Australian universities can now be accredited for community service

Australian universities can now be accredited for community service

On Friday July 8, applications for the Carnegie Community Engagement Elective Classification open for universities in Australia. For the first time, Australian universities will get the opportunity to earn accreditation for their extraordinary commitments to public purpose in service to their communities, outside of what is captured in academic rankings.

Unlike other countries, the establishment of a process to support and encourage universities to collaborate with communities does not come from government, but from the universities themselves.

Universities in Australia have long played a role as ‘anchor institutions’ in their communities. This is particularly so for universities in rural and regional areas, where the university is often a big part of the local economy, as large-scale employers and as creators and consumers of local products and services.

But the concept applies to urban universities as well. Universities such as Western Sydney University were established primarily as local universities, embedded in their community, delivering educational access and knowledge exchange to the region they serve.

**News article courtesy of The Australian**