Engagement at ECU is "defined by its focus on reciprocal, mutually beneficial knowledge driven relationships between the higher education institutions and community partners," Garlick and Langworthy (2004).
Central to our approach, is our commitment to achieving our goals through collaboration with the wider community.
The benefits of effective community engagement include:
- mutuality - if engagement is to be meaningful, sustained and successful, all parties will benefit from the interaction;
- staff and student involvement - everyone can support, contribute to, participate in and enjoy the rewards that come with working with our communities;
- enriched teaching - engaged teaching improves the learning experience of future graduates by incorporating community and industry knowledge and connecting students to real life issues and ideas;
- increased collaborative research - working together strengthens our collective ability to identify and solve problems that are important to all of us, such as health, education, science and the environment; and
- advanced equity and inclusion - the involvement of community members is essential in identifying culturally appropriate responses to improve the lives of people who have experienced disadvantages including people with disabilities and Indigenous Australians.
Establishing and measuring engagement
As engagement is our first strategic priority, we are constantly working to embed engagement in all of our activities through connecting to and working with the community in teaching and learning and research and building educational capacity.
Our award winning approach
In 2010 we were recognised nationally for our commitment to engagement after receiving the Business Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Sustained Collaboration between Business and Higher Education.
The award recognised our long-term collaborative arrangements with businesses, industry groups, government departments, professional bodies and community groups. These partnerships have led to better outcomes in areas including health services, education, small and medium enterprises, aviation security, agriculture, legal services in the community, and many other areas.
Students: the way we communicate and connect with our students is fundamental to the success of the University. Connection with our students exists both at the academic and administrative levels.
Local, State and Federal Government: the Commonwealth Department of Education; Department of Education; Employment and Workplace Relations; State Government Departments such as the Department of Health and Department of Education and Training, Cities of Joondalup, Wanneroo, Stirling and Bunbury; and local politicians.
Industry/employers: Diverse employers from small to medium enterprises; not for profit organisations; government; industry and business.
Educational sector: High schools; primary schools; TAFE and VET providers, especially West Coast Institute of Training, South West Institute of Training; and other universities in Western Australia and elsewhere.
Professional bodies: Nurses and Midwives Board of Western Australia; Law Society of Western Australia; CPA Australia; and the Western Australian College of Teaching.
Communities: Geographic communities; Indigenous communities; regional communities; rural communities; local, national and international communities; communities of interest; research communities; Alumni and other community groups.