From Outreach to Engagement: Fostering Civil Society Through Educational Partnerships
AbstractThe University of Western Sydney is a relatively new public metropolitan university. In the year 2000, UWS underwent a major restructure whereby one of its five level one strategic themes became Regional and Community Development and one of its central aims became "to link arms with community, public services, industry and business across the region of Greater Western Sydney in order to exchange knowledge, harness community expertise and energy to mutual benefit, and to contribute to the region's development, prosperity and social capital." (University of Western Sydney Strategic Plan 2001) This paper outlines the phases that UWS has gone through to move from a university focused on spasmodic and uncoordinated outreach to one that is truly engaged with its community. Two examples of educational partnership are used to illustrate the way UWS, as a New Generation Australian University, is embedding coherent purpose and strategic direction in its community and regional partnerships: Co-operative Programs and the Innovative Technology Network.
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