University Empowering Students, Transforming Communities. A PAR journey

Izaro Gorostidi and colleagues Ormazabal & Ahedo, just published their paper with ARJ on University and democratization: A training project in action research with social movements. Izaro explains:

“Embarking on the journey toward a fairer, more egalitarian, and democratic world requires universities to take a proactive role. In this context, our study places action and transformation at the heart of academic endeavors. By equipping students not only with epistemological and research methodologies but also with new skills, we empower them to engage deeply with the social fabric and contribute to the stabilization of community processes.

Our focus lies within a master’s program in community participation and development, where students actively support a participatory process through irruption. This internship forms part of a Participatory Action Research project within the broader framework of consolidating and recognizing a social center occupied by squatters. The project highlights two significant potentials: the transformative training of university students and their ability to take on pivotal roles in dynamics that transcend conventional academic methodologies.

By intertwining teaching and action, this project enables students to become protagonists in processes that go beyond hegemonic academic norms. Through their engagement, students not only support community coordination but also contribute to the stabilization of democratizing irruption dynamics. The significance of this project lies not just in academic exploration but in its real-world impact, showcasing the potential for universities to play a crucial role in fostering positive change at the community level.

As we delve into the details of this transformative journey, we invite you to join the conversation. How can universities better serve as catalysts for societal change? What role do students play in democratizing academic methodologies? Share your thoughts and experiences as we explore the intersection of academia and community empowerment. Together, let’s shape a future where education becomes a driving force for a more just and democratic world.”


Gorostidi, Izaro., Ormazabal, A., & Ahedo, I. (2023). University and democratization: A training project in action research with social movements. Action Research

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