For a long time, universities have been training and preparing students for qualified employment, and in some cases for research, but nowadays this model does not respond to the economic and social challenges

The economic models and educational systems in Latin America are not well prepared to generate entrepreneurs. All economic projections, are telling that there will be not enough employment for people with university diploma, this phenomenon is taking place world while, Asia, Europe, North America and of course Latin America; social mobility is not occurring and will not occur if we don ́t develop new educational systems. In order to promote entrepreneurial or social innovations, we need different approaches that responds to the social and economic challenges we have today.

Latin American universities have done some good practices trying interesting learning experiences, but there is not a pedagogical methodology to form and support social entrepreneurs.


Main Objective

Integrating social innovation in academic curriculum and learning environments in Latin American Universities to promote quality improvement in academic programs through fostering competence to solve regional social problems.

Structure of the Project

Students4Changes will display activities:

a) Design of materials and guides.

b) Training sessions for teachers.

c) Test of 5 pilot projects.

Expected impact of the Project

This project will impact participanting Universities (1), their students (2), their teaching staff (3), communities (4) involved in social innovation projects and entrepreneurship.
Nine Latin American (LA) Universities will be direct beneficiaries of project ́s outputs. Through inclusion of new courses in their academic curriculum and the creation of the Social Innovation academic council, LA Universities will improve teaching competence on social innovation, will create knowledge webs with fellow Universities, will strengthen direct bonds with civic organizations and will improve diagnosis competences on community ́s needs and problems. We expect through dissemination activities (website, ebook, guides) that other Universities will become interested in join us to this project.

UPV/EHU: responsibility: The University of the Basque Country is part of the steering committee of the project and is in charge of work-package 2 of the project which objective is to create a knowledge base for students and teachers on social innovation.


Key information:

Duration: 3 years (October 2016-October 2019)

Funding: 929.716,00

Budget of the UPV/EHU: 69.155,00

Nº of participants: 16


Partnership: the partnership of the project is conformed of 16 entities within academic and civil society field. These organizations are:

  • Mexico
    • Univesidad Tecnológica de Monterrey (ITESM)
    • Universidad de Colima (UCOL)
  • Chile
    • UTALCA
    • PUCV
  • Brasil
    • PUCRS
    • PUC Rio
  • Costa Rica
    • Universidad de Costa Rica
    • Universidad Tecnológica de Costa Rica ( UTCR)
  • Colombia
    • UCALDAs
    • Unminuto
  • Germany
    • TUDO
  • Spain
    • Universidad de Valencia (UPV)
    • Univesidad del País Vasco ( UPV/EHU) Sinnergiak Social Innovation
  • Portugal
    • UA
  • France
    • Universidad Grenoble
  • International
    • ASHOKA

Main results

Developing a new model that promotes competencies for social innovation and entrepreneurship. 
Design of a set of tools to learn how to develop skills and competencies on social innovation through detecting the needs of the communities. 
Networking among universities such as “CULTIVARTE” project, between UNIMINUTO and Tecnologico of Monterrey; participation in international publications (Atlas of Social Innovation, Germany); training courses on-line and on-site (Colombia, Spain, Mexico); sharing experiences and disseminating the project in forums, congress and conferences (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Portugal).


Hightlights from Student4Change