UCC signs up to Campus Engage
UCC President Dr Michael Murphy has publicly signed the 10-point ‘Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement’ at a landmark event in Dublin Castle.
19 other Presidents followed suit, as the leaders of higher education in Ireland underscored their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their respective institutions.
Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Ruairi Quinn T.D launched the Charter, remarking: “Today is an important recognition of commitment by Ireland’s higher education institutions to build on what has been achieved to date and place Ireland at the fore internationally in terms of promoting civic and community engagement by higher education. The importance of ‘engagement’ is recognised in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, and in the HEA’s performance framework, which both ask higher education institutions to engage openly with their community andwider society and for this to infuse every aspect of their mission. I congratulate all involved in the realisation of the Charter, and specifically to the Presidents for their commitment.”
President Murphy welcomed the launch, highlighting that further formalisation of the relationship between community and campus would be of immense benefit to all involved and also strongly link into UCC’s own Strategic Plan (2013-2017), which holds a commitment to leading the field in external engagement and contribution to society among its several guiding principles. “Civic and public engagement are at the very heart of this initiative. When our students leave the gates of UCC for the final time, they are world-ready not just work-ready, joining our alumni across the globe and immediately contributing and shaping the world around us. UCC’s initiatives in conjunction with Campus Engage will further strengthen their skillsets and sense of personal achievement, while also problem solving in innovative ways on behalf of and alongside the wider community. It will be very interesting to reflect and see what has come to life from this project within the next five years”, said Dr Murphy.
The launch of an Irish Charter for Civic and Community Engagement builds on the pioneering actions taken by other countries including Australia, UK and the US, who have signed up to similaragreements at national level to support and strengthen the civic role and responsibilities of higher education.
The Charter was developed byCampus Engage, a HEA funded, national initiative with representation from 17 HEIs, including UCC. Its role is to promote innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement.
In today’s times of economic uncertainly,and a policy context focused on developing our “knowledge society”,there hasbeen considerable emphasis on the contribution of Higher Education Institutions to economic recovery. Campuses across the country are building capacity and activating ‘bottomup’ student and staff-led initiatives such ascommunity- basedlearning, community-based research and volunteering, to tackle the skills deficit, contributing community-based research to inform public policy, engaging in political debate and providing evidenced-informed media debate on matters of public policy and public concern.
See www.campusengage.ie for further information.