Community Engagement

The University serves and engages society to enhance economic, social, and cultural well-being.

What can we create together?
Peter Block

Collage photo demonstrating UBC community efforts

UBC exists for the communities it serves: local, provincial, national, and global. An integral part of those communities, the University enters into relationships where decisions about means and ends are made collaboratively, costs and benefits are shared, and learning is reciprocal.

Beginning with interest and outreach and moving through engagement and empowerment, UBC recognizes degrees of commitment and nurtures relationships along the full spectrum.

With multiple sites and a global reach, UBC dedicates its resources to dialogue and action on issues of public priority. As international acclaim for its community engagement grows, the University honours the time and effort that goes into building respectful community relationships and expands the notion of scholarship to embrace community engagement as both core to the university’s mission and foundational to excellent teaching, learning and research.

Community engagement brings the full force of our combined experiences, expertise, and knowledge to bear on the salient questions of our time. Is there anything that, together, we cannot create?

Goal Be a leader in fostering public understanding of societal issues and in stimulating action for positive change

Portfolio Action

Facilitate deliberative public dialogue on issues of public concern and actively invite community participation

  • Create and maintain an inventory of existing programs facilitating public dialogues (VPCCP)
  • Continue the Distinguished Speaker Series throughout the Okanagan Valley (DVC)

Facilitate engagement of faculty and students in public policy development

  • Increase dialogue and engagement opportunities between policy makers and university talent (VPCCP, DVC)
  • Coordinate university resources to facilitate public deliberation in response to priority issues identified by government and the community more broadly (VPCCP, DVC)
  • Continue to build academic capacity for public policy engagement and action based research through initiatives such as the proposed Governance School and the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative (VPA, DVC, VPCCP)

Work with local non-profit agencies and the public sector to inventory challenges and identify “action research” opportunities for students and faculty

  • Engaging community partners and the Community Based Research Task Team, identify challenges and opportunities for “action research” for students and faculty and explore channels to connect research opportunities with interested researchers. (VPCCP, VPA, DVC, VPRI)

GoalBe a leader in fostering social, cultural and economic well-being through lifelong learning and engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni and the wider community

Portfolio Action

Complete consultation on community engagement strategy

  • Implement the community engagement strategy, once completed (VPCCP), VA)

Strengthen our understanding of community interests in community service learning and sustaining community partnerships through the UBC Community Learning Initiative and Learning Exchange

  • Implement the Community Service Learning and Community Based Research Strategic Plan (VPCCP, VPA, DVC, VPRI)
  • Develop a plan to help Faculties embed community outreach and partnerships in their program design (VPA, DVC)
  • Continue opportunities for staff to be involved with the UBC Community United Way Campaign (VPCCP, DVC)
  • Increase the profile of the Volunteer Recognition Event and Award Program (VPCCP)
  • Catalogue the various community engagement programs so they can be tracked and measured for their community engagement impact (VPCCP)
  • Build the capacity to sustain curricular and co-curricular community service learning as a learning opportunity experienced by at least 50% of our undergraduates (VPS, VPCCP)

Provide a broad scope of continuing studies programs to support students and life-long learners

  • Review the continuing studies program, identify gaps, implement required changes and new opportunities (VPA, VPCCP)

Better define and assess “service” as part of the academic mission of the university

  • Create consultation and deliberation processes to better understand and assess “service” (VPA, DVC, HR)

Increase community use of learning, cultural and outdoor venues on UBC’s campuses and sites

  • Complete the reorganization of the Vancouver campus’ cultural venues under the Faculty of Arts, and the Beaty Biodiversity
  • Museum and the Botanical Gardens under the Faculty of Science (2012) (VPCCP, VPA)

Develop an effective approach to communications, supporting the full engagement of UBC with its communities

  • Develop and implement a communications strategy, with particular focus on digital communications, including adapting our digital communications to mobile channels and increased use of UBC-created video on our digital platforms (VPCCP, VPA, DVC))
  • Review communications resources, including staffing, and make recommendations for change in staffing models (VPCCP)

Work with community-based organizations to create a deeper understanding of how social sustainability can be achieved locally and globally

  • Continue to build partnerships with community stakeholders, NGOs, and the Cities of Kelowna and Vancouver; co-host activities and initiatives annually (VPCCP, DVC, VPA)

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