CIVICA Policy Labs

CIVICA Policy Labs: an innovative cross-European joint educational experience

Since its foundation in 2019, the CIVICA alliance – selected by the European Commission as one of the pilot European Universities funded under the Erasmus+ programme – has placed cross-European joint educational experiences at the top of the priority actions list.

CIVICA partner universities have jointly worked towards offering its diverse and multicultural student body with opportunities for trans-European teamwork, involving not only academics but also practitioners from various fields of activities thus ensuring students’ acquisition of entrepreneurial key competences, essential in today’s labor market.

Within this framework, CIVICA Policy Labs are intended as a 360-degree learning experience allowing CIVICA master's students to jointly:

  • put in practice the theoretical knowledge acquired during courses;
  • discuss real life situations and propose suitable solutions
  • face main policy decisions and managerial challenges in order to improve the societal outcomes while experiencing the complexity that characterises public and private institutions;
  • develop soft skills (effective presentations, clarity in explaining ideas, facing strict deadlines operating in high-complexity context with limited information)

This innovative challenge-based educational model involving external partners in shaping students’ learning process in a truly pan-European setting is a way to expand knowledge and best practices beyond the boundaries of the classroom while preparing CIVICA students for their first steps into the job market.

Assigning projects to a wide and diffused CIVICA Policy Labs will offer partner organisations the opportunity to reach - via a single point of contact -  Europe-wide student teams representing a plurality of views and backgrounds, as well as opportunities to build long-term relations with academics across network.

Key features of the CIVICA Policy Labs

  • Projects assigned by external stakeholders
  • Cross-European teamwork coordinated by a CIVICA faculty member
  • Tailor-made projects
  • Flexible timings
  • Learning objectives with high societal impact
  •  Research projects: original research projects commissioned by an external partner/stakeholder interested in using economic research for the purpose of policy making or advocacy 
  •  Consultancy-like projects: exploring and suggesting solutions for a specific real challenge/case suggested by external partners
  • Students from at least two CIVICA partner universities will take responsibility for the project sharing the workload within a team and working independently under the supervision of faculty members from the CIVICA network
  • Co-tutorship by external partner representatives can be envisioned and organised
  • Projects can be proposed as extra-curricular activities to students interested in joining the project or presented by partners as standalone credit-bearing activities or embedded as group projects in existing courses attended by CIVICA students within the Exchange or Double Degree Programme
  • In case of an extra-curricular engagement, a reward to incentivise students’ participation may have to be foreseen
  • Students will work on the assigned project part time for one term/semester and up to one year, depending on the exact set-up framework identified in close cooperation with the commissioning partner
  • Suggest concrete solutions to improve citizen’s lives and/or policy recommendation
  • Developing and reinforcing critical, analytical and practical skills

Key benefits for external partners

How can external partners get involved?

Please send demonstrations of interest via email to civica(at) specifying the tentative topic of the project (if any yet) and the ideal project timing, a representative of the CIVICA alliance will get in touch with you to identify the ideal project framework and plan the next steps.

Photo credits: Scott Graham