VCSE Guidebook/Creating regional (e-)learning networks/The VCSE RCEs

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6.8. The VCSE RCEs

“The overall goal of the VCSE project is to contribute to building a knowledge based society for a sustainable Europe. By developing an educational model, VCSE will contribute to mainstreaming sustainable development principles in multiple sectors.” (VCSE 2008) .

“A Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities. A network of RCEs worldwide will constitute the 'Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development” (UNU-IAS 2008) .

Reading the mission and definition of the VCSE network as well as of the RCE network, it becomes clear that both initiatives have common aims and perspectives and that there would be synergies to work together. Therefore, European RCEs and the VCSE University partners agreed to join forces. To this day, 55 RCEs have been established worldwide, 13 of them being in Europe. A number of synergies, which are beneficial for both sides, emerge by this cooperation:

  • Broadening of the networks
    • The VCSE can broaden and promote its network among the RCE network as well as the RCE network can promote RCE actions among the VCSE partner universities
  • Fulfilling aims and mission
    • By promoting the VCSE among RCE partner institutions, the mission of building a knowledge-based society for a sustainable Europe can go a step ahead. RCEs can get access to the VCSE courses and fulfil their mission of raising awareness for sustainable development by offering VSCE courses.
    • VCSE can become part of the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development and exchange experiences with actors from all over the world.
  • North-South Learning
    • VCSE courses can involve global RCE partner institutions into the VCSE course content. Hereby students can get to know challenges in sustainable development from various fields and all over the world. Especially challenges in sustainable development of developing countries can be communicated on a direct way from RCE actors to students. At the same time, students from developing countries can take part in the e-learning programme of VCSE. They get access to European training courses and get to know students from other countries.

During the 3rd international RCE conference in Barcelona, Spain (July 2008), the international RCE network decided to establish a working group on e-learning for sustainable development. The upcoming cooperation between the VCSE and European RCEs has been a main reason for the establishment of this working group.