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What is Service Learning?

Definition of Service Learning

                                                                                                                                       Service Learning (hereinafter SL) is an educational program that combines learning processes and community service in a single project, so that it becomes a tool for training of students.                                                                                                                     Its main objective is to train socially responsible professionals, along with content learning, skills and abilities of each qualification, develops civic and social commitment from reflective practice.                                                                                       It is a proposal that has a big impact on education, as it allows university students to develop their social involvement with the territory, while carrying out their university studies.

Framework document

Framework document on Service Learning, passed by the Governing Council on 23 February 2012.                                                                                                  On 26 February 2015, Governing Council approved the Action Plan for the period 2015-2017.

Service Learning Network

The educational network established under the 2010-2011 call for grants for innovative teaching ICE URV, together with the Vice President for Teaching and EHEA has worked in the SL program at the URV.                                                                                                                                                                                    Nowadays, the head of the Service Learning Program of the URV is the Vice President for Teaching Students and University Community.                     The interdisciplinary nature of the members of the working group, its previous experience in APS and in many cases, experience in management positions within the university, is one of the strengths of the process followed at the URV for institutionalizing SL. The Network aims to:

  • To promote SL and community-based research as a learning strategy that is socially committed to the region and to the international community.
  • To publicize and consolidate the projects that are underway at the URV.
  • To reinforce the existing collaborations between lectures from different study programmes and create new ones.
  • To disseminate the results achieved and their social impact.

The current members of the Service Learning Network can be found in the section Who are we? 

Service Learning at University


  • Campus Compact (USA) Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 colleges and universities -the presidents representing some 6 million students committed to the realization of civil and social Higher Education. Promotes public service community that develops competitive ethics and social responsibility as a citizen of students. Helps the campus to consolidate effective links with the community and provides resources and training to meet the aspirations of teachers to integrate learning and community-based and society in the curriculum.
  • National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (USA) Gives supports the higher education SL community in kindergartens, primary and secondary education, community-based organizations and all other stakeholders to strengthen links between schools and communities through Service Learning.
  • Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning: Provides support, shape and create networks to ensure the effective implementation of SL in Canada. Its purpose is for students, educators and communities to learn and work together to strengthen individuals and society.
  • The Talloires Network: International Network for the promotion of social responsibilities and civic functions of higher education which brings together more than 300 universities in 77 countries. Rovira i Virgili University take part of from January 2013. Belonging to this network offers opportunities for collaboration and exchange of best practices with other institutions of higher education socially engaged, enabling the development and steady growth of the program.

In Spain

  • Spanish Network Service Learning: Founded in 2010 as a space for collaboration between educational institutions, social organizations and professionals in various fields and promote autonomous regions of SL for years.
  • Network ApS(U): Is an inter-university initiative, promoted by ICE of the University of Barcelona in 2010, and today is launching in universities of Spain and holds an annual meeting on the exchange experiences of SL at university.

In Catalonia

  • Service Learning Developer Center: Is a place of confluence to generate initiatives and measures to facilitate and strengthen of the SL projects at all levels of education.
  • Network ApS(U)Cat: In July of 2015 the Catalan Universities Network APS APS(U)Cat was constituted with the aim of sharing strategies towards the development of this methodology within the Catalan university system. On July 6, 2016, was held the 1st Meeting of the Catalan Universities Service Learning in Campus Bellaterra of Barcelona, and on July 10, 2017, will be held the 2nd Meeting at the University Rovira i Virgili.