|Universidad Veracruzana (Mexico) Community Engagement Programs receive an International Award – First Place in MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship
UV also offers international students the opportunity to gain practical work experience and carry out projects and research on ourmultidisciplinary teams working in disadvantaged rural and urban communities :
In 1993, Universidad Veracruzana (UV) created a social engagement program called University Social Service Brigades (BUSS in Spanish). BUSS was a novel approach to the traditional compulsory Social Service Mexican students must complete before graduation, where UV students carry out community work in the most impoverished and marginalized rural, urban and indigenous communities in the state of Veracruz. In 1996 the University Engagement Department (DGV) was formally established at UV.
The Engagement Department generates the conditions in which UV can contribute, in collaboration with various local parties, to the sustainable development of society in Veracruz. The objective is to enhance the generation and application of pertinent knowledge in response to specific needs and issues. The Engagement Department fosters and creates mechanisms for collaboration and coordination with communities, civil organizations, productive sector, government departments and local municipality authorities in order to contribute to socio-economic development and environmental conservation on a local, state, national and global level.
UV’s Engagement Programs have become an essential and integral university process to consolidate the professional training of students, provide feedback and improve educational plans and programs, foster employability of graduates and increase the social pertinence of the University.
A multidisciplinary team of 80 people work in the department with relevant profiles to lead programs in coordination with academic faculties and research centers at UV. For almost 20 years, UV Engagement Programs have successfully created alliances and spaces to facilitate links between academic activities and communities in need, which today represent fertile ground for carrying out research; life-long education; extension of university services; building skills for socio-economic development; transference of innovative technologies; interaction of cultures, mutual learning, and exchanging experiences. To date, almost 4,000 students in 40 disciplines have participated on the programs, working with NGOs, public sector development programs and in local industry in favor of sustainable development of the state of Veracruz.
UV has gained the confidence of local businesses, communities and government agencies, who highly value the University’s collaboration.
Engagement with the social sector (municipalities and communities)
UV fosters the identification of social and community development issues and the formulation of solutions that integrate the professional training of students, research and foster culture and education. The activities developed have the objective of both training professionals with an understanding of regional and state real scenarios, and fostering community development, small and medium sized businesses, health and social well-being, consultancy and training for public servants, educational projects and research projects related to social and environmental issues.
UV has established, to date, 8 Houses for community engagement in different regions throughout the state. The Houses together with BUSS are a university model that supports academic activities and professional training of students while they comply with their compulsory social service and gain relevant work experience. The program provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge in real scenarios and contribute to solving community and gain awareness on regional socio-economic problems. The activities also benefit community participation for development and increase opportunities for insertion of students into the labor market and the work experience is an integral part of their degree program.
Strengthens management competencies in local governments and promotes local development projects in small underdeveloped municipalities with the aim of supporting modernization and the design of local development policies, administrative and technical skills.