The purpose and motivation for civic engagement in an Irish Technological University is clear, as it achieves strategic objectives at a national level for both Higher Education and community sectors. The Technological Universities Act 2018 (http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2018/act/3/enacted/en/print) defines a Technological University (TU) as having a specific focus on community and business engagement, in addition to traditional university functions of teaching, learning, and research. Even the latter were required to be relevant at regional, national, and international levels. We argue that in line with this mission, technological universities should embed deep collaboration with community partners to work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (2015 https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300). This vision paper considers what excellent civic engagement in a TU could look like, if designed into structures and processes, to progress the SDGs. We draw on relevant research and our experiential knowledge as university and community organisation staff. We focus on four SDGs relevant to both the processes and content of civic engagement: quality education; reduced inequalities; sustainable cities and communities; and partnership for the goals. We draw learning from a case study of community engaged research within the curriculum to present a vision for how a TU can embed this work. We also provide recommendations to overcome critical challenges. While Ireland is our focus, our vision has international relevance too.
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Bates, Catherine; Gavra Boland, Sarah; Lynch, Catherine; and Mooney, Eoin
"What Could Really Excellent Civic Engagement Look Like in a Technological University?,"
Irish Journal of Academic Practice:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://arrow.tudublin.ie/ijap/vol8/iss1/7