Social impact

Social impact is the positive outcomes of initiatives that tackle social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges faced by people, organizations and communities.  The concept goes beyond the academic mission to holistically encompass all aspects of the institution, including financial activities, physical spaces, relationships, research activities, teaching and learning, equity, diversity and inclusion, reconciliation and mental health and wellness.

Universities and communities

University-community connections strengthen our campuses, exposing students and researchers to diverse perspectives, experiences and expertise. They also help communities build resiliency, and harness new opportunities and research resources to address rapid technological and economic disruption. These collaborations are driving innovation and creating a more inclusive and prosperous Canada for all.

Universities are anchors for their communities and they are highly involved in fostering social development. Often a local major employer, universities support their communities by buying local products and investing in local services. They provide the community with much needed library, arts and physical education facilities.

What universities are doing


There is a broad network of actors working toward an increased university/community connection across the country. Finding solutions to today’s world problems requires multidisciplinary approaches, collaboration across sectors, and knowledge sharing from a variety of perspectives and background. Fostering, supporting and increasing partnerships between universities and actors in their local communities is key.

Here are some Canadian initiatives working towards that goal.

Universities Canada