UNISERVITATE is the programme for the promotion of service-learning in Catholic Higher Education. In recent years, Pope Francis has strongly emphasized the need for the Church to “go out to the peripheries” and has called on educational institutions to offer their students the opportunity to involve “heads, hands and hearts” in addressing the challenges and problems presented by contemporary societies. UNISERVITATE is a global network at the heart of this mission, aiming to integrate service-learning in Catholic Higher Education Institutions (CHEIs) as a way of active commitment to the challenges our common home face.
The IV Uniservitate Global Symposium “Transformative Service-Learning: Cultivating Students Engagement, Community Partnership, and Spiritual Reflection for Social Change” was successfully held from November 8 to 9, 2023 in De La Salle University, Philippines. The Latin American Centre for Solidarity Service-Learning (CLAYSS), in partnership with the De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila, Philippines, the Asia and Oceania regional hub of UNISERVITATE, organized this year’s symposium, and welcomed presentations from speakers coming from Argentina, the USA, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Chile, Poland, the Philippines, Kenya, and others. The Symposium explores the concept of transformative Service-Learning as a powerful educational approach fostering student engagement, community partnerships, and spiritual reflection for social change. The context of the Philippines entails an opportunity to highlight the multicultural nature of the Uniservitate Global Symposia, strengthening the focus on reflective spirituality and networking, which are core pillars for this second stage of the Uniservitate programme.
Br. Bernard S. Oca FSC, President of De La Salle University, delivered the opening remarks and Prof. Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector of Universidade Católica Portuguesa and President of International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) delivered a speech on behalf of IFCU. Students, professors, researchers, community partners and specialists from the five continents will be able to share experiences and discussions during these two days, focusing on different themes regarding service-learning: student protagonism, community partnerships and transformative spirituality. Other ASEACCU members in participation include delegates from Fu Jen Catholic University, Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Naga University, and University of Saint Joseph Macao.