The Operationalisation of Community Engagement in Higher Education Institutions: An Exploratory Study


  • Blathnaid McGeough TU Dublin
  • Romy Leitch
  • Francis McGeough


The issue of how Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) engage with society presents challenges as they endeavour to embrace a community engagement agenda and build it into the strategic fabric of their organisations. This paper outlines key factors in the operationalisation of community engagement for HEIs: firstly, through the lens of the literature; secondly, through empirical research, based on interviews with managers responsible for community engagement in fourteen Higher Education Institutes in Ireland. The findings suggest that there is a large element of agreement on the key factors in operationalising community engagement between the literature and the managers interviewed, but some factors reflect future ambitions rather than the current reality faced by some managers. The paper does indicate a possible roadmap in operationalising community engagement.






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