Research Students and Community Development: The Challenges of Integrating Academic Expectations with Community Needs and Values

  • Michael Darcy University of Western Sydney
  • Dallas Rogers University of Western Sydney
Keywords: Higher Education, Community Development, Community Needs, Research Students


While universities can play a major role in advancing research-based community development, academic discourses of rigor, quality and ethics often conflict with the participatory and collaborative approaches required by community development principles. While experienced academics often have difficulty negotiating these issues, they present greater challenges for research students whose work will ultimately be assessed on its "academic merit." This paper suggests specific areas where change is required to allow research students to engage effectively with the community.