The TEFCE Toolbox is an institutional self-reflection framework that serves as a reference tool for universities, communities and policymakers to better understand the dimensions of community engagement and as a practical tool for universities to determine how well they perform according to each dimension and to identify where they can improve.
Developed by a consortium of 10 European institutions, the TEFCE Toolbox was produced as a European framework for community engagement in higher education. The toolbox defines community engagement as to how universities address societal needs through mutually beneficial partnerships with their communities – a term encompassing public authorities, businesses, schools, cultural institutions, civil society and others.
How it works
The TEFCE Toolbox begins with mapping the range of community engagement activities that are carried out across the university. The TEFCE Toolbox then provides a framework allowing universities to critically reflect on their community engagement. The result of the TEFCE Toolbox is a ‘heatmap’ indicating areas in which the university performs best, and areas which are in most need of further development. The heatmap is structured according to the seven dimensions of community engagement and to five criteria. A short video on the TEFCE Toolbox is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdJ7eORTz2Y.