The ENGAGE wider objective is to contribute to the improvement of student engagement in three Partner Countries – Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar – by creating effective actions and policies that empower students' participation in the planning, management and governance of the University life. This wide objective is in line with the regional priority “Governance, strategic planning and management of higher education institutions”.

Objective #1

To create a new culture of learning and teaching that make room for student engagement in the planning and management of teaching activities

The creation of a culture of L&T which incorporates and values the role of students in an interactive way represents one of the foundations for a realistic and efficient framework of students’ engagement. A student-centered approach in the classroom is the first stepping stone towards students’ engagement in the governance and management of the HEIs and in the social community. For this reason, the first phase of the project (WP2) will focus on training faculty and administrative staff on innovative teaching methods focused on students’ inclusion and engagement. This objective is made realistic and feasible by the shared commitment of the Consortium in reaching it and by the specific expertise developed over the years by the Partners, in particular Uppsala University. In addition, the HEIs involved in the project in the three Partner Countries have clearly expressed their resolve in this direction.

Objective #2

To support the creation and consolidation of student associations committed to foster campus wellbeing

The second specific objective focuses on the role of student associations and organizations within HEIs. These associations represent the basic and fundamental ‘institutional’ space for students’ activities on campus. For this reason, ENGAGE will support the consolidation of existing associations and the creation of new ones where they are not already in place with a specific plan of actions that will be developed in WP3. Given the experience and knowledge of the Partners in this aspect and the clear request from the Partner Countries for the support of student associations emerged from the need analysis, this objective is realistically feasible in all the three national contexts. In addition, student associations are recognized in all three countries as the main body through which students can organize their activities on-campus and also as the main channel to connect students with the governance (see below).

Objective #3

To create structured spaces for the “student voice” in the university governance improving academic and administrative transparency

This specific objective is closely connected to the previous one and it directly impacts the governance and management of HEIs. The ENGAGE project aims at promoting the inclusion of students and their ‘voice’ within the decision-making body of universities, with an institutionalized mechanism for students’ feedbacks and inputs. For this reason, within WP3, the Consortium will organize ‘Student Leadership’ trainings, as well as study visits to involve both student representatives and officials from the University governance. As for the previous specific objective, the feasibility of this point will be guaranteed both by the expertise of the EU partners and by the commitment of all the institutions involved in three Partner Countries.

Objective #4

To strengthen the relation between HEIs and local organizations to develop community engagement/active citizenship actions

The objective of creating a strong connection between HEIs and local organizations/NGOs is essential in order to expand student engagement from the on-campus dimension to the social community at large. In this perspective, WP4 will focus specifically on this aspect with the twofold goal of improving social engagement of the students in their community toward active citizenship, but also of strengthening the connection between HEIs and local organizations to improve the employability of high-skilled students in the local contexts. This specific objective is made realistic and feasible by the participation and support of local organizations and NGOs as associated partners, working on different strategic sectors of community development and active citizenship in the three Partner Countries. In particular, the associated partners will collaborate in the organization of workshops and forums with the universities, the laboratories on community engagement in BA courses and the workshop for the establishment of an advisory board.

Objective #5

To create a favorable national/ASEAN legislative framework for enhancing student engagement in a structural and consolidated way

This is the major specific objective of the project in terms of long-term impact and sustainability. The creation of a favourable environment will ensure the formalization of comprehensive normative frameworks for enhancing and supporting student engagement within the HEIs and in the social community at large. The multi-actor dimension of the ENGAGE Consortium, and in particular the involvement of the Ministries of Education of all the three Partner Countries as full partners and of the associate partners representing ASEAN and EU networks, demonstrates the feasibility of this objective. In addition, the project involves the organization on Inter-Ministerial workshop with the goal of promoting the harmonization of normative frameworks regarding students’ engagement and participation in all the three countries and also at the regional (ASEAN) level.