The Children’s University of Catalonia (udn2.cat)

Universities open their doors to primary school students and their families with the Children’s University of Catalonia Programme (udn2.cat), known as the Universitat dels Nens i les Nenes de Catalunya. It is an initiative that aims to introduce children to the scientific and academic world, awakening their interest in science, culture and knowledge.

The udn2.cat programme is structured around a series of activities related to university life and tailor-designed for students, and which also seeks to share the experience with parents and family, with a special focus on the most underprivileged

Universities open their doors to primary school students and their families with the Children’s University of Catalonia Programme (udn2.cat), known as the Universitat dels Nens i les Nenes de Catalunya. It is an initiative that aims to introduce children to the scientific and academic world, awakening their interest in science, culture and knowledge.

The udn2.cat programme is structured around a series of activities related to university life and tailor-designed for students, and which also seeks to share the experience with parents and family, with a special focus on the most underprivileged social strata. The idea is to arouse the curiosity of both children and parents alike to university life and increase their awareness of the role of science, technology and culture in general.  

The programme, promoted by the ACUP in cooperation with the department of Education and the Ministry of Innovation, Universities and Enterprise of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Talència and the CatalunyaCaixa Social Outreach programme, is an ambitious step towards making science and the university more accessible and publishing scientific knowledge and the benefits of research in all fields of knowledge. The udn2.cat website is another tool for strengthening the relationship between universities and schools and between university professors and school teachers. It is intended to be a useful tool in supporting primary education. The website also has an advisory board comprised of distinguished persons and experts from primary and university education and the institutions involved, as well as members of the media and the world of scholarly communication and dissemination. 

After several preparatory activities carried out in the spring of 2010, the activity programme starts at public universities in the 2010-2011 academic year. During this time, children can explore the campuses of the eight universities that make up the ACUP, listen and talk to teachers and researchers, attend lectures, carry out experiments in laboratories or participate in technology workshops.

The Children’s University programme is being successfully implemented at various European universities. Today, there are over 200 initiatives of this kind, two-thirds of which are organised in German universities, where the idea arose. The growing number of children’s universities has led to the promotion of the European Children's Universities Network (EUCUNET). It is a network of institutions that host children’s universities and aims to identify various types of projects, disseminate best practices and establish common criteria to evaluate their quality. The ACUP has participated in the EUCUNET since 2009.

 

During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 2,000 primary school children throughout Catalonia will participate in activities organised by the eight universities

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