The Town and Gown team facilitates your plans to make a positive social impact and brings you into contact with off-campus communities. If you have a plan, or even a premature idea that has the potential to strengthen the ties between UCU and other communities in Utrecht and promote global citizenship, we will help you to develop it further and realize it. Next to actively thinking with you, we have a budget available to provide you with financial support.

You can also join other Town and Gown-funded teams that have been formed around the project ideas of other students. An example is the Marhaban Project that has developed a buddy system that connects UCU students with young refugees in Utrecht. The shared experiences of the duo’s and the monthly group meetings that the Marhaban Project organizes promote both intercultural exchange and integration.

All UCU students who want to contribute to strengthening the connection between the UCU community and other communities in Utrecht through social projects.

Initiatives sponsored by Town and Gown are not part of the academic curriculum. Nevertheless, UCU strongly encourages students to be civically engaged and take part in social work. The Town and Gown team was set up to provide students with a framework and support system to start a project themselves, and to show students the opportunities for community engagement that are already out there.

‘The Marhaban Project is one of the most fun and fulfilling extra-curricular projects I have done at UCU. When my tutor asked me what I did to relax, I told her about the project and the new friends I had made in the process. Working and hanging out with the guys really forced me to find ways to communicate as well as listen to the stories they were willing to share.

When I started UCU I did not even know where the refugee shelters were in Utrecht; now I have dinner there regularly and I have become good friends with the majority of the project participants. It truly has been a great experience and a good opportunity to learn, not just about another culture but also about my own, as common ground is more easily reached than many imagine. Music and dance have proven to bridge the gaps.’

Lea Corsetti, Marhaban Project participant

‘Working together with fellow students and faculty members to encourage students to become involved in civic engagement has been an energizing experience. It is great to see that there is so much willingness and motivation to make community involvement more integrated to students’ experiences and education at UCU, whether it is in classes or outside of them. Whenever ideas come up from the student part of the team, the faculty members that are part of the Town and Gown team are ready to use their network and think with us to help us inform and motivate students, for instance by the recent organization of the Civic Engagement Conference. In the coming semesters, we will focus on establishing connections with external organizations and make it easier for students to get involved. I would encourage anyone to get in touch with the Town and Gown team to discuss your ideas or participate in the projects we sponsor. And if positions open up: being part of the Town and Gown team provides an opportunity to work together with faculty members and contribute to students’ readiness to be engaged with the bigger community around us. And I think that is not only a good experience for the here and now, but also a valuable preparation for life after UCU.’

Davita de Kleuver, Town and Gown project manager

General and practical information

Current events and potential calls for applications to the Town and Gown team: Facebook