The Community Knowledge Initiative's (CKI) activities were viewed as ‘integral to the University's strategic mission and involved a fundamental examination of the role of the University in the social fabric' and were subsequently reflected as a core priority by NUI Galway's Academic and Strategic Plans.
The CKI aims to promote greater civic engagement through core academic activities, namely teaching, research and service at the levels of students, staff, courses, programmes and the institution as a whole. Up to 2005, the implementation phase, the CKI was supported by the CKI Policy and Executive Boards, which then amalgamated into one CKI Board. The project is guided by an International Advisory Group, whose experience encompasses North America, Southern Africa, and Europe.
A mutually beneficial knowledge-based collaboration between the higher education institution, its staff and students, with the wider community, through a range of activities including:
EPIC acts as a point of contact for community, voluntary and statutory organisations who would like to access research and other collaborative opportunities with the university. It is also a key contact point for staff and students within the university who want information about research and public engagement opportunities with the wider community. EPIC aims to enhance the relationship between NUI Galway and the wider society through sharing knowledge, supporting collaborative models of research, strengthening links between teaching and research and building capacity within communities.
For further information contact Ann Lyons:
To this end a student volunteering programme entitled ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience), was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering. Established in September 2003, over 1200 students have been recognised to date for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways including community and non-governmental organisations, through participation within societies and clubs, and mentoring first year students through the Student Connect Programme to mention a few.
For further information contact Lorraine Tansey:
Service Learning seeks to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education and instill in students a sense of social responsibility and civic awareness. It is a pedagogical tool that encourages students to learn and explore issues vital to society inside and outside the classroom. Students learn from engaging with communities by active participation. For further information on Service Learning click here
For further information contact Lorraine McIlrath:
The Youth Academy is a collaboration between Ms. Mary Dempsey (College of Engineering and Informatics), Dr. Caroline Heary (School of Psychology), Ms. Lorraine Mc Ilrath (Community Knowledge Initiative) and Dr. Colm O'Reilly (Irish Centre for Talented Youth, Dublin City University). It is delivered thanks to funding received through the Bright Ideas Innovation Fund by the Vice President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway. The Youth Academy works with high ability 4th and 5th class primary school children in Galway City and County to support their learning and academic development. A number of different courses are on offer to these students at NUI Galway on a Saturay morning for a seven week period.
For further information contact Geraldine Marley: