Main Content

INSPIRE – Integrating Service Learning in Peace & Conflict Studies Internships (O4)

Students at the Marburg Center for Conflict Studies usually have to do their internship abroad.

Duration: 04/2022-04/2023
Work Package Leader: Marburg
Team: Lena Runge (Marburg), Stéphane Voell (Marburg), Thorsten Bonacker (Marburg), with support of the entire INCOPS team.

The Intellectual Output O4 represents a pivotal work package that consolidates previous project phases and implements the INSPIRE concept (Integrating Service Learning in Peace & Conflict Studies Internships) as a pilot initiative. Comprising two distinct phases, O4 initially draws on findings from prior phases, linking them with the concept of Service Learning (SL). Subsequently, it puts the INSPIRE approach into practice through a pilot program.

In its first phase, O4 synthesizes insights from previous reports, notably from  O1 and O2. Findings highlighted the significance of Work-based Learning (WBL) for practical skill acquisition in Peace, Conflict & Security Studies (PCS). Challenges in embedding WBL into study programs, including difficulties in integrating internship experiences with academic content and a lack of recognition for volunteering experiences, were identified through quantitative and qualitative analyses of PCS study programs and focus group discussions in O2.

Reflections on these points occurred during project meetings and events, such as the Learning, Teaching, and Training Activity (C4) in Coventry and the Multiplier Event at the RISING Global Peace Forum (E2), involving partners and peace practitioners. Marburg's project team proposed SL as a viable support structure for study-related internships within PCS programs.


INCOPS Report #4

 INSPIRE (Integrating Service Learning in Peace & Conflict Studies Internships) has been developed to elevate students' internship experiences by seamlessly integrating internships into study programmes. The programme comprises three distinct phases aiming to provide a comprehensive and enriching internship experience that combines elements of "service" and "learning."

Runge, Lena, Stéphane Voell, Kerstin Zimmer and Thorsten Bonacker (2023). INSPIRE – Integrating Service Learning in Peace & Conflict Studies Internships. INCOPS Report #4

 While initially planning to invite students from the entire INCOPS network to Germany to experience and reflect on the SL-based concept, logistical and financial constraints prevented its realization. Instead, the central phase of INCOPS involved implementing a pilot phase primarily with students from Marburg, Coimbra, and Kent, integrating SL principles. The programme comprises three distinct phases – the preparation phase, the support phase, and the reflection and integration phase, with continuous support facilitated through a combination of individual tools proposed in O3 and synchronous monthly online sessions.

Fifteen students participated in the pilot, experiencing various stages of internships. O4 was regarded as a successful central work package, combining preparatory work on INSPIRE and its piloting. It introduced an innovative format, leveraging SL principles to integrate internship supervision into study programs, enhancing Work-based Learning experiences for students without requiring extensive structural overhauls.

Note: In the application this work package was named as "Models of Work-based Learning: Experience Report"

Integration of Work-based Learning in Conflict, Peace and Security Studies (INCOPS)

Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships, 2020-1-DE01-KA203-005661

Cooperation Partners