20 Presidents of Higher Education Institutions sign a national charter to underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions
At a recent landmark event in Dublin Castle 20 presidents of Higher Education Institutions came together as leaders of higher education in Ireland, to publicly sign up to the 10 point Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement. Under the charter the presidents underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions.
Launching the Charter, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D. said, “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 and wider 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.”
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 similar agreements at national level to support and strengthen the civic role and responsibilities of higher education.
NUI Galway (through the CKI) founded Campus Engage in 2007 and in 2013 the University mainstreamed it to the HEA for national embedding. This new Charter was developed byCampus Engage, now with representation from 17 Higher Education Institutions, Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Irish Universities Association, whose role is to promote innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement.
Speaking about this initiative, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “We in NUI Galway are very proud of the national leadership role which our University has played in the development of civic engagement as a core value for higher education in Ireland. For over 10 years we have pioneered this field, developing areas such as volunteering and service learning within the curriculum through the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) established on our campus in 2003. The Campus Engage Charter gives full expression to the values which we’ve espoused and I am delighted to see the collective commitment of my colleagues in higher education harnessed in this way.”