Community Service Learning

Community Service Learning (CSL) is a form of education in which students use their academic skills to solve currently existing social issues. This happens in close cooperation and interaction with a community partner. CSL is closely connected to the A Broader Mind program.

With Community Service Learning students use their academic knowledge and skills to contribute to solving societal problems. By doing so, students are closely working together with societal partners. Reciprocity is emerging here. An important feature of CSL is academic reflection before, during and after the educational activity. Recently the new VU-strategy was published. In this strategy there is a big focus on CSL (


Loneliness is a recurring problem in society with many detrimental health and social effects associated. In Amsterdam, 300.000 people admit to feel lonely, and 80.000 of them admit state to be severely lonely. The VU has been taking steps in tackling this issue. Since September 2018, the VU has a partnership with VoorUit in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, who are part of a Community Service Learning (CSL) project.

Inclusive Mobility is of great importance for a healthy work and living environment. Since 2019, the Vervoerregio Amsterdam is busy making a social public transport policy to improve the inclusiveness. Making public transport more social can however create obstacles with regard to the current policies of organisations, for instance for the time schedule of public transport. VU students analyse de trade-off between punctuality and inclusiveness.

Circular economy is an economic concept based on a closed loop in material and energy usage, mainly focused on minimizing resource input and waste output. Essential for this process are concepts such as recycling, upcycling and refurbishing. Various disciplines can be related to circular economy and therefore will experience changes and implications. VU students look at how do different disciplines cope with these changes and how do they adapt.

In 2020, the entire VU Campus is going smoke-free. This raises a number of social and scientific issues such as fuss or a waterbed-effect. What insights can we gain from different disciplines, and how can we use them to generate support for the new smoking policy within the VU Community? Students from different disciplines analyse the smoking policy and look at the social effects.


If you have any general questions about Community Service Learning, please contact: