The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) fosters community university partnerships that aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy.

Event Details

7th ISSL Conference

14th – 16th of June 2017 @ Institute for Lifecourse and Society


Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway hosts major international conference on University-Community Engagement, 14th to 16th June 2017

7th International Symposium on Service Learning

The CKI based at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society is delighted to announce that the 7thISSL Symposium, ISSL 2017, will be held at the National University of Ireland, Galway, hosted by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) based at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society June 14-16, 2017.

NUI Galway will welcome over 200 international delegates from South Africa, Egypt, Vietnam, Ireland, UK, Germany and across the USA, to mention a few, to the 7th annual International Symposium on Service Learning (ISSL). The ISSL is a partnership between the University of Indianapolis, the Stellenbosch University and the National University of Ireland-Galway and for three days the delegates will discuss the role of higher education within society through service learning.

Service learning is a teaching approach that connects student learning to the needs of community. Since 2004, NUIG has been offering up to 2,000 students an opportunity to connect their learning to community, Lorraine McIlrath Director of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway and Co-Chair of the ISSL says that “students at NUI Galway have an opportunity to use their knowledge to connect with real world problems - engineering students design and build prototypes for people with physical disabilities, nursing students address the implications of nursing in a Irish multi-cultural context and law students offer pro bono legal information to community partners. We feel that this type of learning can open students minds to their role as agent of change within community and society”.

The theme of the 2017 symposium is “Service Learning as a Response to Global Transitions in Higher Education: Opportunities for Transforming Higher Education on Advancing Social Impact”. Delegate will share knowledge across different cultural contexts on what matters and works when using service learning as a teaching approach. It has been a fantastic opportunity for universities in South Africa, Europe and the USA to come together to showcase form international perspectives the challenges, opportunities and impact that service learning can have in terms of transforming the higher education experience and that of impact within community and society.

When reflecting on the 7th ISSL, President Robert L. Manuel from the University of Indianapolis says, “Service learning encompasses much more than providing on-site educational experiences or featuring community leaders in the classroom. It represents a true partnership to not only educate students but also instil in them the mind-set and thoughtfulness necessary to enhance their community—no matter where their life takes them. The inspiration ignited today will help us to translate these experiences to the next generation of influencers and community leaders.”

Conference Programme and Book of Abstracts

The full programme

The programme at a glance

To Register for ISSL

Book of Abstracts

Parking on Campus

Please note there restrictions on campus Monday to Friday, weekends have no restrictions.

There is limited parking on campus for guests to the University, Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 17.30.

Permits have been arranged to facilitate access to the Park & Ride Car Park - please click here for permit which must be displayed at all times.


All illegally parked vehicles, including cars not displaying a permit will be clamped.

This conference is partnership between Stellenbosh University, University of Indianapolis and NUI Galway.

Chair: Lorraine McIlrath, National University of Ireland, Galway

Co-Chair: Marianna Foulkrod , University of Indianapolis

C-Chair Jacob du Plessis, Stellenbosh University

We look forward to welcoming you to the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway

Twitter #ISSL17