University–Community Partnerships for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education: Volume 23

Cover of University–Community Partnerships for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education

Table of contents

(19 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-x
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Part I: Partnerships and Community Engagement

Abstract

In a highly globalized, interconnected and interdependent world, universities can no longer survive in isolation. The educational, research and social actions have an impact on the community where the university works as a change agent to promote society’s fundamental values of democratic participation and social justice. Sustainability education and awareness about social responsibility (SR) are becoming crucial mainly for students, so that they are aware of concepts such as economic prosperity, resource equity, energy sustainability and environmental health concerns (Sengupta, Blessinger, & Yamin, 2019). The SR of a university is to strengthen its ties with the community through promotion of active citizenship, volunteerism and developing a sense of civic and ethical responsibility among students and staff. Universities can have a great influence on achieving social and economic progress of a country as well as protecting the environment and addressing complex issues that plague society. The role of universities is not only restricted to exchange of knowledge but also in playing a leading role as an active member of society. Universities have come out of their isolation to accommodate and be a part of social change by actively engaging in community life and not being confined to only classroom and laboratory activities (Sengupta et al., 2019). This book provides empirical evidence on how universities have considered SRs as their prime focus and have engaged with civil society to enhance their values. Case studies from Indonesia to the United Kingdom enrich the book through their experience, interventions and narrations, which can be replicated in other parts of the world to create a better society and a more sustainable planet.

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Abstract

As issues around refugee rights have come to public attention following the surge in asylum application in Europe in 2015, several responses have been developed by universities in England to extend the welcome to refugees in both local communities and on their campuses. While some institutions act on their own, others have created social relationships and collaborations with local and national third-sector organizations, on which they can rely for their experience of working with and access to refugees and other forced migrants, in return offering their expertise and resources. The purpose of this chapter is to describe one such collaboration setup to support refugees residing in the City of York, in the North of England, UK. While not perfect, the York university–community partnership for refugees is a successful one, delivering tangible benefits for all the interested parties – most importantly, for the forced migrants themselves. Within this chapter, the partnership’s origins, its evolving aims and objectives, and the current outcomes of the collaboration are discussed. The chapter concludes by offering perspectives on the reasons why the partnership became successful, as well as acknowledging its challenges and limitations, drawing valuable lessons for both higher education institutions and community organizations in other parts of the world.

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This chapter provides a theoretical and empirical examination of young people’s role in identifying and solving problems in their communities from a social justice perspective. The complex political processes in South Africa stymie a top-down approach for advancing social justice. Therefore, this study focuses on a bottom-up stance to nurture social justice efforts by concentrating on the role of the youth, younger than 18 years, in initiating change in their communities. Such engagement aligns with the principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted in 1989 that aims to enrich both the individual and the community (Dirsuweit & Mohamed, 2016; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 1989). The University of South Africa is involved in a community outreach program of this nature, commissioned by Empowervate Trust, a South African non-profit organization that manages the Youth Citizen’s Action Campaign (Y-CAP), which equips learners with the skills to solve societal issues in their respective communities. This chapter thus attempts to clarify what active citizenship means to the youth, by focusing on the findings from focus-group interviews with South African learners who are involved with community development projects that advance social justice initiatives in their communities through the Y-CAP endeavor.

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This chapter explores one UK university’s influence and involvement as a key partner within the 2025 Movement, a movement for change with a collective vision to tackle avoidable health and housing inequalities by 2025 in North Wales, UK. The approach to building 2025 is founded in systems leadership and social movements resulting in transformational change in the way we work, think and deliver across a region as a collective. The innovative role of the university as a key partner has shifted the perceptions of the university in the region and its capacity to act as an instrument of government, contributing to the political imperative to support communities as part of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The chapter outlines the principles behind 2025 and the university’s role to date, as illustrated through three case studies: Learning and Leadership; Social Prescribing; and Healthy Homes–Healthy People. The chapter reflects upon the challenges faced and how they have been overcome. Finally, enablers for successful collective working are identified, which have resulted in the university being able to utilize its expertise, energy and education to work in partnership in order to tackle some of the most complex issues facing our communities.

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Abstract

Reciprocal partnerships between institutions of higher education (IHEs) and communities provide opportunities for IHEs to fulfill their core mission while at the same time benefiting communities. One model of institutional accountability for this type of partnership is the Elective Carnegie Community Engagement (CE) Classification. As a process is underway to internationalize the US-based classification, this chapter engages with a central guiding question: How can we best adapt the CE classification’s institutionalizing framework for CE – designed in the context of the United States – in a way that upholds the integrity of engagement practices, adheres to effective strategies for organizational change, and is sensitive to national, cultural, economic, political, social, and historical contexts? In addressing this question, the internationalization strategy is focused on careful adaptation of the application framework so that it can be applied in specific national higher education contexts. The adaptation seeks to incorporate nationally and culturally relevant CE approaches that are reflected in organizational strategies at the institutional level, consistent with the internal logic of the CE classification: valuing expertise of others, working against colonial knowledge regimes, and mindfully building toward increased epistemic justice. This strategy can be a model for internationalization of other processes for IHEs.

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The case study in this chapter is the Joint Community-based Project (code: JCP), a compulsory macro undergraduate course that is offered by the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. The course was introduced to teach students the soft skills they will need as graduates and make them aware of their social responsibility. More than 1,600 students register for the course annually. Generally, students work in 450 groups each year to help more than 250 community partners. The course, which has received recognition at institutional, national and international levels, requires students to work in a community for at least 40 hours, after which they reflect on their learning experience through a report, presentation and YouTube video. The identification and selection process of community partners is based on contextual criteria, while new cohorts of students can recommend new community partners each year. Community partners’ tasks include project coordination and student assessment based on the course’s assessment criteria. This chapter discusses how community partners are identified, coordinated and sustained within a macro community service course. It also provides a conceptual framework to highlight community partners’ roles and their impact on the students’ social development based on qualitative case study research.

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Corporate involvement in higher education remains highly visible and controversial. While best practices can be found, many gray areas exist in the actions motivating both parties. This organizational analysis examines corporate citizenship through the inter-organizational relationships of a public US doctoral university and six US corporate partners as framed through Cone’s (2010) corporate citizenship spectrum between 2006 and 2010. The literature has shown that little research exists regarding the behavior aspects of these inter-organizational relationships. Triangulation of data is provided by 36 interviews, 12,609 pages of documents and audio-visual materials, and a campus observation of 407 photographs. The research indicates three themes as to why higher education desires involvement with companies: viable resources, student enrichment, and real-world connectivity. Further, there are four themes explaining what motives and ROI expectations companies have to be involved with higher education and include: workforce development, community enrichment, brand development, and research. Finally, three themes emerged regarding ethical considerations between these inter-organizational relationships with higher education and companies. First, generally no ethical dilemmas were found. Second, several general ethics discussion topics created five clusters of interest: public relations, solicitation, policies and stewardship, accountability and transparency, and leadership behavior. Third, five ethical concerns were shared.

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Between 2002 and 2018, at a time when UK universities were being increasingly measured in economic and financial terms, Staffordshire University established a dedicated public engagement unit. Staffed by an experienced team of “pracademics” (Posner, 2009), the Creative Communities Unit (CCU) engaged with community members and voluntary organizations through teaching, research, and consultancy. Underpinning CCU practice was a clear set of principles influenced by those of community development, including participation, inclusion, and action-driven practice. However, despite strong community connections the work of the unit remained isolated with little coordination for public engagement at a strategic level in the university.

This chapter charts the work of the CCU over its lifespan and its influence on a strategically embedded Connected Communities Framework through which civic engagement is supported across the institution. It explores how the alignment of grass roots activity through the CCU, shifts in UK policy and a clear, institutional strategic vision for civic engagement enabled the move from public engagement as a small team activity to an institutional commitment. It concludes with a reflection on the enabling conditions that supported the journey toward a civic university.

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This chapter describes two courses in which university students were involved with community partners, in one case a local school system and in the other, a local nonformal educational institution. The authors begin with a discussion of the benefits of civic engagement through service learning in an academic setting and describe the integration of socio-scientific issues of local importance and a service-learning aspect into the courses. The authors follow with a discussion of the impacts the project has had on each of the partners involved in the collaboration. The authors conclude with lessons learned as a result of the project and future plans for the partnership.

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Part II: Policies and Pedagogies

Abstract

An approach to social responsibility in higher education will be proposed in this chapter and informed by a canon of literature and theorizing on critical pedagogy (Darder, Baltodano, & Torres, 2009; Freire, 1971; Giroux, 2011). Rooted in the work of education theorist Paulo Freire (1971, 1993) critical pedagogy embodies a set of critical dispositions about community, politics and education. Freire (1971, 1993) posited the nature of hope through transformative action in communities in which community empowerment arises from emerging critical consciousness and informed action. In common with the ideals of university–community partnerships critical pedagogy connects both to a community development mission and to an educational mission. However, though these principle philosophies of critical pedagogy may be inferred in the literature on civic universities, on higher education and public engagement and on wider aspects of social responsibility in higher education (Goddard & Kempton, 2016; UPP, 2019; Webster & Dyball, 2010), the chapter will explore how they may be more centrally located in analysis and in practice development.

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This chapter adopts an international perspective and discusses the policies and activities that the universities both in Finland and in Australia have undertaken in order to strengthen and develop the prosperity for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all. Social responsibility is approached from the broad-based perspectives – especially how research and development (R&D) activities of universities can be seen as platforms for university–community partnerships. This chapter first opens up the driving forces behind the universities’ social responsibility. The second section portrays how social responsibility is implemented in the Finnish and Australian universities. The following section addresses the significance of universities’ R&D activities in promoting social responsibility. Finally, the chapter ends with the discussion on the action models, which supports the social responsibility in university–community partnership.

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Faculty members at public universities in different disciplines view civil society differently as they perform their function of creating partnerships with society. This chapter draws evidence from faculty members in public universities from one African country – Malawi. Drawing from Derrida’s (1978) concept of difference and West’s (1993) views of social theory, the chapter examines three approaches to community engagement (CE) with civil society. It concludes that the growing demands to attain difference in CE have resulted in oversupply of approaches that are often pitied against each other; hence, the hierarchies obscure the work CE is achieving.

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Access to higher education (HE) has been on the global policy agenda for decades. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are inherently biased toward serving the needs and expectations of the middle classes, to the detriment of more disadvantaged groups. This creates a significant dilemma in democratic contexts, as in the country of this study: Indonesia. This chapter focuses on the (missing) link between actors who have the potential to influence the development of the sector, consisting of; government, HEIs, industry, and local stakeholders. Evidence based on the data suggests that there is a missing link on how influential the different actors in civil society are regarding developing and implementing policies, and how this is affecting widening participation in HE.

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This chapter focuses on the social responsibility of public universities and community colleges to expand access to higher education through collaboration. Higher education has historically been riddled with hierarchies, including selective admissions, institutional rankings and faulty narratives about the inferiority of community colleges. More recently, there has been a shift in the relationship between community colleges and universities as universities begin to see the value of reaching out to their communities, diversifying their student bodies and providing alternative pathways to a bachelor’s degree. The authors begin by arguing that public universities should collaborate with their community college counterparts to right historical wrongs, serve the broader community and maximize the use of public resources. The authors then present a case study of a concurrent-use partnership model between institutions and highlight the everyday practices that contribute to successful implementation. The authors conclude by describing the benefits of collaboration for institutions and students with the goal of showing that social responsibility and organizational effectiveness go hand in hand.

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This chapter provides a review of the language, key examples, and an analysis of social justice practices in higher education philanthropy. By describing how American higher education is supported by philanthropy, the authors articulate the need to have collective approaches that create an equitable distribution of resources. The authors utilize research centered on equity, inclusion, and diversity to encourage leaders to consider applying additional perspectives when analyzing philanthropy in higher education. This combination of multidisciplinary scholarship offers a synthesis of research to show readers how social justice advances and improves philanthropy within higher education. Social justice in the age of philanthropy concludes with key recommendations for advancement offices across campuses and organizations.

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About the Authors

Pages 227-237
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Name Index

Pages 239-249
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Subject Index

Pages 251-257
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Cover of University–Community Partnerships for Promoting Social Responsibility in Higher Education
DOI
10.1108/S2055-3641202023
Publication date
2020-07-24
Book series
Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83909-439-2
Book series ISSN
2055-3641