Hopes York Will Help Avoid Future Banking Crisis.
7:14am 29th January 2013
Researchers at York St John University believe that the future of the economy depends on those currently studying in our universities and say it is vital that these students learn how the economy could work more effectively.
A grant for €335,000 has been awarded to York St John to enable researchers at the University to lead on a Social Economic Project that aims to change the way in which the social economy is taught in universities across Europe.
The three-year project, say the University aims to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the nature and practice of the social economy. The economic downturn of 2008, they add – and its continuing effects – raises serious questions about how Higher Education in Europe can address this challenge in its teaching and learning.
Margaret Meredith, senior lecturer at York St John University and one of the project co-ordinators, said, “People are now questioning the values implicit in a system which seeks profit at all costs. Higher Education needs to equip students with a broader vision and the tools to analyse a variety of ways in which the economy might work more effectively and for the common good and creation of sustainable wealth. We believe that the Social Economy warrants higher exposure in our universities and should be studied alongside other economic models.”
The Social Economic Project was awarded a grant from the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus programme, with co-funding from a Latin American university. The project was one of only six successful bids from 70 applications. The report from Erasmus Mundus on the team’s bid said that it “leaves no doubt that there is a need for a greater role of social economy and social capital within economy education in Europe and elsewhere.”
York St John University will co-ordinate the Social Economic Project, they say working with partners from across the globe; The University of San Antonio Abad del Cusco Peru (the co-funder) is at the heart of a network of universities across Latin America; The Centre for African Studies at the University of Oporto, similarly has many contacts across Africa; and Mondragon University in Spain is a leader in the study and practice of social entrepreneurship. The project will also involve many associate universities across all continents, they add.
One of the main project activities say York St John University is to conduct a comprehensive survey, to be launched in May 2013 and open to all those working in the social economy worldwide. They add that the findings will then inform a reference handbook, which will advise on European HE curriculum design. One intended result, say the University is an increase of interest in non-European students in following social economy courses within the partner universities. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations have expressed their support for the project, say the University.
There are more details about the project on: www.yorksj.ac.uk/socialeconomy<http://www.yorksj.ac.uk/socialeconomy>
You can visit the project’s website for details of how to get involved: www.yorksj.ac.uk/socialeconomy
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