Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities Through Co-creation Between Universities and Businesses (BUSCO)

Academic Disciplines Social sector and business
Project Budget € 599 776, 66 with MFA funding (total budget € 749 720, 83)
Project Duration 36 months
Coordinating Institution Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak)
Contact Details Project manager Dr Elsa Keskitalo, elsa.keskitalo@diak.fi, Coordinator Suvi Äärilä, suvi.aarila@diak.fi
Partner Institution(s) University of Iringa, Tanzania; Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University, Tanzania and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Fact SheetBUSCO_fact sheet.pdf

Project Description

The project “Building sustainable and resilient communities though co-creation between universities and businesses (BUSCO)” aims at improving the universities’ capacity to promote sustainable community development and communities’ resilience in partner universities and in their surrounding communities. As a result of this project, partner universities have an improved capacity to promote sustainable local community development and entrepreneurship.

By improving the employment opportunities, entrepreneurship and universities’ capacities, the project aims to enhance the resilience of the communities and individuals in multisectoral and multifunctional setting. In this project social, economic and environmental perspectives are linked in all project activities.

The core activities of the project are:

1) Curriculum reviews in the faculties of tourism, business, law, community development and psychology/counselling, with the aim to include strengthened attention to labour market collaboration and human rights approach in the curricula;
2) Piloting of the joint online Master Programme on Community Development, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution;
3) Co-creation of community development practices in selected thematic case studies, “Living Labs” on Ecotourism, Entrepreneurship, Couselling, Legal advice and Community Development;
4) Improvement of e-learning and ICT facilities of the partner universities; and
5) Development of quality assurance mechanisms and tools for internal and external collaboration of the universities.

To make the results and outcomes sustainable, the project is built on strengths and assets of the community and active participation of the all stakeholders including universities, including teachers, students and other relevant staff members, and local stakeholders, including businesses and entrepreneurs. Active dialogue with the surrounding society is not only one of the core objectives of the project, but also an essential working method to be used in implementing project activities.

Key Results to be Achieved:

1.Universities have an improved capacity to promote sustainable local community development and entrepreneurship:

-Universities are able to co-create new business opportunities for the benefit of the community though Living Lab method

-The developed library-, ICT and online learning facilities are in use and universities are able to run online programme.

-Renewed university curriculums are in use, and they meet the needs of the communities to promote employment to a greater extent than before the project activities.

-New quality assurance methods and tools integrated and in use in curriculum development, pedagogical processes, selected administrative processes and in the collaboration with the communities.