This survey was co-ordinated by Campus Engage, 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.’ (Civic Engagement, Student Volunteering and Active Citizenship, 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.