Future societies need critical, engaged, democratic and intercultural citizens. Education has an important role to fulfil in cultivating such citizens. Erasmus Strategic Partnerships enable universities to work together, to develop new initiatives and to learn from each other. The topic of Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship is very interesting for such a partnership, given the differences in ideas, policy and practice between countries and universities. These differences, within a common democratic and intercultural framework, can challenge teachers, researchers and students to cooperate and act as a professional learning community. The first chapter of the book describes the goals, strategy and envisioned outcomes of our strategic partnership Education for Democratic Citizenship. We call it EDIC+, where the + refers to Erasmus+.
The seven universities already had longstanding collaborations but could extend these in the Strategic Partnership EDIC+. The focus in the Strategic Partnership, running from September 2016 until September 2019, was on curriculum development. Each university, applying their particular field of expertise, developed an international module within the theme of Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship. Each module is comparative, research-oriented and linked with schools and institutions in society. Chapters 2 to 8 detail the seven modules: their theoretical framework, their curriculum guidelines, their concrete activities and organisation, and the participating students’ experiences. We start with the module of the leading university in EDIC+, the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, followed by the other universities in alphabetic order.
One important element in the collaboration concerns the annual intensive programmes in which teachers and students of the seven universities meet for a try-out of crucial elements of their own module, to exchange experiences with the different modules, and to learn about the local context of intercultural democratic citizenship. You can read about the intensive programmes of Prague 2017 and Tallinn/Helsinki 2018 in Chapter 9, with a particular focus on the local context. Chapter 10 reports on how the students experienced these intensive programmes. We will complete the book at the end of February, shortly before our intensive programme in Thessaloniki: on time to present the book at the final EDIC+ conference in Utrecht on June 19–20. The last chapter of the book is about the future of EDIC+.