The Rural 3.0 project: Service Learning for Rural Development – RURASL (Rural 3.0: Learning-Service for rural development) will establish a framework for an integrated transnational approach to academic learning that contributes to the development of rural areas, finding their needs and promoting innovation in these areas through an innovative methodology (learning-service) and creating partnerships between communities and universities.
The project partners are 8 universities from eight European countries and 8 community partners, which are mostly Local Action Groups (LAGs) that receive funds from the EU LEADER program to support rural development.
Team UAM is composed by Rosario Cerrillo, Paula Lazaro, Pilar Aramburuzabala and Esperanza Valdés (FUAM-UAM Emprende). The work is carried out in close collaboration with Galsinma, the LAG in the north of Madrid, which includes 42 municipalities.
The three-year project began on January 1, 2019.
The objectives of the Rural 3.0 project are:
- Help develop entrepreneurial skills in the rural community.
Improve the quality of education for sustainable development and promote partnerships between the university and the community in rural areas through the innovative service-learning methodology.
- Increase the relevance of universities, since their students aim to fulfill a service that is in line with the demands of rural businesses and social needs in rural areas.
- Establish a virtual center with a wide network of academic and rural stakeholders that will offer teaching and learning content (dedicated transnational academic module with courses on service-learning and social entrepreneurship, community training materials and digital collaboration and learning tools) and promote Interactions between Universities and stakeholders of the rural community.
The main benefits of the project are:
- The creation of an international alliance between the university and rural community that promotes education and entrepreneurship of people living in rural areas, connecting universities with companies in rural communities to work on a common problem: the development of knowledge and skills necessary to achieve change in rural communities.
- Strengthening the skills and innovative capacity of adult rural social entrepreneurs.
- Facilitate practical learning-service and social entrepreneurship experiences for university students in specific rural environments.