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

Build an environment of support for excellence in community engagement

  • Enhance access into the university with services and supports to help external community partners connect with UBC (VPER)
  • Create a friendly front door into the university with the creation of UBC Welcome Center (VPER, Alumni)
  • Develop a corporate engagement strategy for university leadership, with a focus on private sector leaders and industry associations (VPER)
  • Embed and identify community engagement within goals and actions of strategic plans across commitment areas (VPER, DVC, VPRI, VPS, AVPS, VPA, VPDA, Provost Okanagan)
  • Develop a plan to help Faculties embed community outreach and partnerships in their program design (VPA, Provost Okanagan, VPER)
  • Develop ways to support community engagement, including a digital hub as a place to network, connect with tools and resources and a forum to curate an evolving Community Engagement strategy (VPER, DVC)
  • Build community engagement and transformation that benefits BC’s interior region’s society and economy: (DVC)
  • Continue to build outreach efforts that promote visibility such as the Innovation library introduced Sept 2015

Develop and implement a comprehensive Community Engagement Strategy

  • Develop a sustainable, UBC-wide capability to record Community Engagement strategies, activities and initiatives (VPER, DVC, VPA)
  • Coordinate internal and external engagement to inform and shape a comprehensive and evolving Community Engagement strategy (VPER, DVC, VPA, VPS)
  • Develop indicators that will assess the impact of Community Engagement (VPER, DVC, VPA, VPS)

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

  • Raise profile and participation in existing public dialogues and identify other opportunities for community participation on the Vancouver campus (VPER, VPA)
  • Continue events such as the Distinguished Speaker Series, Mini-Med, and the Alterknowledge 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 (VPER, DVC)
  • Coordinate university resources to facilitate public deliberation in response to priority issues identified by government and the community more broadly (VPER, DVC)
  • Continue to build academic capacity for public policy engagement and action based research through initiatives such as the Masters in Public Policy and Global Affairs, Public Scholars  and the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative (VPA, DVC, VPER)

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

Strengthen collaboration with community partners in community based experiential learning and community-based research

  • Continue to create opportunities for staff, faculty, students and emeriti to engage, connect, network and raise funds through the UBC Community United Way Campaign (VPCP, DVC)
  • Collaborate with community partners, students and faculty to engage in proactive and sustained curricular and co-curricular community based experiential learning through programs and initiatives such as the Centre for Community Engaged Learning (UBCV), Community Service Learning Program (UBCO) and the UBC Learning Exchange (VPS, AVPS, VPER)
  • Partner with Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside organizations and residents to support knowledge exchange, knowledge translation and making research accessible. (VPER)

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

  • Continue to design and deliver community programs and events, and integrate new projects that leverage and enhance UBC’s public realm investments by animating and invigorating shared spaces. (VPER)
  • Facilitate and promote safe, accessible and inclusive use of outdoor public spaces by students, staff, faculty, residents and general public (VPER).
  • Develop and execute communication and marketing programs for cultural and sport venues on UBC’s Vancouver campus (VPER, VPA, VPS)
  • Increase UBC’s cultural, athletic, and academic links into the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan (VPA, VPER, VPS, AVPS)
  • UBC Parking Services partnered with campus cultural attractions and UBC Athletics to identify opportunities to improve access to campus facilities (VPS)

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

  • Develop and implement a communications strategy, with particular focus on digital and social media communications (VPER, VPA, DVC)
  • Develop and implement an integrated internal communications strategy (staff and faculty) (VPER, VPA)
  • Develop and implement the integrated-distributed model for communication and marketing central portfolios at UBC (VPER, VPHR, VPA)
  • Provide leadership to the extensive Communicators Network that exists at UBC (VPER) Fully utilize the tools we have built to bring the voice of our audience into the institution and share this knowledge widely (VPER)

Collaboratively create and share stories to bring the UBC brand to life in a cohesive, holistic and inspiring manner

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive brand strategy (VPER)
  • Continue the transition to storytelling and engagement on UBC’s top-level institutional digital channels and continue to build reach and engagement on social channels (VPER)

Provide a broad scope of career and personal education programs to support and respond to learner, industry and community needs

  • Identify and develop opportunities and integrated support for career and personal education that spans segments, faculties and programs (VPA, VPER)

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