International Community Engaged learning (ICEL)

ICEL is an innovative approach to education that fosters collaboration between students, teachers, and external partners to address pressing societal challenges. By integrating academic study with reflection and societal engagement, CEL enhances the learning experience while contributing to the needs of the community. This experiential education approach enables students to apply their knowledge to real-world problems, encouraging active participation and providing opportunities for personal growth and development.


  • Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge (TIC)

    TIC is a course for students and professionals from all disciplines and backgrounds and connects the four Strategic Themes at Utrecht University. The course promotes interdisciplinary and cross-level collaboration while solving a real-world problem. Participants connect with an external, societal partner to get to know the context of the challenge and to work on their prototype-solutions. Read more.

  • Elangata Wuas community in Southern Kenya

    The Elangata Wuas community serves as an exemplary model for community-engaged learning due to its embodiment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs. Nestled in Southern Kenya, Elangata Wuas is primarily inhabited by the Maasai. The collaboration between Utrecht University and this local community is an ideal platform for immersive community-based learning, bridging academic knowledge with real-world challenges and fostering reciprocal relationships for sustainable development.

  • Terramar Museum Bonaire ©

    Together making Bonairean heritage belong to the people of Bonaire again

    Not an English-language exhibition for cruise tourists, but a permanent postcolonial exhibition for and by Bonaireans. That is the aim of a new research project by the Terramar Museum, in collaboration with Utrecht University. History lecturers Gertjan Plets, Christianne Smit and students of the Master's in Cultural History and Heritage, are working together with residents of Bonaire to create a new story around their island's heritage. Read more.

Five Steps to Develop Community Engaged Learning

UGlobe, in partnership with the Community Engaged Learning program and the Centre for Academic Teaching, has developed a practical and informative toolkit. This toolkit provides step-by-step guidance on how to integrate Community Engaged Learning (CEL) into your teaching. It includes an explanation of CEL and its best practices, a five-step process for incorporating ICEL, strategies for cultivating and maintaining relationships with societal partners, and methods for encouraging student reflection. The toolkit also features new tools for online CEL, CEL learning goals, and CEL assessment and evaluation. Furthermore, new tools are currently under development for international CEL.

Discover the ICEL Toolkit

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Meet the ICEL team