Julia Derkau

“ENGAGE enables the successful and innovative transfer of knowledge on a European level but also here in Mannheim. We have a strong, diverse and international team to further develop this transfer.”

Current position at the University of Mannheim:
Head of Educational Innovation at the Center for Teacher Education and Educational Innovation (ZLBI)

Methodology of Societal Outreach

Engaged in Society

What are your current areas of responsibility?
I am involved in work package 4, Engaged in Society. We are trying to answer questions such as how to link engagement, teaching and research and how students, researchers and people outside the university can jointly work on solutions for societal questions. This means we develop innovative forms of cooperations that contribute to successful exchange. We analyze how a general basis of knowledge and competences can be created to deal competently and value-based with societal change.

How does the University of Mannheim promote the bridging of campus and community?
At the Center for Teacher Education and Educational Innovation, we conduct evidence-based research to learn more about the development of competences and the learning effectiveness of formats that are at the interface between campus and society. Also, on the level of the President’s Office, the topic societal transfer is also taken into account. We had the first service-learning seminars at a German university. Service-learning is a form of teaching and learning that connects learning and the learners’ work for society outside the learning institution or the university. In addition, there are support structures for teachers and researchers who want to transfer knowledge between universities and society.

In your opinion, what are the most important goals of ENGAGE.EU?
I think that the most important goals are to continue to work on societal transfer on an international level, to exchange ideas about the most successful formats or to test and develop such formats with the partner universities. Not only is this a step forward for an engaged university. The intensive, international collaboration will generate new knowledge, new structures and, last but not least, enthusiasm for this topic!

What motivates you?
The interdisciplinary topic of the proposal, and the link between engagement, teaching and research has been the focus of my work at the University of Mannheim for many years. The topic has so many facets and always leads to exciting and sometimes controversial discussions. I am meeting only interesting people and it never gets boring.
Working in a motivated, international group has been a rewarding experience. We collaborate on a very high level with the partners of the alliance which also brings new inspiration to my own area of work. This is exciting! Thanks to ENGAGE.EU, I also expand and enrich my own network.

What does it mean for the University of Mannheim to be a part of ENGAGE.EU?
The aim of ENGAGE.EU is to create an innovative European university addressing the current and future challenges of Europe. By participating in ENGAGE.EU, the University of Mannheim can actively shape the future of European higher education institutions.
Simultaneously, the University of Mannheim uses the opportunity to continue being a national role model for a committed, innovative and international university. ENGAGE enables the successful and innovative transfer of knowledge on a European level but also here in Mannheim. We have a strong, diverse and international team to further develop and promote this transfer.

More on the Methodology of Societal Outreach: https://engageuniversity.eu/2021/05/22/engaged-in-society-reporting-tool/