Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Sixth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Service-learning by PhD students to aid socially neglected people
José S. Torrecilla, Santiaga Buitrón Ruiz, Manuel Sánchez, John C Cancilla, Sandra Pradana, Ana Maria Perez Calabuig

Last modified: 30-04-2020


In recent years, there have been calls for change in higher education to meet the needs of today's society. A higher education that enables our students to offer solutions to struggling areas of our society. Innovative and differentiating solutions from what we have been used to until now. In view of these needs, it is necessary to unite the society, which reveals its main needs, and the university community, which offers solutions on the knowledge acquired. One of the ways to carry out this integration is based on developing a methodology called "Service-Learning" (SL). This learning method is based on a strategy of collaboration between educational centers and society itself. At present, this methodology is spreading within higher education institutions worldwide. This learning strategy emerged as a learning methodology in America, to be later extended to Europe, from the United Kingdom to the rest of the continent, and from there, reaching a global impact. Throughout this long road, this methodology has been improving, encouraging the creation of increasingly strong links between educational institutions and universities, and society, by promoting the improvement of student training as well as the development of certain areas of society. This paper presents a SL project where two apparently disparate areas are related, such as doctoral students in the area of chemical engineering and sectors of society at risk of exclusion. Specifically, the objective is for the students to present some of the technological developments they have achieved to a neglected sector of society, which should participate not only in the developments, but also learning about the technical base of such technologies.

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