This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book illustrates the historic commitment of higher education to the function of ‘service’ that they go on to describe as an outward facing public purpose but with its shape changing over time due to economic and political climates. It explores the seemingly contradictory imperatives of ‘the social commitment of universities, alongside an increasing marketisation and privatisation of the sector almost globally’ and how service learning might have the potential to reconcile these agendas. The book describes the tentative steps taken, proposal and process of establishing the Erasmus+ funded project Europe Engage. It examines the nature of mainstreaming and normalising service learning as a pedagogical approach within higher education in Europe, drawing from their experiences as partners within the Europe Engage project.