Building a Strategy

Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

– Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Work is underway to reinforce UBC’s commitment to Community Engagement through the development of a Community Engagement strategy. This work is being led by the Community Partnership Unit. The ideas and concepts in this section are a result of conversations and learnings to date, and will continue to evolve based on feedback and discussions.

Early Concepts

Early concepts related to developing a community engagement strategy have been shared with and supported by UBC Executive. The tone and language reflected in the concept paper (based on continual feedback and discussion) can be found here.


Many faculty, staff, students, and community partners have established protocol, practices, and principles to guide their community-university work. Learning from what exists, there is an opportunity to build a common set of principles to inform community engagement at UBC. Get involved in this discussion.

Why is Community Engagement vital for UBC?

At the heart of a Community Engagement strategy will be knowing why UBC is committed to Community Engagement, as proposed here:

  • UBC is intrinsically linked to external communities. It is our responsibility to listen to, learn from, and contribute to these communities and use UBC’s assets to stimulate action that contributes to a civil and sustainable society
  • All communities have expertise and assets that bring value and benefit to engaging with UBC.
  • Community Engagement is part of excellent scholarship and essential to UBC’s mission. Community Engagement activates and motivates Student Learning and Research Excellence; it takes UBC core functions and externalizes them.
  • UBC is made relevant and accountable through its relationships with communities. Community Engagement is beneficial to UBC and builds the university’s social capital.

Community refers to external communities; whoever we reach or is touched by what we do (organizations, Aboriginal communities, neighbourhoods, schools, industry, governments, individuals…).

Engagement includes a continuum of activities and approaches from outreach to partnership.

This site is intended to provide an impetus for discussion regarding the advancement of Community Engagement at UBC. Feedback about the language on this site is most welcome and will be used to continuously shape the strategies and approach to UBC’s commitment to Community Engagement. If you have input to offer on what you see here, please connect with us.