The 12th Annual PASCAL conference was held in Catania, Italy, from the 7th to the 9th October’ 2015. The theme of the Conference, concerns how cities and their regions are connected to their universities at strategic frontiers. These include knowledge and political frontiers, and each is linked to global challenges that include employment, migration, health, food security, culture and climate change. Here, in the picture, Dr Budd Hall is seen here presenting copies of our two newly released books on Strengthening Community University Research Partnerships to Joseph Konvitz, Chair of the PASCAL International Observatory. The launch was made to the delegates of the 12th Annual PASCAL conference in Catania, Italy at the Municipal Palace of the City of Catania. Copies of the books were given to PASCAL for their on-going support of the UNESCO Chairs and to Prof. Roberta Piazza of the University of Catania, host of the conference.
The Talloires Network Leaders Conference: “Live Engagement, Transform Lives” took place from December 2 through December 4, 2014 at the Spier Conference Center and Hotel located in Stellenbosch Winelands, about 50 km from Cape Town, South Africa. TNLC 2014 hosted leaders of universities from around the world for charting the next stage of the global movement of higher education civic engagement and social responsibility. The conference provided a platform for these leaders to share their experience and plans, identify ways to support each other’s work, and develop priorities for collective action. In this crucial era in which the growing global movement of universities seeks to move beyond the ivory tower paradigm, TNLC highlighted and reinforced the compelling leadership of national, regional and international networks that are advancing university-community partnerships on all continents.
TNLC was co-sponsored by the South African Higher Education Community Engagement Forum (SAHECEF), a dynamic coalition of South Africa’s public universities and some private universities. It was also co-hosted by the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC), which comprises the four Western Cape universities – Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Stellenbosch University (SU), University of Cape Town (UCT), and University of the Western Cape (UWC) – all of which run impressive civic engagement and social responsibility programs. Delegates at the conference took part in site visits showcasing examples of flagship programs. Several additional higher education civic engagement and social responsibility networks from all parts of the world are also served as conference partners. The themes the conference included:
- Perspectives from the Global South – highlighting knowledge and successful strategies developed by universities in the Global South; we will foster South-North, North-South and South-South dialogue
- Youth Employment – elevating the role of universities in addressing the world-wide youth employment crisis
- Economic Development – discussing how higher education institutions contribute to economic development in all geographic contexts
For more details, download the full report at: Partner_and_Regional_Networks_Meeting_Notes_Dec_2014.pdf
Dr Ronaldo Munck (Ireland), Dr Lorraine McIlrath (Ireland), Dr Rajesh Tandon and Dr Budd Hall have published Higher Education and Community Based Research: A Global Vision with Palgrave McMillan. In addition to their roles as co-editors, Rajesh Tandon and Budd Hall also wrote the chapter on “Majority World Foundations of CBR”. Dr Crystal Tremblay is the co-author of the Latin American chapter in the book The book had its premier launch in Dublin, Ireland on December 15th at the Royal Irish Academy in an event organised by Campus Engage, the Irish National community university engagement network. The authors of the Irish chapter in the book were all present as well. Ms. Mary Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy opened the event, Dr Budd Hall made some remarks on behalf of himself and Dr Rajesh Tandon and Muiris O’Oconnon, the Head of Policy for the Irish Higher Education Authority provided an impressive summary of the book underscoring the reasons why CBR was an important priority for Irish Higher Education. The text of the remarks by Muiris O’Connor are available from the resources section of the unesco chair web site.
The Fifth book in the GUNi World Report Series on “Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: Contributing to Social Change”, was launched in Hong Kong on the 2nd of December’2014. The event was organized by the Office of President, Library and Office of Service Learning of Lingnan University and the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi). The main speakers at the event were Dr Rajesh Tandon, Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education; Dr Francesc Xavier Grau, Non-Executive Director, GUNi and Dr Carol Ma, Associate Director, Office of Service Learning, Lingnan University. The world report contains contributions from 76 authors from around the world. The report aims to provide a vision for a new, more socially responsible relationship between universities and the communities they serve by suggesting ways in which higher education can help build a more equitable society. It also charts the progress of the movement for greater civic engagement by universities over the past 10 to 15 years. For Cristina Escrigas, executive director of GUNI, one of the most significant things about the report is the fact that it calls for a profound rethink of the way universities sees their mission.
The book launch event also served as an opportunity for University representatives from Hong Kong/China, Lingnan faculty members and students, to have an engaged interaction on University Social Responsibility and the Service Learning Model.’
Unfortunately, what our most of our higher education is dealing with today is abstract research problems, research which remains unconnected to real life, and in the bargain, it is producing poorly educated students who don’t care”, thus spoke Ms. Lou Melegrito, Director, COSCA, DLSU, Philippines at the second AsiaEngage Regional Conference held from the 17th to the 20th of November’2014, at the Grand Nikko, in Bali, Indonesia.
As a prelude to the Conference, a couple of pre-conference workshops were held on the 17th of November on the themes of ‘Research Driven Community Engagement’ and ‘Measurement of Impact of Community University Engagement”. The former was facilitated by Professor Piyawat Boonlong, Executive Director, Knowledge Network Institute, Thailand (KNIT), and Dr Avorn Opatpatanakit, Assistant President, Research and Academic Service, Chai Mai University, Thailand. The latter had Dr Hector Salazar Salame, Director, JPAL SEA as the facilitator. As these workshops attempted to build base for the conference to be followed, it gave an excellent opportunity to the participants to learn more about the nuances of the topics and gather new information in this context.
The following three days of the conference witnessed excellent sharing of issues from various regions across Asia. Themed “Innovation & Creativity: Collaborating with Communities to tackle problems within ASEAN and beyond”, the conference had five brilliant plenary sessions with experienced and reputed professionals sharing their ideas and concerns, which ranged from academics, civil society, along with agencies such as the World Bank. The plenary sessions focused on Research Driven Community Engagement, Knowledge Driven Volunteerism and Community Engagement, Institutionalization and Mainstreaming of Community Engagement, Community Engaged Teaching and Learning and Measurement of Impact of Community Engaged Initiatives. A very brief summary on the main discussion points that emerged out of the plenary discussions are:
- The importance of need assessment, and identification of specific needs and strengths, before embarking on a community engagement practice
- Resource mobilization for community engagement.
- Integration of learning, research and community service activities into Higher Education
- Addressing challenges such as impact evaluation & assessment, issue of multidisciplinarity, maintenance of academic focus, expansion of cross-sectoral collaborations.
- Focussing on the principles of Community Engaged Teaching & learning, such as the pedagogy, beneficial partnerships, reflection, link to curriculum, student voice in participatory monitoring & evaluation.
- Government, Civil Society and the business sector, as three main engines of change, led by Higher Education.
- Importance of community driven development, wherein they themselves plan, implement and monitor investment that respond to their priority development needs.
Apart from the above mentioned points, a lot of other issues in the context of community engagement in HEIs and its relevance/rationale were discussed during the open forum sessions, wherein the delegates the voiced their opinion, ideas and concerns. This hence proved to be an excellent platform not only to bring together the ideas and concerns, but also learn from varied experiences and the successful models of practice. Delegates from Engagement Australia, Engagement Thailand, and the University of Malaysia/Philippines put forth their visions of community engagement and the related issues.
Along with the plenary and the open forum discussions, the three day conference also saw five breakout sessions, which had as many as 93 paper presentations, from different regions across Asia. Herein, Ms. Wafa Singh, Program Officer, PRIA, and India Co-ordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, presented a paper titled “Gauging the impact of community university engagement initiatives in India”. Complementing the paper presentation sessions were a series of excellent poster presentations which displayed the myriad colours of engagement being practiced across the Asian region and beyond.
The three day conference ended with a community tour, wherein the participants were toured around the local villages of Kuwum and Sobangan, where they saw the various development works carried on by the community themselves under the PNPM program, jointly managed by the district Government and supported by the World Bank.
“We need Higher Education that empowers people and improves their quality of life, and in this process, makes an attempt to ENGAGE them, and not just INVOLVE them.”
“It is difficult to be a good person in the absent of a good society, therefore we must be the change we wish to see in the world”, thus remarked Dr Bachtiar Alam, Director of Research and Community Engagement, As he declared the Second AsiaEngage Regional Conference officially closed.
New Community University Engagement Network formed in East Africa & Launch of the 5th GUNi World Report at Makerere University, KampalaUNESCO Chair
: On the 27th and the 28th of October’2014, a networking meeting on community university engagement took place in Kampala, Uganda. This meeting witnessed the participation of representatives from the academia and the community organizations alike. This meetings laid the foundation stone for a new higher education network for supporting community university engagement in different regions of South Africa. The east African launch of the 5th GUNi World Report on Higher Education also took place on the 28th of October’2014 at the Makerere University, Kampala. The World Report on Higher Education 5: Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: Contributing to Social Change is the first comprehensive global report on the area of higher education contributing to social change, and has contributions by 75 authors from 56 countries.
Please find the full report at: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20141031101901925
The Fifth book in the GUNi World Report Series on “Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: Contributing to Social Change”, was launched in Barcelona on the 14th of October’2014. The main speakers at the launch included Dr Rajesh Tandon & Dr Budd Hall, Co-chairs, UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education, Dr Paul Manners, Director, National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) and Ms. Cristina Escrigas, Executive Director, GUNi. Guest edited by Dr Rajesh Tandon and Dr Budd Hall, The world report contains contributions from 76 authors from around the world. The report aims to provide a vision for a new, more socially responsible relationship between universities and the communities they serve by suggesting ways in which higher education can help build a more equitable society. It also charts the progress of the movement for greater civic engagement by universities over the past 10 to 15 years. For Cristina Escrigas, executive director of GUNI, one of the most significant things about the report is the fact that it calls for a profound rethink of the way universities sees their mission.
Vice Chancellor’s Open Lecture & Launch of the GUNi World Report 5, University of Cape Town, South Africa.UNESCO Chair
The University of Cape Town organized the Vice Chancellor’s open lecture ion the 26th of August’ 2014, which was delivered by Dr Rajesh Tandon, Co-chair, UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. Dr Tandon also launched the GUNi World Report 5 on ‘Knowledge Exchange and Higher Education: Contributing to social change’, at Stellenbosch University. (Find more about the GUNi World Report Launch at: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=1742
Read the full report:
Please find the complete text of the lecture at: http://unescochair-cbrsr.org/unesco/pdf/Lecture_at_Univ_Cape_Town-August%20-2014.pdf
Kindly also view the presentation made by Dr Tandon during the lecture
Irish higher education institutions have engaged since their beginnings with other social, cultural and economic actors, at local, regional and national levels. the importance of ‘engagement’ in all its facets is now recognised by the national strategy for higher education, 2030 which states that: “higher education institutions should have open engagement with their community and wider society and this should infuse every aspect of their mission”.
|Campus Engage has been established by Irish higher education institutions to provide a national platform for the enhancement and co-ordination of civic and community engagement across the sector. It will share best practice and drive national and regional coordinated initiatives in the areas of community-based research and learning, student volunteering and the
sharing of knowledge and resources with wider society.
|This Charter for Civic and Community Engagement is designed to capture some of the basic principles and the underlying purpose of engagement with wider society as well as with enterprise. It is signed by the Presidents of Ireland’s higher education institutions as a sign of commitment to build on what has been achieved to date and place Ireland at the fore internationally in terms of promoting civic and community engagement in higher education.||The Charter will be accompanied by a menu of indicators, which can be of use to institutions in gauging if and how they are meeting the ten basic principles contained in the Charter. Each institution engages with enterprise and society in different ways and the indicators are not meant to be prescriptive. Rather, Campus Engage seeks to encourage diversity and pluralism in the complex and evolving world of civic and community engagement.|
The European Society for Research on the Education of Adults provided an opportunity for a ‘mini’ launch of the World Report at its conference on Local Change, Social Actions and Adult Learning: Challenges and Responses held in the Institute of Education of the University of Lisbon. Included in the conference were 80 adult education scholars and policy makers from 22 European countries as well as Brasil and Canada. Background information and flyer were included in the registration kits of all participants.
Photo shows Dr. David Zoletto from the University of Udine, Italy with his copy of the World Report