The argument in this chapter is that benchmarking forces institutions to be honest about the relative importance they place on various aspects of their mission. Benchmarking approaches therefore confront universities with potential contradictions in their missions, and compel a degree of reality about community engagement. But the chapter also highlights how university–community engagement benchmarking has also had a social life as a technique adopted by institutions which take the idea of improving their community engagement activities seriously. From this perspective, benchmarking tools can be read as texts which describe the limits to what is both possible and desirable for universities in terms of community engagement.
|Title of host publication||University engagement with socially excluded communities|
|Place of Publication||Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York|
|Number of pages||349|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|