PEAN CHILDREN'S UNIVERSITY NETWORK  

The History of Origins

Review

The most important objective of this phase was to identify the existing Children’s Universities and to analyse their reports, evaluations and so on. Furthermore, this phase included compiling a detailed description of the respective aims and concepts of these Universities and formalizing a schedule of current activities. The range of data is now gathered in a database and a bibliography which serves as a source of information for all. Research results are summarized and potential lack in impact analysis was uncovered. The results have been made available to academic and policy audiences and the public at large.

Network and quality development

EUCU.NET established an interactive and collaborative Web Portal with the intension of supporting the interaction and exchange of information and providing ongoing support for members. In this respect a Web2.0 approach was pursued in an attempt to foster the involvement of key players and practitioners.

In February 2009 an initial conference took place in Tübingen, Germany. In December 2009 a follow-up Twin City Conference was held in Bratislava/Slovakia and Vienna/Austria. The conferences brought together already established and experiences Children’s Universities organisers and those still in a planning phase. The conferences provide a platform for policy makers (e.g. the participation of three EU Commissioners), educational researchers, experts in didactics, scientific journalists, representations from industry, research organisations, universities and the like. This is of superior importance because one of the networks primary aims is a sustainable lobbying platform for the cause of Children's Universities.

EUCU.NET established Mentoring Partnerships who fostered the transfer of know-how and created a framework for cooperation. It is has been prooved that the Mentoring Partnerships provided a sustained spread of excellence and strengthened generally the whole idea of the Children’s Universities.

Implementation guidance notes and monitoring criteria for organisers of Children’s Universities have been compiled from the results of a review of existing concepts and available literature (research reports, impact analyses, didactical evaluation and the like).

Documentation of Results

One of the major outcomes of EUCU.NET is a White Paper, which comprises all facets of the project (implementation guidance notes, monitoring criteria, review of the current state of the impact analysis, benchmarking of concepts, summarising experiences gained from mentoring Partnerships and compiling a contact list). This paper illustrates the overall state of the Children’s University approach in Europe and also serves as a reference book for further promotion and development of Children’s Universities throughout Europe.

EUCU.NET has been funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), Science in Society.




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