Civic and Community Engagement
Civic and community engagement is about the impact that the Institutes of Technology have in their communities. The Institutes are significant local institutions, supporting cultural and civic development in their regions though a range of activities which are core to their key teaching and research missions, but which also involve significant extra-curricular and non-educational activities. Engagement occurs across the following key areas:
Student Projects and Work Placements
Work placements and collaborative projects with community partners are an integral element of higher education programmes in the technological higher education sector, offering a mutually beneficial experience for both the companies and the students who participate.
Staff and students from the technological higher education sector volunteer with a range of community organisations and initiatives.
Researchers from the technological higher education sector are working collaboratively with community and civic society organisations on joint research projects. The community/civic partners are active participants in the design and delivery of research projects and the dissemination and practical use of their outcomes.
The broad range of outreach activities within the technological higher education sector includes participation in and leading on, for example, school visits, science fairs and cultural events.
Programmes for community-based learning are on offer across the technological higher education sector.
Supporting Social Enterprises
The supports offered by Institutes of Technology to companies extend to those developing new ideas, services and models to better address social issues.
THEA is also supportive of and the majority of its members are signatories to the Charter for Civic and Community Engagement, developed under the auspices of Campus Engage Ireland. The Charter captures some of the basic principles and underlying purpose of engagement with wider society, and is a sign of the Institutes’ 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.