UC to host community engagement summit

31 October 2014

More than 10 national and international experts will deliver key addresses to the second New Zealand Tertiary Community Engagement Summit to be held at UC next month.

More than 10 national and international experts will deliver key addresses to the second New Zealand Tertiary Community Engagement Summit to be held at the University of Canterbury (UC) next month.

The event is also being supported by the United States Embassy in New Zealand and the University’s Volunteer Army Foundation.

Organiser Dr Billy O’Steen says experts from Auckland University of Technology, Richard Branson's B Team Project and UC will speak at the 24 November summit, including a video
conversation from a typhoon affected area in the Philippines with humanitarian and UC Entrepreneur in Residence, Linda Cruse.

The summit event is open to the public who can view registration here.

Dr O’Steen says the summit will be an opportunity for businesses, community organisations, governmental agencies, and tertiary staff and students to share ideas about how tertiary institutions and students can contribute to and benefit from engaging with their communities.

"Summit participants will hear from national and international leaders from the fields of academia, business, community organisations, and government and have the opportunity to translate the big ideas into action plans through small discussion groups.

"Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in a post-earthquake related service project in Christchurch facilitated by the university’s Student Volunteer Army on 22 November.

"Overall, we hope the summit will lead to an enhanced national network for community engagement and a statement to the relevant ministries of the New Zealand government about the vital role that tertiary institutions play in their communities."

The first New Zealand/United States youth leadership symposium on volunteering and crisis preparedness will also be held at the University from 21 to 24 November. This is a chance for student delegations from universities in New Zealand and the US to plan how to provide leadership on their campuses around volunteering and crisis preparedness.

Dr O’Steen says the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes provided Canterbury and other tertiary institutions in New Zealand with an opportunity to reflect on the roles their students and staff can play in their local and national communities.

"We hope this second summit will define the New Zealand context for tertiary community engagement and provide a foundation for an association dedicated to this area."

The summit is part of an ongoing drive by the University of Canterbury to engage even more closely with the community. Already more than 600 students have been involved in UC’s CHCH101 course, launched after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, to build on the Student Volunteer Army’s community engagement work.


For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168


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