A new EU funded report profiling community engagement at Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) has been launched. The report identifies the university’s strengths and potential areas for development.
According to the report, TU Dublin’s strength lies in its long tradition of extensive community and civic engagement and strong and positive impact on the city of Dublin and the surrounding region. One in three full-time undergraduate programmes based in Grangegorman, Aungier Street or Bolton Street has an element that includes a community-based learning component for students, with work underway to embed community-engaged learning more course throughout Dublin.
The report also highlights the new campus at Grangegorman for its significant potential to develop community-engaged practice at TU Dublin. The report also suggests that the current elaboration of TU Dublin’s ‘Infinite Possibilities’ Strategic Plan to 2030 provides a great opportunity for broadening the definition of how TU Dublin can serve society.
The findings were based on a collection of 100 practices and case studies of community engagement within the university and one-to-one meetings, workshops and focus groups with senior management, students and staff of TU Dublin and community representatives. The report is based on a larger study conducted by Prof. Thomas Cooney and Dr Emma O’Brien at TU Dublin for the EU funded project 'Towards a European Framework for Community Engagement in Higher Education' (TEFCE).
Speaking about the report, Dr Emma O’Brien said, “Through our piloting of the TEFCE Toolbox, we gained rich insight on a diverse range of community-engaged practise at TU Dublin. Together with our European partners, we found it a participative process that provided many learning opportunities. The Toolbox highlights the context-specific nature of community engagement that is unique to each university and its external communities”.
According to Prof. Thomas Cooney, "The project began in 2018 before the formation of TU Dublin and focused on locations in Dublin City Centre. However, due to the success of the TEFCE project, we are now engaged in the follow-up SHEFCE (Steering Higher Education for Community Engagement) project, and this will provide the team with the opportunity to incorporate the numerous exciting community engagement initiatives happening across all of TU Dublin".
An online webinar for the report's official launch is due to take place on Thursday, 27 May 2021, 13:00-14:00. The speakers include report authors, Prof. Thomas Cooney and Dr Emma O’Brien, and co-ordinator of the Programme for Students Learning With Communities (TU Dublin), Dr Catherine Bates.
This is an open event, and we welcome all staff and students, partners and local community members of TU Dublin and any other individuals interested in community engagement within higher education. The webinar will allow opportunities for questions, interaction and shared learning concerning community-university engagement. Please register your attendance at this Eventbrite link.