On 22nd December 2014, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, Tom Boland, released a report that breaks new ground in terms of measuring the full economic, social and cultural value of the Irish University. This DCU pilot study will feed into national debates on the importance of engagement. It will also inform the way the Higher Education Authority creates metrics to evaluate the performance of Ireland's higher education institutions.
Dr. Josephine A. Boland's research interests relate to higher education policy and practice, as evidenced by her doctoral thesis ‘Embedding a civic engagement dimension within the higher education curriculum; a study of policy, process and practice in Ireland’. She is a part of a team of colleagues, students and community partners in NUIGalway developing a service learning project – ‘Learning to Teach for Social Justice’ – within the context of initial teacher education.
This brief report provides a snapshot of the situation in Ireland in November 2011. It does not claim to be definitive. Although the term ‘impact measurement’ is used throughout, it should be noted that this includes the full continuum of measurement; from outcomes, to impacts, and to social value in its widest sense.
The Higher Education Community Engagement Model is a UK model to evaluate civic engagement, created in 2003 by several Russell Group universities, in collaboration with the Corporate Citizenship Company. It is based on the London Benchmarking Model which is used by many large companies to measure their contributions to the community, but has been adapted for use by any Higher Education Institution. The model was piloted in 2004, underwent a large scale evaluation and was opened up for use by any HEI in 2006.
This report sets out an initial performance evaluation framework for irish higher education. This is being developed in the context of the implementation of the national strategy for higher education to 2030 with its emphasis on fostering the coherence, and maximising the performance, of the higher education system—as a system.
The Europe 2020 strategy highlights the key role of innovation in contributing to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Regions are important sites for innovation because of the opportunities they provide for interaction be- tween businesses, public authorities and civil societies.
This survey was co-ordinated by CampusEngage, a network for the promotion and support of civic engagement activities in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Ireland. Campus Engage is a project funded under HEA SIF1 and has as its overall objective the widening of the scope of civic engagement activity in Irish higher education so as to ‘ensure that Ireland plays a leading role in the promotion of active citizenship in Europe through the development of social and civic “competencies” as a key element of the student experience.’ (CivicEngagement,Student Volunteering and ActiveCitizenship, SIF1 Proposal, 2006) Included within the remit of the project was the conducting of a survey of civic engagement activities in higher education in Ireland.
This is the first time that a survey of this nature has been carried out in Ireland, representing an initial attempt to map the range of civic engagement activities across Irish higher education. It has happened at a time when civic engagement in higher education is in its early stages of development and it has provided individual higher education institutions (HEIs) with an opportunity to document and review the nature of their civic engagement activities. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2010 and relies on information presented at the closing date for submission (May 2010). This ‘snapshot’ of the current situation is useful in itself, but it also gives a baseline from which to set targets for future development and implementation of civic engagement activities in Irish higher education.
The current Carnagie classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning that it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments, and requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions. It is an institutional classification; it is not for systems of multiple campuses or for part of an individual campus.