in order to have an increased sense of choice, balance and empowerment. Through practice in the field, individual reflection, and dialogue with their fellow-students will increase their ability to engage in what truly captures them from the inside out.
ECP: Student-Led Initiatives
The Engaged Citizens Programme is an educational space in which students are encouraged to think along, to contribute to the programme, and to take ownership of their personal and collective learning trajectory. In addition to the two required components of the programme (i.e. DMM, Personal Leadership Trajectory), there is ample room for self-initiated learning. Students are provided with time, resources, and guidance enabling them to think of innovative ways of adding to the Engaged Citizens Programme. This has led to a wide variety of activities ranging from masterclasses, urban walks, student-led cooking workshops to reading groups. It is this diversity that gives the Engaged Citizens Programme a distinct and unique identity each academic year.
Participating in the Engaged Citizens Programme
Who can apply?
The Engaged Citizens Programme is an interdisciplinary educational space for committed and inquisitive second- and third-year EUC students. This means that applications are open for EUC students currently in their first or second year of study. In the selection process, we put a high premium on motivation, inquisitiveness, and an explicit deliberation on how the ECP can contribute to your personal learning goals. Note that the programme corresponds to a study load of 15ECTS and runs parallel to the regular coursework.
How to apply?
At the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year, all eligible EUC students will receive an email in which they are welcomed to apply to the Engaged Citizens Programme. The email outlines what the application process looks like and what materials you are expected to submit.