Education, training and human resources

PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN ACADEMIA AND NGOs IN TECHNICAL STUDIES IN ITALY


Abstract


This paper presents selected partnership experiences between technical universities and NGOs in Italy aimed at promoting Sustainable Human Development (SHD) through formal higher education initiatives. It stems from the GDEE project (Global Dimension in Engineering Education) as part of a series of actions aimed at assessing and reinforcing cooperation between NGOs and academia which is recognized as a key factor in reinforcing the presence of SHD in formal teaching programs at all levels of university education. Four higher education programs based in technical (science and engineering) university departments are presented, which reveal several common traits in their goals, approach and activities. The paper is co-authored by both academic and NGO staff. In all the examined initiatives, partnerships between academia and NGOs both at local and international level are seen as a fundamental element of the educational approach. Thanks to the adopted multi-perspective viewpoint, the paper critically discusses the main strengths, open challenges and future perspectives of the selected initiatives. This preliminary analysis can serve as a basis for programs aimed at systematically reinforcing NGO-University partnerships as a win-win strategy within both the higher education and international development cooperation systems.


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