University–Community Engagement in the Wider Policy Environment

Paul Benneworth, David Charles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter seeks to place the idea of university–community engagement in terms of the way that is regarded by public policy managers, who are increasingly adopting the mind-sets and policy paradigms of New Public Management (NPM). This chapter firstly argues that one unintended consequence of the adoption of NPM has been to channel interest in and demand for public engagement towards a particular kind of business engagement, namely intellectual property-led commercialisation. This chapter argues that for community engagement to become a serious mission, these individual policy measures have to achieve a system shift in which the idea of engagement no longer is locked into that of commercialisation. This can happen across two dimensions, adding additional elements to the system or segmenting the system, and with the government involved in steering the network, and by the government allowing partners to agree their own targets and goals. This chapter explores how the Mission-Based Contracts approach in Australia has allowed particular universities to define themselves in terms—and receive funding on the basis—of their engagement with and service for excluded communities. This chapter concludes by noting that it was only where universities developed material dependencies on these communities, for example, by local campuses that community engagement significantly changed those universities’ missions and the way they portrayed those missions to government.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity Engagement With Socially Excluded Communities
EditorsPaul Benneworth
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789400748750
ISBN (Print)9789400748743
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'University–Community Engagement in the Wider Policy Environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this