The European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education
Jasmijn de Boo, David Dewhurst and Jan van der Valk
The European Resource Centre for Alternatives in Higher Education (EURCA: http://www.eurca.org) is an exciting new project, which aims to enable teachers using animals in teaching to be more creative and innovative in their approach to teaching and learning, to foster high-quality training for science students, and to significantly reduce the number of animals used, often unnecessarily, in teaching. This will be achieved by: a) establishing a resource centre — a collection of mainly electronic alternatives, and taking this to relevant scientific meetings in Europe, where it would function as a drop-in advice centre for teachers; b) creating a network of academic teachers who actively use alternatives, to take responsibility for disseminating information about alternatives to other teachers in the European Union, to participate in the activity outlined above, and to share experiences and good practice; c) setting up an Internet website with an expansive, information-rich database (peer-reviews, demos, peer-evaluations, peer-recommendations, links to users, etc.) on selected “tried and tested” alternatives; and d) encouraging and promoting the findings of evaluative studies on the effectiveness of alternatives in higher education teaching and learning.