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More than 130 IQS Students Participate with ApS.

Programmes 9 April 2024

Since IQS has had the ApS Office, which supports designing a service-learning experience, 134 students and 12 professors from different bachelor’s and master’s degrees have been able to take advantage of this methodology. “We are very pleased to say that at the moment the ApS activity in our country has exceeded all forecasts and we appreciate the involvement of everyone in the project,” stated Dr Núria Agulló Chaler, head of the IQS ApS Office.

The entities with which different ApS experiences are already underway through Educational Collaboration Agreements include AssísGoodkarma ProjectsAfanocDuchenne Parents ProjectAFA VallèsMigrastudium, and Nurse The Children Uganda. In addition, the Office is also working to add OpenArms, Entreculturas, MSF, and La Fageda.

The ApS is closely related to Ignatian pedagogy, focused on training conscious and competent students with commitment and solidarity as “service-learning means learning by giving service to the community. It is a method that combines educational success and social commitment: learning to be competent by being useful to others. It guides students’ talent, making them use it to improve society, and not just for their resumes,” as defined by Roser Batlle, an educator and promoter of service-learning at the national level.

The IQS ApS Office supports designing service-learning experiences. In the initial motivation stage, it offers help in the search for resources, entities, inspiring examples, and so on. In the second phase, the definition of the project and the construction of the experience, the office helps in the dialogue between the university and the entity, the initial contextualization sessions for students, and offers guidelines and evaluation tools to assess the impact of the experience. In the third stage, the project closure, the office participates in decision juries along with the people involved in the entities and also seeks other institutions interested in the experience or project, among other actions.

Enriching service experiences for everyone

“Working together with social entities has awakened the need to help others in me and being able to do so through my profession. Before, I didn’t know how to do so, but with thanks to the knowledge from social entities, I have learned the tools to do it,” explains Marta Bel Esteve, a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy student and winner of the 2nd prize in the 11th Aristos CAMPUS MUNDUS call for Social Responsibility, in the Ignacio Ellacuría Award for Social Interest Studies, with the Final Degree Project “The challenges of pharmaceutical care for the homeless in Barcelona.”

“The most remarkable thing about a service-learning project is that such a project already has a scientific and technological impact. It also makes a social contribution to society, with a view to the basic needs of a community of people,” says Dr Magda Faijes, who co-supervised the thesis “Profile of volatile and non-volatile components of green coffee beans from different fermentation processes,” by Bachelor’s Degree in Biotechnology student Guillem López García. This work is included in a collaboration with the Rafael Landívar University of Guatemala, with which IQS has an Educational Collaboration Agreement. The experience falls within in a project to improve the quality of the country’s coffee and is linked to the coffee-producing communities of Escuintla, Santa Elena, and the Tomastepec cooperative of Palencia, Guatemala.

Some of the goals that have been achieved during recent months include a grant from Uniservitate, to be able to advance the promotion and implementation of ApS at IQS, and participating in an experience offered in the Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering during the “11th Conference on Teaching Innovation and Quality” organized by the University of Deusto.

It is also worth highlighting the awarding of Grants for the International Cooperation Activity of URL institutions for two cooperation projects that are considered service-learning experiences, and an international volunteer project in which IQS is participating along with other UNIJES universities.