UCD in the Community was established in 2016, to support and promote civic engagement across the UCD community. Civic engagement is defined as:
“A mutually beneficial knowledge-based collaboration between the higher education institution with the wider community, through community-campus partnerships including the activities of community based learning, community engaged research, volunteering, community/economic regeneration, capacity-building and access/widening participation”. (Campus Engage, 2014)
The objective of UCD in the Community is to connect UCD staff and students with the wider community for mutual benefit, bringing their skills and expertise to support community-based organisations (CBOs), and in exchange, empowering the UCD community as socially aware citizens. Simultaneously, we aim to showcase current projects, teaching and research that work in a collaborative manner and contribute to positive and sustainable social outcomes.
UCD in the Community supports and complements UCD’s involvement in the IUA Campus Engage programme. It is sponsored by Professor Mark Rogers, Registrar and Deputy President, and Academic Leadership is provided by Professor Joe Carthy, Principal College of Science.
UCD in the Community directly contributes to the UCD Strategy 2020-2024: Rising to the Future, and in particular to:
Core Objective Three: Continue to build our engagement locally, nationally and internationally, and
Strategic Theme Four: Empowering Humanity.
UCD in the Community is identified in the Strategic Plan as a means of “empowering the UCD community as socially aware, global citizens”.
While it is acknowledged that UCD has a long tradition of positively contributing to the needs of society, the UCD in the Community initiative has provided a structure through which civic engagement can be further embedded and increased throughout the university. In the short time since its establishment, UCD in the Community has greatly enhanced the contribution UCD is making to our local, national and international communities.
UCD in the Community focus on the development of three key areas: