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

Felix Wesch

Link to the project website

Inside of curricula in Peace & Conflicts Studies (PCS), students are often required to gain practical experiences, e.g. in internships. Outside of curricula students are often engaged in relevant voluntary work. However, these work-based learning (WBL) activities are rarely fully integrated, evaluated or reflected inside of study programmes. A consortium of six European universities takes this as challenge. INCOPS explores and systematically maps existing approaches to integrate practical skill development in PCS. INCOPS brings together Universities with PCS programmes from Canterbury (UK), Cluj (RO), Coimbra (P), Coventry (UK), Marburg (D) and Utrecht (NL) to develop practical toolkits to include capacity building through WBL in PCS curricula.

INCOPS develops a conceptual approach as well as practical tools and evidence based recommendations to fully exploit the potential of practical experiences in teaching and to bridge the still existing theory-practice-gap in academic PCS programs. As these recommendations are implemented in the participating universities, INCOPS will effect directly the quality of PCS programmes. Furthermore, through the dissemination of our results we seek to initiative a solution oriented drive for a closer linkage of theory and practice in PCS programs across Europe. The overall aim is to get better-trained students who will contribute professionally to the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Europe and worldwide.

Project period: 2020-2023
Funding institution: European Union (Erasmus+ KA 2)
Partners: Universitatea Babes Bolyai [Cluj] (RO), Universidade de Coimbra (P), Coventry University, University Of Kent (UK), University of Marburg, Universiteit Utrecht (NL)
Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Thorsten Bonacker