Students at a local market in India
IHE India GPD community engagement with HE
Monday 03 March 2014 - 10:30 to Tuesday 04 March 2014 - 23:59
North Bengal University (NBU), Siliguri

Global Education Dialogues: Strengthening community engagement in higher education

The British Council, the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and the North Bengal University (NBU) is holding a state education dialogue on strengthening community engagement in higher education. Higher education institutions (HEIs) worldwide are being challenged to demonstrate how their work in teaching and research is contributing to the community in which they are present. In India, where there is rapid growth of enrolment in post-secondary education, questions are being increasingly raised on the social relevance of the curriculum, the inclusion of indigenous knowledge in higher education, provision of access to excluded students and direct contribution to problems in their communities. In the face of growing isolation from society, HEIs need to renew their effort to genuinely engage with community, conduct socially relevant research and foster social responsibility amongst students as part of their core mission. This Dialogue aims to strengthen and support community engagement in higher education in West Bengal. The British Council and PRIA have also undertaken a study in North Bengal to map and research current practices in community engagement in HEIs in the region and will present the results of this research.

Keynote speakers:

Professor Michael Osborne, Chair of Adult & Lifelong Education
Dr. Emma McKenna, Co-ordinator Science Shop, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Jenni Chambers, Senior Policy Manager, RCUK Public Engagement with Research
Professor Somnath Ghosh, Vice-Chancellor, NBU
Professor Yasin, Head, Department of Lifelong Learning & Extension, NBU
Dr Rajesh Tandon, President PRIA and UNESCO Chair of Community based research and social responsibility in higher education

Event aims and objectives:

Over two days the delegates will assess the current levels and quality of community engagement by HEIs in the state; analyse best practices and meanings of social responsibility as practiced in the state; learn from innovative policies and practices in the UK in the field of public engagement and social responsibility and identify strategies to scale-up community engagement in light of the The 12th Five Year Plan, which stresses the importance of realising the country's human resource potential to its fullest with equity and inclusion. This will be followed by a similar event in Panjab University, Chandigarh which will hold a State Education Dialogue on Consultations on Community Engagement and Social Responsibility in Higher Education in Punjab on 6 and 7 March 2014.

Who can attend?

Policy makers in higher education, key decision makers in higher education, relevant office holders.

For further information, please contact Shonali Ganguli email:; tel: +91 (0)33 40074315

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