Ethical and Civic Education and the Social Commitment of University Students

Concepción Naval, Rafaela García, Jose Puig, Miguel Anxo Santos


Recent decades have seen growing international concern about the lack of social commitment among young people, shown in their failure to participate in social affairs, scant interest in formal politics, and low turnout at elections.
First, the international framework which forms the background to our paper is outlined. The ethical and civic education which university students receive is discussed, in the context of the social mission of the university and the European Higher Education Area. We then move on to examine one of the most promising initiatives in this field: service learning. We conclude with a proposal containing some suggestions of relevance to higher education. The need for ethical and civic education underpins the whole article, since this is the key to promoting social commitment among young people.


ethical and civic education; social commitment; university students; European Higher Education Area; service-learning; social mission of the university.

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