Civic Engagement Activities
The UM recognises the importance of voluntary work by students and therefore wants to support you in this. We facilitate you by offering you volunteering opportunities in our portal. Because we value your dedication and commitment, we award your participation with the digital edubadge Global Citizenship.
Information for voluntary organisations
When students engage in volunteering and make a meaningful contribution to issues that are important to them, they can develop themselves. In addition, they learn more about themselves acquire knowledge and develop competences and skills. They learn. This self-development that takes place through participation in voluntary work is complementary to the knowledge, competences and skills they acquire during their academic studies.
Students who participate in volunteering tune into the reality of the needs of people, organisations and society around them. This application to the actual questions of people, organisations and society is in line with challenge-based learning, which invites and encourages them to apply and refine their competences developed through Problem-Based Learning, to actual relevant questions in non-academic settings. They learn to apply and refine their academically acquired expertise, competences and skills to meet the challenges outside the academic setting in a way that is worthwhile and sustainable for themselves and for their environment.
As an organisation, you can contribute. You support our students on their journey of self-development and teach them what community involvement is. This will benefit them throughout their whole lives. At the same time, our students will not only provide you with a pair of extra hands, but they will also come with new knowledge, energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
Information for student organisations
Some student organisations have activities and or committees that will meet the requirements. Students participating in these activities/committees can be eligible for the acknowledgement.
Before students from student organisations can ask for the acknowledgement, it is expected that student organisations have their activities approved by the UM first. If you are a student organisation, the board can request approval for your organisation's civic engagement activity by filling in this form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Organisations up to five people
Some organisations are small and consist of fewer than six students. We understand that acknowledging each other can be very difficult in such a case. Therefore, the project team with the director SSC will approve participation for organisations with up to five students. The project team may ask additional questions for small organisations.
Recognising and acknowledging
From this year on, the UM wants to recognise and acknowledge students who contribute to our (local) community and nature through civic involvement. We believe that active contribution to others, organisations, society and nature is beneficial for the well-being and development of students and their environment. Students who engage in civic engagement activities tune into the reality of the needs of people, organisations and society in their environment.
This is in line with challenge-based learning, which invites and stimulates students to apply and refine their competencies developed through PBL on the currently relevant questions in non-academic settings. They learn to adapt and use their academically obtained expertise, competencies and skills to cope with the challenges outside of the academic setting in a worthwhile and sustainable manner to themselves and their environment.
Society and employers value that students have developed complementary knowledge, skills and competencies through active engagement in applied cases, either during or outside their academic study. Students who actively engage in civic engagement activities have been experienced to have better-developed competencies. This is reflected in their future career.
Maastricht University wants to support its students in this self-development. Its initiatives on Global Citizenship, Employability and Well-being commonly focus on facilitating UM students to develop personal and professional competencies that enable them to contribute to initiatives for others, organisations and society, in an actualising and sustainable manner for themselves and their environment, throughout their career and life. Considering that students develop and learn valuable competencies through engagement in civic engagement activities, UM wants to acknowledge its students’ involvement in civic engagement activities with the purpose of facilitating students in recognising their qualities, in reflecting on how they have developed these through their engagement in civic engagement activities, and in communicating this to others (e.g., employers), organizations and society.
We award the acknowledgement of 'Global Citizenship'. This is linked to UM's Global Citizenship Education and the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. We believe that you have worked on your global citizenship soft skills by participating in civic engagement activities. You can find more information about GCEd on the UM website: Global Citizenship Education - global-citizenship-education - Maastricht University.
The acknowledgement will come in the form of a digital edubadge that can be posted on LinkedIn, among other things. By creating an EduID on edubadges, you will go to your personal ‘backpack’ where your edubadge and future edubadges will be stored.
How to receive acknowledgement for participating in a civic engagement activity?
Before becoming eligible for the acknowledgement of Global Citizenship, the activity and your participation must meet some requirements. These requirements can be found in this document.
The activities shown in the CEA portal meet the CEA requirements; therefore, participating in one of these activities can be eligible for acknowledgement. After participating in a civic engagement activity, you must write a short reflection in the CEA portal, and receive approval of participation from the organisation where you did your voluntary work. After that, the UM needs to approve your participation and reflection. When it is approved, you can collect your acknowledgement.
For now, only the activities shown in the CEA portal are eligible for the acknowledgement of Global Citizenship. Do you think you know an activity that meets the CEA requirements? Let us know via email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is in it for me?
We think you can help others with your skills, and that you could use a break from all those lectures and pbl sessions now and them. Say hi to personal and professional development! Of course volunteering is a plus on your resume, but you also get to meet new people and it makes you happier.
Can I combine it with my work or other activities?
Do you have an hour? That could be enough to help another person get ahead. In our portal, you find different activities and projects. Therefore, you spend exactly as much time as you want on the project that suits you best.
How does it work?
- At the portal you will find several Civic Engagement Activities where you can participate in. Apply and the organisation will contact you and make agreements with you.
- When you have finished the activity or participated for at least 28 hours, you write a reflection about your participation and your development.
- The organisation needs to approve your reflection form and therefore declares your active participation.
- After approval from the organisation, you can request the acknowledgement at UM.
- When UM recognises and acknowledges your civic engagement, you will receive a link to edubadge to claim your Global Citizenship badge.
When do I need to fulfil the activity?
You can start your participation whenever you and the organisation suits. You do need to participate for at least 28 hours within one calendar year, starting when you begin to participate in the activity.
I am a non-EU citizen. Can I volunteer?
Non-EU citizens always need a TWV (Tewerkstellingsvergunning) if they want to work in the Netherlands, including students. The employer must apply for the work permit, in this case the civic organisation. Please contact the organisation you want to volunteer at for more information.
I receive a reimbursement (vrijwilligersvergoeding) for my volunteer work. What does that mean for my taxes?
In the Netherlands, we have the volunteer scheme. This scheme has maximum amounts on which you do not have to pay tax. Above these amounts, you do have to pay tax. For more information, see the website of the tax authorities: Vrijwilligersvergoedingen (belastingdienst.nl)
Some countries do not have the volunteer scheme. For international students, it is important to know where you have to pay tax and how tax is regulated in your country.
What does the UM mean by positive social impact?
In general, positive social impact is about helping (more) people to a greater degree; a better expected well-being. More information about social impact can be found on: What is social impact? A definition – 80,000 Hours (80000hours.org).
You do not need to measure social impact. For the UM it is important that you think about what your participation in the activity means for the people/community you are helping.
I participated in an activity that meets the requirements for acknowledgement. How can I receive acknowledgement for this activity?
When your participation in CEA meets the requirements, you can be eligible for acknowledgement. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
I receive financial support for administrative months. Is that considered salary and therefore I cannot get Global Citizenship acknowledgement?
The administrative months are paid as compensation for any study delay and the extra costs it entails. It is therefore not a salary. If your board year otherwise meets the conditions then it can qualify for recognition as an activity.
I have participated in several CEA that meet the requirements. Will I get a different badge?
There is one type of badge issued for CEA. The badge can be personalised by adding a narrative. In the narrative, you can indicate what you did, what you developed and for how many hours. This can make it clear that these are different activities. You can obtain a maximum of five Global Citizenship badges.