II.1.1 Community–university engagement –global terms and terrain


Universities are both apart from and a part of society. They are apart in the sense that they provide a critically important space for grasping the world as it is and –importantly – for re-imagining the world as it ought to be. The academic freedom to pursue the truth and let the chips fall where they may isn’t a luxury – in fact it is a vital necessity in any society that has the capability for self-renewal. But universities are also a part of our societies. What’s the point unless the accumulated knowledge, insight and vision are put at the service of the community? With the privilege to pursue knowledge comes the civic responsibility to engage and put that knowledge to work in the service of humanity. (Higgins, 2012)

Lorraine McIlrath
Publication year: 


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government