Civic and Community Engagement
Civic and community engagement is about the impact that THEA member institutions have in their communities. They 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 THEA member institutions, offering a mutually beneficial experience for both the companies and the students who participate.
Staff and students from THEA member institutions volunteer with a range of community organisations and initiatives.
Researchers from THEA member institutions 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 THEA member institutions includes participation in and leading on, for example, school visits, science fairs and cultural events.
Programmes for community-based learning are on offer across THEA member institutions.
Supporting Social Enterprises
The supports offered by THEA member institutions 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 these institutions' 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.