Policies for Promoting University–Community Engagement in Practice

  • Paul BenneworthEmail author
  • Ben Jongbloed


This chapter explores policies by which governments have attempted to shift their higher education systems to situations where their universities are more structurally engaged with excluded communities. The central argument to this chapter is that there has been a tendency by governments to fund activities rather than system shift, and by exploring four examples which have–however tentatively–begun this process of system shift, it is possible to get an insight into the potentials and barriers to effective university–community engagement. This chapter explores four community engagement higher education policies: the Dutch Leading Social Institute for Urban Research (Nicis Institute), the Canadian Community–University Research Alliance (CURAs) programme, the English HEIF 3 Quantum and the UK Beacons for Public Engagement. This chapter notes that structurally funding community engagement by universities is an extremely expensive and long-term process. Where policies do not fit with universities’ existing activities, single project rounds—even long term ones like the CURAs or the Beacons–have difficulties in evolving from being discrete project interventions into wider cultures of valued public engagement within universities.


Community Engagement High Education System Public Engagement Funding Stream Knowledge Mobilization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This chapter draws on research undertaken both as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project ‘universities and excluded communities’ (qv) as well as a Visiting Fellowship by Paul Benneworth and overseen by Ben Jongbloed to the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (2007–2009) entitled ‘The regional economics of higher education’, funded by the Institute of Governance & Innovation Studies at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. Many thanks are due to Paul Manners of the National Co-ordinating Centre, for Public Engagement, for providing the material that contributed to Sect.  13.6. As we have performed our own analysis upon and interpretation of his data, this section cannot be identified with his personal or professional views.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Higher Education Policy StudiesUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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