Learning from history

Ben Jongbloed, Paul Benneworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

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This chapter explores how university–community engagement has emerged in the indicators which governments and universities have adopted to try to measure universities’ societal activities. University–community engagement has often been subordinated to easier-to-measure activities such as graduate employment, spin-off companies created or number of patents. This chapter analyses six attempts that have been made to measure the societal value of universities’ activities in a variety of different national settings. The central argument in the chapter is that effective performance measures for university–community engagement need to fulfil three criteria, they need to capture the resources made available to the community, capture in some way how external partners value the university activity, and clearly define what they mean by what is ‘good’ or excellent in engagement activity. This has consequences both for the way that policy-makers seek to promote university–community engagement and also for a much wider range of activities which frame that activity. Most important is that community engagement can never really be a satisfactory activity until there is clarity and cohesion as to what constitutes ‘good’ community development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity engagement with socially excluded communities
EditorsPaul Benneworth
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages349
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-007-4875-0
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-9274-6, 978-94-007-4874-3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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