Universiteit Leiden

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Erasmus+ grant for project on heritage as bridge between Academy and Society

Together with four European partner universities heritage specialist Dr Monique van den Dries has been granted an Erasmus+ project (EU-CUL) by the European Commission. This project sets up a unique cooperation between educational scientists and academic heritage specialists. It will study how universities may utilize cultural heritage for social responsibility objectives.

Third mission

For universities, their social responsibility (so-called third mission) is becoming increasingly important. Most often it implies knowledge is being transferred for economic benefit, for instance via start-ups. Examples of knowledge transfer to address local social issues are far less common, in particular those that instrumentalise cultural heritage for such a purpose.

The project will look for opportunities of using cultural heritage to service local society in addressing social topics. Among the deliverables will be a series of public lectures and recommendations to heritage managers and policy makers in the social domain. It will also lead to a multidisciplinary, innovative education module that teaches students heritage and social service.


The EU-CUL project (which stands for “Exploring cultural heritage for fostering academic teaching and social responsibility in higher education”) will run up to mid 2021. Partners are the University of Wroclaw, the University of Gothenburg, the Open University of Cyprus and the University of Malaga. The project and its outcomes can be followed on the website of the Faculty of Archaeology.

About Erasmus+

Erasmus+ programmes finance research that contributes to innovation of academic education. The grant also supports transnational partnerships among Education, Training and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe.

More about Erasmus+.

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