AUCEA: An Emerging Collaborative and Strategic Approach Dedicated to University - Community Engagement in Australia
Temple, Jan, Story, Alice, & Delaforce, Wayne H. (2005) AUCEA: An Emerging Collaborative and Strategic Approach Dedicated to University - Community Engagement in Australia. In International Conference on Engaging Communities, August 2005, Brisbane, Australia.
The issue of University engagement with the community is prominent on the agendas of both national and international forums of higher education. Increasingly, universities are playing an integral role in their regions, contributing to the sustainability, wellbeing and economic vitality of their communities while becoming catalysts for positive change and development.
Recognition of the role of higher education institutions in social, economic and cultural development has led to the formation of the Australian Universities Community Engagement Alliance (AUCEA). AUCEA is auspiced by the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and guided by a Steering Committee made up of 10 Australian University representatives.
With a vision to be the leading inclusive national forum for the discussion and development of university community engagement, encouraging collaboration, innovation, the exchange of knowledge and the scholarship of engagement, AUCEA has undertaken a national leadership role to: • Raise awareness and disseminate best practice in university community engagement; • Facilitate collaborative research in university community engagement between AUCEA members and their communities; • Promote the integration of engagement into curriculum and the student experience; • Promote the recognition of the scholarship of engagement as a valid pedagogy; and • Collaboratively develop resources that support university community engagement.
AUCEA enables Australian Universities to both share and create knowledge about community engagement. Ultimately the process, which is developing trust between universities, will create an effective centre for dialogue and research into university community engagement and place the scholarship of engagement on the national agenda.
For this to be achieved AUCEA will need to firmly establish itself as the peak body for university community engagement nationally. The Alliance has already gained endorsement by the Australian Vice Chancellors Committee, but it requires full commitment, through institutional and individual membership, financially and otherwise and essentially by the majority of Australian universities. AUCEA’s services and resources will need to be in demand and valued by the clients it seeks to serve. AUCEA’s effectiveness will rely on its ability to achieve scholarly recognition for its activities and outputs. Its long-term future will depend on AUCEA’s ability to become fully sustainable with both national and international acceptance and recognition
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