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LYIT President signs national charter to underscore LYIT’s commitment to civic and community engagement

Official Launch of the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement

Campus Engage_Jun14_1LYIT is one of 20 colleges that recently signed up to a new Charter outlining their commitment to civic and community engagement.  At the landmark event in Dublin Castle recently, 20 Presidents of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) came together to publicly sign up to the 10 point Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement.  Under the charter the Presidents underscore their commitment to the civic and community engagement role and responsibilities of their institutions.Campus Engage_June14_2

Launching the Charter, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD said, “The importance of ‘engagement’ is recognised in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, and in the HEA’s performance framework, which both ask higher education institutions to engage openly with their community and wider society and for this to infuse every aspect of their mission.  I congratulate all involved in the realisation of the Charter, and specifically to the Presidents for their commitment.”

Opening the launch event, Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT and Chair of Institutes of Technology Ireland (IOTI) said, “This Irish Charter aligns us with best practice and captures the essential principles and the underlying purpose of engagement with communities as well as with enterprise”.

The Charter was developed by Campus Engage, a HEA-funded, national initiative with representation from 17 HEIs, IOTI and the IUA (Irish Universities Association).  Its role is to promote innovative teaching, learning and other activities in the area of civic and community engagement.

Currently, hundreds of organisations work with HEIs on a large number of community-based research, community-based learning, volunteering and fundraising activities.  To give just a small sample of the types of activities going on at LYIT in the past year LYIT staff and students have been involved in the following –

  • On Saturday, 24 May, over 150 cyclists completed the 80 km Campus to Campus Charity Cycle from Killybegs to Letterkenny in aid of MS Ireland (Donegal Branch) and Blood Bike North West.  To date, over €5,000 has been raised, and the partner organisations included LK Bikes, Duffy Express Freight Ltd, Michael Friel Bus Hire, Seamus Lafferty Bus Hire, Páirc Acla (Baile na Finne/Fintown), Tobin's Service Station, Marks and Spencer, John Gormley’s Centra, Dunne’s Stores, Kelly’s Centra, and An Garda Síochána.
  • The LYIT Nursing Society held a Teddy Bears Hospital for young school children from local schools, to help children cope with the stress of going to hospital.  The students asked school children to bring their teddy bears along for a visit to the LYIT Teddy Bear Hospital.  The aim of this event was to alleviate the fear often felt by children when visiting hospital, and this event allowed the Nursing Society to connect and partner with local schools.
  • 34 LYIT students from the LYIT Gaisce Society have registered with Donegal Volunteer Centre to enable them to complete their respective individual Gaisce Award.  Examples of the type of volunteer and civic engagement activities include spending time with the elderly and assisting with local youth projects.  Each of these 34 students contributes at least 1 hour per week volunteer time with a local/community organisation.  This means that during academic year 2013/2014, at least 34 hours per week of volunteer/civic community engagement activities took place between this society and external groups/community organisations.
  • Students from the LYIT LGBT Society have volunteered with the Donegal Youth Service.  These students have assisted the Donegal Youth Service with their peer assistance ‘Breakout’ programme, which connects second level LGBT students with third level LGBT students.
  • LYIT Android App Society students, Paulius Karbauskas and Gearoid Maguire, have volunteered every Saturday with Cara House, Letterkenny, and Pramerica Systems Ireland in delivering the Coderdojo programme to children aged between 10 and 14 years.  They help young children learn programming, through the use of visual learning.
  • The LYIT Gardening Society has volunteered at Donegal Hospice, planted bedding plants and shrubs, for the benefit of terminally ill patients and their families attending the Donegal Hospice.
  • The LYIT Law Society connected with the Donegal Hospice this year and organised a bake sale on behalf of the society.  This event was organised by three of the executive members from the society, with a view to enhancing the connection between the LYIT Law Society and the Donegal Hospice.  It is hoped to make this an annual event.

As a signatory to the Charter, LYIT welcomes new approaches from any organisation wishing to explore mutually beneficial partnerships ideas, whether these are in the areas of research; potential internships, placements or service learning opportunities for students; or calls for volunteers for charitable events or other activities.

Photo caption:
Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT and Chair of Institutes of Technology Ireland, pictured at the launch of the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement.  Also in the picture are (l-r):  Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD; Eamonn Fitzgerald, NUI Galway; and Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, and Chair of the Irish Universities Association.
LYIT Android App Society students, Paulius Karbauskas and Gearoid Maguire, pictured with the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, TD, at the launch of the Campus Engage Charter on Civic and Community Engagement.

 



Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:55:00 BST

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