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Projects with Promise

Vol. 26 No. 1

Rural 3.0: A Case Study of University–Community Engagement Through Rural Service-Learning in Croatia

January 26, 2021


As part of the project Rural 3.0: Service-Learning for the Rural Development—RURASL (, to ascertain the needs and gaps relevant to implementing service-learning in rural Croatia, we surveyed three target groups: university students, rural community organizations, and potential service-learning beneficiaries. We discovered three main challenges: insufficient human capacities, attributable mostly to difficulty in obtaining funding, which hinders development and implementation of new service-learning projects. Croatian local action groups (LAGs) and rural NGOs were found supportive of rural service-learning. The older population recognizes a great opportunity to get support for basic living needs, and the younger population shows a great interest in engaging university students in improving the tourist and cultural sector. Higher education institutions’ implementation of innovative service-learning will improve the quality of education for sustainable development and promote university–community partnerships in rural areas.