The Vienna University Children’s Office is in a long-term exchange with international organisations, experts and project partners. An important concern is to provide children and young people with the best possible and equitable access to science. It is particularly important to us that these offers can be used regardless of origin and economic opportunities.
Ongoing International Projects
- PHERECLOS (2019–2022)
The EU-project PHERECLOS builds upon the experience of Children’s Universities (CUs) in Europe and beyond. Due to their engagement with children and young people, they help to breakdown institutional boundaries between universities and the wider society. CUs often sit between key organisations in the educational and social landscape, collaborating with both. The project will establish “Local Education Clusters” (LECs), bringing together schools and further relevant actors in the educational ecosystem of 6 diverse pilot regions. These actors may be universities, governmental and non-governmental organisations, companies, charities, museums or other knowledge providers. The LECs will be incubators for enabling a dialogue and for setting-up joint activities between these organisations at the overlapping edges of formal and non-formal education.
At the same time, the project aims to improve the quality of science engagement. PHERECLOS will implement a digital “OpenBadge” system which labels institutions as reliable and responsive actors allowing all LEC parties to become real agents of change in education. At the same time, this ecosystem will highlight individual achievements with respect to STEAM engagement.
The regional effectiveness and impact will be monitored and informed by implementation research. This will lead to the development of implementation guidelines and policy briefs to enhance the sustainability of the overall approach. Therefore, PHERECLOS will highlight the wider benefits gleamed from our LECs and use these experiences to catalyse access to higher education for young people, particularly STEAM-related careers, affording benefits in a wider societal context. Come sail with us!
PHERECLOS in Vienna
The “Bildungsgrätzl” and the Vienna Children’s University (including seven universities) are two networks in Vienna carrying out projects in the area of innovative education for children and teenagers with a strong perspective on the aspect of social inclusion. Although both networks follow similar purposes, there is no direct connection nor cooperation so far.
The Local Education Cluster (LEC) Vienna will connect the two networks and will promote the establishment of a shared, sustainable and structural cooperation between the different actors. The aim is to bridge the gap between different educational sectors (from primary to tertiary sector) alongside non-formal educational institutions. As an alliance in innovative science engagement activities, LEC Vienna will strengthen holistic, open and lifelong learning for 10,000 children already involved in Children’s Universities activities and 70,000 children already connected to “Bildungsgrätzl”. It will bring science in the neighbourhoods and the perspectives of children and schools in the Universities.
- ENPRENDIA (2019–2022)
“ENhancing female entrePRENeurship in InDIA (ENPRENDIA)”, coordinated by the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology in India, bringing together a network of European and Indian organisations. The ENPRENDIA project will aim to increase the living and working conditions of the female population in India by providing an adequate environment for them to develop their business ideas. This will be achieved by providing Indian female entrepreneurs with the adequate tools, competencies and skills to create their own business ideas through tailor-made programmes, by creating structures within targeted institutions that attend to the needs of female entrepreneurs, and by developing awareness campaigns on gender policies and gender equality.
(Erasmus+, Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practives, Capacity Building in higher Education: 597932-EPP-1-2018-1-IN-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP)
- #Multinclude (2018–2020)
In the project, best practice examples for inclusion in the education system are sought, measurement criteria and quality parameters are developed and, in the sense of “Multiplying Evidence-Based Strategies for Inclusion”, the transferability of models of inclusive education and their political anchoring are worked on.
(Erasmus + Project Ref: 592125-EPP-1-2017-1-NL-EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN, 2018-2010, Partner)
Science in and for Society
We want a strong and critical scientific landscape in which as many people as possible can participate. This calls for a responsible approach to research and the promotion of education in the interests of our future social coexistence.
Universities, research institutions and other scientific organisations have also recognised that it is high time to define their own role in the public sphere and consciously assume responsibility within a globalised and technologised society.
In particular, universities aim to open up to a wider public and create new spaces for encounters and collaborative research. Such unusual encounters are made possible by the Vienna University Children’s Office for a very specific target group, namely children and young people. The Children’s Office has taken on a pioneering role in this area with its children’s university activities not only in Austria, but also internationally.
The international network eucu.net (European Children’s Universities Network), co-founded and currently coordinated by the Vienna University Children’s Office, has a major influence on the development of the Vienna Children’s University, but also for many other children’s universities in and outside Europe. Here a regular exchange takes place between experts, but also “newcomers” in the field of Children’s Universities and social inclusion in higher education.
The foundation of “The Vienna University Children’s Office” is based on support from the European Social Fund (2003-2006). In 2005, the European Commission supported our first science education project “ECFUN – The Virtual Children’s University” and a series of other EU projects with partner institutions from all over the world followed.
One of the EU projects led to the creation of the European Children’s Universities Network (www.eucu.net), whose head office is located in the Children’s Office.
- Sci4all – European Researchers Night, Vienna (2018-2019): https://sci4all.eu/
Coordinator: PRIA (Practical Robotics Institute Austria), Austria; H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2018: Horizon 2020 ID: 819006
- MERSCIN – Mersin Researchers Night (2018-2019)
Coordinator: Mersin Universitesi, Turkey; funding: H2020-MSCA-NIGHT-2018 ID: 818725;
- Khoj Boxes (2017-2019)
Khoj is the Hindi word for discover. The idea: a new form of mini experiment boxes for children of elementary school age in India and Europe, which allow new perspectives on their own lives, but also communicate large contexts, which give simple instructions for research, but do not diminish independent thinking, which motivate them to find their own solutions and lead to innovations. (Social Entrepreneurship Challenge in cooperation with Manthan Education, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India – supported by Austrian Development Agency)
- InEDU – Innovate, Educate, Awake (2016-2018)
The project aims at stimulating the exchange of experiences between actors in school education and in extracurricular education programmes in multinational seminars and to incorporate didactic findings into low-threshold science boxes. (Erasmus+, #2016-1-PL01-KA201-026744, 2016-2018, Partner)
- SciChallenge (2015-2017)
SciChallenge is a Europe-wide competition for young people on new research topics in science, computing, technology or mathematics. (#665868, H2020-SEAC-2014-1, 2015-2017, lead applicant)
- SiS Catalyst – Children as Change Agents (2010-2014)
In SiS Catalyst, numerous measures and materials have been developed that have stimulated the exchange of experience between Children’s University organisers and promoted cooperation and quality development. In the long term, the results of the project should support universities and other scientific institutions in implementing such awareness measures on a strategic and practical level. (#266634, FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2010-1, 2010-2014, Partner)
- Eucu.net (2008-2010) – 2010: Foundation of a Membership Organization
The Global Children’s University Network – started as an EU-funded project in 2008 (#217810, FP7-SCIENCE-IN-SOCIETY-2007-1, 2008-2010, coordinator) and since 2010 an association of 65 institutional members around the topic Children’s University in 29 countries.
- ECFUN (2005-2008)
In ECFUN, a multilingual science portal with content for children from 9 to 12 years of age has been developed and implemented in six languages, spoken by 10 million children in this age group in Europe, presenting scientists with their individual lives and educational pathways as role models.
(#020817, FP6-2004-Science-and-society-11, 2005-2008, Coordinator)