Civic Engagement is Topic of New NUI Galway Book

Monday, 11 June 2007

A new book that offers an original and powerful contribution to debates about the civic purpose of higher education will be launched by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 June). 'Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives' suggests that universities can best realise their civic mission by making it central to their policy and practice.

Edited by Lorraine McIlrath and Iain Mac Labhrainn, of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at NUI Galway the book moves from conceptual considerations of citizenship, to institutional concerns, offering insights from academics, community members and students experiencing civic engagement initiatives within institutions of higher education.

Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of CELT, of which CKI is a part, said; "The articles in this book raise some very pertinent issues in the relationship between higher education institutions and civil society. This is also particularly topical in Ireland with, for example, the recent work of the Active Citizenship Taskforce and continuing debate about the role of universities in the knowledge economy."

The collection of diverse articles relating to the civic purpose of higher education includes contributions from senior and internationally recognised experts in the field such as: Professor Ron Barnett (University of London); Professor Richard Taylor (University of Cambridge); Michael Edwards (Ford Foundation); Professor Andrew Furco University of California, Berkeley); Professor Edward Zlotkowski (Campus Compact, US); Nan Kari from the Jane Adams School for Democracy, Minnesota; and contributors from across the island of Ireland.

Reviewing the volume, Professor John Annette, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, commented; "This book is a major contribution to the international study of higher education, civic engagement and also service learning. It offers some insightful and powerful analyses of conceptual issues, the institutionalising of civic engagement and the pedagogy and professional practice of service learning in higher education."

'Higher Education and Civic Engagement – International Perspectives' emanates from the 3rd Teaching and Learning Conference held in NUI Galway in 2005, and is published by Ashgate Publishing, as part of the CKI's research and knowledge sharing dimensions. To order copies please visit www.ashgate.com

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and aims to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland.

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