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Symposium on "Mainstreaming university-community research partnerships"


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Date(s) - 09/04/2015
12:00 am

Lodhi Road

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University-community engagement has acquired certain significance in recent times. A recent World Report by Global University Network for Innovations entitled “Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education: contributing to Social Change” has argued for deepening societal engagement of universities to promote new types of teaching and research.  European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme focuses on responsible research and innovation. UNESCO’s second conference on Higher Education gave a call for mainstreaming indigenous knowledge and promoting social responsibility in higher education institutions.

Likewise, Indian government’s 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) has recommended strengthening community engagement and fostering social responsibility in higher education (https://unescochair-cbrsr.org/unesco/pdf/Fostering_Social_Responsibility.pdf). University Grants Commission has launched a new scheme to support setting up of Centre for Fostering Social Responsibility and Community Engagement (CFSRCE) in Universities”.

Established since 2012, UNESCO Chair in community based research and social responsibility in higher education (Dr Budd Hall and Dr Rajesh Tandon co-chairs) have undertaken policy research in 12 countries around the world to draw lessons on policy and practices in promoting university –community research partnerships. Supported by IDRC (Canada), the results of this global study highlight key institutional practices that support such partnerships.

In addition, with support from British Council, UNESCO Chair has been conducting studies to map university-community engagements in four states—Panjab, North Bengal, Assam/Meghalaya and Karnataka. Interesting lessons can be drawn from these studies with specific policy recommendations for state governments.

This symposium aims to promote a dialogue on university-community partnerships with a view to:

    • Share comparative results from global study of 12 countries on institutional policies and practices in building research partnerships
    • Highlight diversity of practices and challenges faced in community engagement in different states of India
    • Deliberate upon the ways to harness the transformative potential of the new UGC Scheme
    • Promote a platform of interested academics, officials and civil society actors in evolving Association for community Engagement (ACE) as visualised in the 12th Five Year Plan of India.
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