Learning as part of the 'public good'
De Montfort University has a long history of staff and students delivering public-facing work, research and teaching that serves the community as a whole.
The work positions the institution as a civic university – and the university for the city of Leicester.
More than 100 academics participate on projects with DMU Local to inform their teaching and research in a real-world context.
Academics often use students as volunteers and participants to support their learning objectives while also benefitting the community at large.
Last year alone, the university gave 20,465 hours of volunteering activity to the city and much of this was linked in some way to the student’s course modules through experiential learning.
Almost all the activities delivered by DMU Local, the university’s volunteering arm, impact targets for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the blueprint to achieving a better and more sustainable future for all.
The SDGs address the global challenges the world faces, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.
DMU’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project aims to motivate and empower students, staff and DMU’s wider community to take action on these societal challenges, linking these issues to their taught courses, future employment and citizenship.
De Montfort University is committed to introducing transformative ways of learning, led by the new Centre of Academic Innovation (CAI), the university’s hub for pedagogic research and praxis.
CAI exists to champion disruptive innovations to pedagogic approaches and encourages learning experiences that bring the real-world to the classroom and vice versa.
Taken together, this provides an opportunity for DMU to articulate and enhance a distinctive service-based learning approach, that combines volunteering or project work, with engagement with sustainable development and the SDGs and innovative and engaging approaches to teaching and learning.