The 33rd annual CHER Conference is jointly organised by the University of Rijeka (Croatia) and NUI Galway (Ireland), with their home cities both being European Capitals of Culture 2020. The theme of this year’s conference is Engaged Universities: (De)constructing the Theory, Practice and Culture of Engagement in Higher Education.
With an increasing focus on multifaceted missions for higher education institutions (HEIs), there is an international convergence of interest on issues about universities’ role in a wider society.
University-community partnerships and engagement have therefore become progressively more prominent in national, regional and international forums of higher education. The objectives of such university/HEIs engagement are both to contribute and to create support from the public by connecting research, teaching and service to help tackle and solve community/societal problems, while contributing to capacity-building, sustainability, economic, environmental, social, civic and cultural development.
This is why in particular the theory and practice of university community engagement is as rich and diverse as the historical, political, social, civic and cultural roots that have given rise to regions, nations and continents, and the formation of universities and higher education systems globally.