Beyond the benevolent university: Authentic collaboration with communities for educational access and success: Case studies from 3 university-community partnerships in Melbourne, El Paso and Caracas
Faculty of Education and Arts
Executive Deans Office / Fogarty Learning Centre
This paper outlines research investigating the practice and conceptualisation of university-community engagement, in historical perspective and in the immediate context of neo-liberal hegemony in policy, through an international comparative case study of university-community educational initiatives. It aims to consider possibilities and constraints in achieving social justice outcomes through collaborative university-community educational initiatives. Informing Victoria University's Access and Success project, this comparison of similar yet distinct examples of practice across three international contexts seeks to understand how such projects are influencing a diverse range of actors through collaborative educational research, and to investigate their effectiveness in changing the capacity of communities to participate in the practical implementation of specific projects for educational improvement and social change in local contexts. Comparable projects at the University of Texas, El Paso in the US context, and the popular education initiatives of the Bolivarian University and Misión Sucré in Venezuela, offer rich international perspectives on practical university-community responses to unequal participation and outcomes in education. This research provides rich new knowledge about educational reforms and community building.