Regional perspectives on the social impact of Canadian universities

March 3, 2020
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Campus of University of The Fraser Valley with the Coast Mountains in the background.

Canada’s universities play an essential role in sustaining and contributing to the economic and social wellbeing of their communities. As vibrant, modern and engaged institutions, universities are anchors for their communities and highly involved in fostering local social development and impact. This engagement benefits both universities and their communities through activities such as workintegrated and service-learning opportunities for students and research and knowledge-creation opportunities for faculty. However, community engagement needs to go beyond academic endeavours. Canada’s universities can play an increasingly important role in the growth and stability of their communities.

Building on more than ten years of university-community focused work, Universities Canada is leading a pan-Canadian initiative to map, strengthen and promote the social impact of Canadian universities. As part of this project, Universities Canada conducted a series of roundtable discussions in regional hubs across Canada to share knowledge, insights and learnings; deepen relationships between peers and across sectors; and inform the direction of Universities Canada’s Social Impact Initiative.

This report provides an overview of the approach to the roundtables, discusses key takeaways on cross-cutting themes and highlights regional differences identified during the roundtables. It also details strategic considerations for Universities Canada’s Social Impact Initiative, shares lessons learned and identifies next steps.

Tagged:  Research and innovation

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