Main Issues and Perspectives: An Introduction
Community-based research (CBR) has become an integral element of the contemporary university’s repertoire of activities. It may take different forms and respond to different priorities but it is no longer a marginal activity. It now joins community-based learning—which has a much longer history—as a key component of what is becoming known as the engaged university. We could say, then, that community-based learning and research has been mainstreamed, normalized, or brought into the field. CBR can even be seen as an activity that grants a competitive advantage to those institutions that promote it. It may serve to develop interdisciplinary research skills, provide students with “real world” experiential learning, promote the “public purpose” of the university, and even attract funding from philanthropic donors. These very real issues—especially salient in a period of economic and philosophical crisis—add a note of urgency to current attempts to generate local, national, and transnational platforms for community-based research as part of the broader engagement mission.
KeywordsCommunity Engagement Land Grant Science Shop Philanthropic Donor Community Engagement Strategy
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