As Arqus situates people at the centre of our approach to building a European University, our strategy reinforces and institutionalises the diverse Arqus communities which have been built so far, including Arqus Communities of Practice.
One of the objectives of European University Alliances is that of community- and identity-building within and across our member universities. Despite the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, we have been able to establish concentric, intersecting and interlinked networks of members of each of our universities, building a sense of online community and Arqus identity. In order to move forward in our step-by-step approach to building a truly European University, Arqus believes that the many existing formal and informal Task Forces, Working Groups, committees and other groupings constitute the basis for our joint institutional learning and transformational approach. This Work Package aims to offer an upscaled and institutionalised framework for Arqus Communities not only in those areas already identified as key to the building of our shared future, but also in emerging areas for cooperation.
The concept of Communities of Practice, borrowed from learning theory, is that of “systems of collective critical inquiry and reflection focussed on building a shared identity and collective intelligence garnered over time” (Nussbaum-Beach and Hall, 2012); it fits perfectly with Arqus’ self-conception as a “laboratory for institutional learning”, but grounds specific activities in their respective domains, thus weaving the social fabric required to enable collective learning. These Communities of Practice will also constitute a key framework for the rapid and smooth incorporation of our new members, facilitating institution-wide engagement on their part.