UWS leads the way in building social capital

Date: 14/08/2002

Experts from around Australia and the globe will come together to discuss community engagement and building social capital in the higher education sector at a forum hosted by the University of Western Sydney on Tuesday 3 September 2002.

The forum brings together students, teachers and researchers from Australian and international universities to explore ways in which communities can be involved in the life of universities, and investigate ways in which universities can contribute to the growth and development of their regions.

UWS Director of Regional Development, Professor Kevin Sproats, will be among the impressive line up of speakers, and brings with him extensive local and international experience in community engagement.

Keynote speaker at the forum is Dr Barbara Holland, an international expert on organisational change.

As director of the National Service Learning Clearinghouse in the United States, Dr Holland is leading a national effort to assist schools, universities, colleges and community-based organisations in expanding their civic engagement programs and partnerships.

UWS Manager of Regional Development, Ms Jan Temple, says today's universities are faced with the challenges of making a difference in society and helping build communities.

"The issues of community engagement and regional development are now prominent in international forums on higher education," says Ms Temple.

"The ways in which these issues are approached may vary, but there is a growing preoccupation with the role of universities in their regions and how they are catalysts and contributors to the well-being and the economic vitality of their surrounding communities.

"One of the key goals of UWS is to join together with the community, public services, industry and business across Greater Western Sydney to exchange knowledge, harness community expertise and energy for mutual benefit, and to contribute to the region's development, prosperity and social capital.

"It's wonderful that we have this opportunity to bring together other higher education experts who can also share their experiences."

Topics to be discussed at the forum include: creative regional development - knowledge-based associations between universities and their places; embedding community and regional engagement into the fabric of a university; and new generation universities.

WHEN:Tuesday 3 September 2002
WHERE:Carlton Hotel, Parramatta

If you want to attend the conference, contact forum coordinator Noeleen Alden
Phone: +61 2 4620 3612
Facsimile: +61 2 4620 3619
Email: n.alden@uws.edu.au


For more media information or requests for interviews:
Asha Chand
Snr Media Officer
Phone: 02 9678 7429
Email: a.chand@uws.edu.au