Creating a Supportive Environment for Community- University Engagement: Conceptual Frameworks

You are here

Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 31: Engaging Communities

July, 2008, 389 pages
Published by
Mark Barrow & Kathryn Sutherland
0 908557 73 6

Starting Premise

The changing nature of knowledge production, global issues and the role of education is affecting the intellectual strategies, relationships, societal roles and expectations that we attribute to our universities as well as to how our primary and secondary educational system prepares students for the workplace, for citizenship and for tertiary education. Our educational institutions are beginning to work together and interact in different ways, both internally and externally, to create research and educational environments that are easy to traverse and responsive to the changing knowledge and skill needs of a global, multidisciplinary, collaborative, and evolving community landscape in order to address the challenges of life in the regions we serve.

In this paper we will describe forces for change that are encouraging tertiary institutions to develop exchange relationships with external communities for the purpose of generating knowledge of mutual benefit. We will define key terms relating to community engagement, describe the evolution of concepts and forms of engagement including its impacts on teaching and learning, explore the unique role of partnerships in engagement, and conclude with some suggestions regarding the management of the significant and challenging organizational changes which are necessary to create a commitment to and capacity for engagement.