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Higher Education and Regional Engagement & Development Lorraine McIlrath National University of Ireland, Galway Campus Engage Community Knowledge Initiative.

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Presentation on theme: "Higher Education and Regional Engagement & Development Lorraine McIlrath National University of Ireland, Galway Campus Engage Community Knowledge Initiative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Higher Education and Regional Engagement & Development Lorraine McIlrath National University of Ireland, Galway Campus Engage Community Knowledge Initiative

2 Aim of presentation: Describe Civic and Community Engagement Introduce Campus Engage Findings from an Irish Audit Examples Tips for embedding engagement

3 Universities are both apart from and a part of society. They are apart in the sense that they provide a critically important space for grasping the world as it is and – importantly – for re-imagining the world as it ought to be. The academic freedom to pursue the truth and let the chips fall where they may isn’t a luxury – in fact it is a vital necessity in any society that has the capability for self-renewal. But universities are also a part of our societies. What’s the point unless the accumulated knowledge, insight and vision are put at the service of the community. With the privilege to pursue knowledge comes the civic responsibility to engage and put that knowledge to work in the service of humanity. (President of Ireland, 2012)

4 A mutually beneficial knowledge-based collaboration between the higher education institution, its staff and students, with the wider community, through community-campus partnerships and including the activities of Service Learning/Community based Learning, Community engaged research, Volunteering, Community/Economic regeneration, Capacity-building and Access/Widening participation (Campus Engage, 2011) Community & Civic Engagement – A Definition

5 (Boland, 2012)

6 Place communities at the centre of debate Educate students for civic engagement Service Learning Student Volunteering Research Knowledge Sharing Youth Academy National University of Ireland, Galway

7 New Map in Ireland National Review of Higher Education 2030 Endorses the civic mission of higher education and that ‘engaging with the wider society’ is ‘one of the three interconnected core roles of higher education; Defines ‘engagement with business and industry, with the civic life of the community, with public policy and practice, with artistic, cultural and sporting life and with other educational providers in the community and regions and it includes an increasing emphasis on international engagement’; strong leadership, resource allocation, inclusion in promotion criteria and the metrics. Available at

8 HEA SIF 1 Funding Precursor – HEA Strategic Innovation - Service Learning Academy 2005 to 2006 HEA (2006) - development of individual students to attain their full capacity, both in careers and as citizens in a democratic society facing profound change. Budget €1.4 Million 700K direct and 700K matched - 3 year project

9 Campus Engage A network to promote and support civic engagement in Irish higher education. Widening the scope of civic engagement activity to ensure that Ireland plays a leading role in the promotion of active citizenship in Europe through the development of social and civic ‘competencies’ as a key element of the student experience

10 Campus Engage - Phase National Platform to promote Civic Engagement within Irish Higher Education Understanding the Terrain National Survey of Civic Engagement within Higher Education in Ireland – 24 participating HEIs Building Capacity Seminars and Workshops Conference Resources Seed funding Knowledge Sharing – peer to peer Website National Survey Uncovering Capacity Showcasing – resources and website Development of relationships

11 Uncovering Capacity - National Survey of Civic Engagement Some findings 75% - acknowledgement; 60% - no promotion policies; Mix of manifestations (R, T & L); Implementation barriers: Including, human, fiscal & time ; Three report on dedicated centres; Complex data gathering process. Some Reflections Plenty of practice & sometimes covert; Diverse partners (schools to NGO’s); ‘labour of love’ & saturation factor; Need for ‘joining of the dots’; Central repository within each HEI; Equal status (Research, T & L; Measurement. (Lyons and McIlrath, 2011)

12 Uncovering and Building Capacity Sample of Activities 350 staff from 33 higher education institutions in Ireland 30 community and voluntary organisaitons. EU Year of the Volunteer – Photo Exhibition on Student Volunteering Gathered over 40 good practice case studies – online portal Seminars and workshops (national and international academics) hoted by 12 HEI’s Offer a 10 ECT credit module to 60 acadmeics Visting US Scholar engaged with 10 HEIs Civic Engagment Seed Funding Scheme – 16 funded funded projects Journalistic and Scholarly Publications

13 Campus Engage - Phase to date Hosted by the Irish University Association Hosted by the Irish University Association (IUA )

14 National Networks & Hubs  Talloires Network  Campus Compact (USA)  Asia Engage –  Beacons for Public Engagement (UK)  Ma-am Alliance -  Engagement Australia -  NCCPE (UK)  Living Knowledge -  South African Higher Education Civic Engagement Forum -

15 Sideline to Mainstream Top down and bottom up approaches Everything is possible with vision and an enabling environment Look at past & present maps, build upon and create new maps Resources – people or a coordinating unit with a consultative plan/map (organic or otherwise) Effecting and Embedding of Policy Make Friends – local/national/international

16 Sideline to Mainstream Champions and Showcasing Seed Funding – investment in people & projects Scholarship and Research Professional Development for all – students, faculty, community and leaders Revisit, review, recreate and deepen the maps Tell the world!

17 European Conference Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) UNESCO Conference – Barcelona May 2013 Knowledge, Engagement & Higher Education conference

18 Lorraine McIlrath Community Knowledge Initiative NUI Galway


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