Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul







Students 4 Change approximates innovation and social entrepreneurship in higher education

New courses idealized in the project will be offered at PUCRS in 2018/2

24/07/2018 - 08h23

students-7339PUCRS hosted an international meeting of the Students 4 Change project, an initiative of Erasmus +, a European Union program for education, training, youth and sport. From July 9 to 13, about 80 teachers from 15 European and Latin American higher education institutions participated in the event. The activity marked the end of the training of these teachers on the development of innovation and social entrepreneurship skills in Latin American universities, in order to increase the capacity to solve the urgent social problems faced in these regions.

Between May and June, an on-line training was held with the professors of PUCRS who will teach the courses linked to Students 4 Change and other Latin American teachers participating in the project. PUCRS was invited to host the face-to-face training due to its wide experience in the development of practices related to the theme of the event.

Teachers participated in workshops, laboratories and classes, as well as a tour of Tecnopuc. The opening session counted on the speech of the University’s President Br. Evilázio Teixeira, who stressed that an innovative university should take a leading tole in the development process of its country.

Movements of Approximation

For Lucas Roldan, coordinator of the Students 4 Change project at PUCRS, this is a way to strengthen ties with important Latin American and European institutions. “We had the opportunity to present the University’s existing initiatives, as well as develop proposals to get even closer to our communities,” says the professor.

Workshops on creativity, review of lesson plans, teacher networks, social innovation in the academic field and courses on tools to promote entrepreneurship were some of the activities carried out during the training. The event also included monitoring and evaluation of pilot cases, mechanisms for project support, and a conversation with social entrepreneur Diana Engel Gerbase, CEO of Mobis.

For the general coordinator of the Students 4 Change project, Ivón Aída Cepeda Mayorga, from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico, the meeting at PUCRS was also an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and experiences between European and Latin- Americans. “One of the main objectives of this event is to join forces and make both interdisciplinary and interinstitutional connections. This is an opportunity to learn from each other,” he said.

New Courses

Now, pilot courses designed during the project shall be put into practice at participating universities in the second half of 2018. At PUCRS, professors Maira Petrini, Maria Rita Cuervo, Juliana KlasVicente Zanella, Lucas Roldan and Loraine Muller will participate in this stage by teaching the following courses:

  • Business Planning
  • Nutrition, Health and Community
  • Electrical Installations for Building
  • Business Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation Management
  • Organizational Behavior

The pilot courses aim to encourage innovation and social entrepreneurship among students and bring them closer to the theme during their academic training. “The idea is also to train more faculty members to work with this subject, and this can be done through an intensive course in the Development Week of the Office Of The Vice President for Undergraduate Studies And Continuing Education,” added Roldan.

Following the implementation of the pilot courses, there will be a meeting in Talca, Chile, in April 2019 to evaluate their results and then a closing meeting in Monterrey, Mexico, to share the final results of the project.