Community Servive Learning and the issue of power: University Students' engagement with disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Amsterdam

Peer Smets, Baukje Reitsma, H Ghorashi

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The VU (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) is increasingly looking for
more opportunities for cooperation between academia and societal
organisations in the form of engaged scholarship and Community Service
Learning. The grassroots organisation VoorUit works with the VU and
other institutions, offering students the chance to assist in providing
community service in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. In this
chapter we show how the initial phase of the project – which focused on
integration (that is, empowering disadvantaged groups through students’
contributions) – shifted toward a more challenging approach questioning
the one-way conceptualisation of engaged scholarship. This led to a limited
experiment to explore different ways that society and academia could
mutually benefit through engagement. We used the frame of discursive
power to discuss and analyse the normalised notions of engagement in
academia. This chapter aims to provide some reflections on the debate
and practice of academic engagement but also furthers the discussion
of integrating Community Service Learning activities in the university’s
curriculum and research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScholarly engagement and decolonisation
Subtitle of host publicationViews from South Africa, The Netherlands and the United States
EditorsMaurice Crul, Liezl Dick, Halleh Ghorashi, Abel Valenzuela Jr
Place of Publicationwitxxxx
PublisherSun Media
Chapter10
Pages277-299
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-1-928314-56-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameOn higher education transformation
PublisherAfrica Sun Media
Number1

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