Civic Universities for a Civil Society: (Un)Learning Habits of Impact, Engagement, and Action for Change

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City-REDI Seminar Series banner saying 'Welcome to the City-REDI seminar series', with a section of the Aston Webb dome on the right hand side, separated from the rest of the banner by 4 black lines

On 16 May, City-REDI held its fourth external seminar of 2024, featuring Helen Jarvis from Newcastle University with an online webinar about community organising as a place-based theory and method of civic university engagement.

The seminar follows the publication of Professor Helen Jarvis’s paper ‘Community organising in higher education: activist community-engaged learning in geography’, highlighting the transformative potential of place-based community organising as both a theory and practice of progressive social change, and as a critical approach to the social purpose of community engagement in Higher Education Institutions.

Empirical vignettes from an enduring partnership between Newcastle University and Tyne and Wear Citizens (a chapter of Citizens UK) challenge the rhetoric of civic universities on community engagement, notions of ‘impact’ and the moral responsibility of universities and students to take an active role in civil society.

The views expressed in this analysis post are those of the author and not necessarily those of City-REDI/ WMREDI or the University of Birmingham.

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